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Barclays Premier League

DW Stadium (ATT 15,100) 4th December 2010 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Jones

Wigan Wigan Athletic vs Stoke City Stoke

Wigan 2

D Collins (og 30)
T Cleverley (40)


Stoke 2

R Huth (18)
M Etherington (31)

Wigan fight back for draw

Latics twice come from behind to earn a point at the DW

Last Updated: 04/12/10 5:43pm

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Huth: Scored opener

Huth: Scored opener

Wigan twice came from behind to earn a point against Stoke in an entertaining draw at the DW Stadium.

Man of the match: Ben Watson. Forced Danny Collins into conceding Wigan's first goal from his great free-kick and was a threat all afternoon with his set-pieces. Goal of the game: Matthew Etherington's - the only one which wasn't a deflection. Kenwyne Jones did well to find Ricardo Fuller near the right byline, who turned Steven Caldwell before passing for the unmarked Etherington to slot home. Attempt of the match: Maynor Figueroa hit a low effort from the left edge of the box in the first period which Asmir Begovic did well to save low down at his near post. Save of the match: Ali Al Habsi produced a fine left handed save to his left to deny a Jones' header in the second period. Moment of match: Begovic's save to push Charles N'Zogbia's shot on his post late on. Talking point: Wigan remain in the drop zone with his point but the way they fought back twice against the Potters will stand them in good stead for the relegation scrap ahead.

All four goals - three from deflections - came in a blistering first half, with Robert Huth putting the Potters ahead in the 18th minute from a long-range free-kick which hit Mohamed Diame in the wall and went in.

But the Latics were level on the half-hour mark when Danny Collins deflected a low Ben Watson free-kick into his own net.

Stoke re-took the lead just a minute later after Kenwyne Jones found Ricardo Fuller near the right byline. He turned Steven Caldwell before passing for the unmarked Matthew Etherington to slot home from eight yards in the centre.

But Tom Cleverley then drew the Latics level again five minutes before the interval when his shot deflected off Rory Delap.

Soon after the restart, Mauro Boselli drew a double save from Asmir Begovic, while Jones forced Ali Al Habsi into a fantastic diving save at the other end.

Begovic then pushed a fine Charles N'Zogbia effort onto his post as the game ended in a draw.

The result made it only one win in nine league games for Wigan, who will look back at a horror miss from Hendry Thomas as well as N'Zogbia's strike as evidence they could well have claimed all three points.

The opening stages gave no indication of the drama to come, with a near-post effort from Fuller that was well saved by Al Habsi the closest either side came to a goal.

Cursing luck

But in the 18th minute the Latics were left cursing their luck again as a debatable free-kick for a foul by Thomas on Fuller was converted in extremely fortunate circumstances by Huth.

The defender's effort from 35 yards was fairly weak but it caught the heel of Diame - who turned his back - in the wall and rolled over the line, with Al Habsi totally wrong-footed.

Wigan responded well and probably should have equalised when Steve Gohouri got his head to a wicked free-kick from Ben Watson from the left. The defender got plenty of power but directed his effort wide of the post with Begovic beaten.

Stoke had not learned their lesson, though, and, when Watson took another set-piece from the left, Collins could only divert the ball past his own keeper.

That brought the hosts level on the half-hour mark, but parity lasted for just a minute as Stoke broke down the right through Jones, who played in Fuller on the right of the area.

The striker did well to pull the ball back and running into the box all alone was Etherington, who had the simple task of slotting his shot under Al Habsi for his third goal in three games.

Wigan could even have taken the lead themselves between the two goals, with Begovic producing a decent block to deny Boselli.

The Latics poured forward in search of a second equaliser, and only Thomas will know how he did not score. After Maynor Figueroa's fierce shot from the edge of the area was parried by Begovic, N'Zogbia laid it on a plate for Thomas, who somehow bobbled his shot wide from five yards.

But five minutes before the break, the home fans were celebrating, and for the third time a deflection played a crucial part in a goal. Cleverley cut in from the right and let fly from 20 yards, with the ball taking a key touch off Delap and nestling in the corner.

Second period

The second half began as the first had ended with more goalmouth action, and Begovic had to be alert to deny Boselli twice in a matter of seconds at his near post after Cleverley and Figueroa had worked the ball down the right.

The Latics now looked the better side but Stoke were inches away from taking the lead for a third time in the 54th minute.

A Delap long throw caused mayhem in the box and, when Jones' attempted shot looped up to Walters at the back post, he leapt above his marker but headed just wide.

Moments later, Jones drew a fabulous save from Al Habsi as a fine cross from Walters picked out the striker perfectly. Jones met it well but the Wigan keeper flung out his left hand.

The chances were not coming as thick and fast now but N'Zogbia nearly created a third goal for Wigan with 13 minutes to go as he worked his magic down the left before picking out substitute Ronnie Stam, who could only poke the ball wide.

N'Zogbia has been the Latics' best player this season and he ran at the Stoke defence again before unleashing a shot that was brilliantly tipped onto the post by Begovic.

Stoke had a late chances, with Danny Higginbotham heading wide as the game ended all square.

Wigan AthleticTeam StatisticsStoke City
21st Half Goals2
6Shots on Target5
8Shots off Target6
1Blocked Shots2
1Yellow Cards4
0Red Cards0
76.6Passing Success64.2
76.5Tackles Success57.9
47.3Territorial Advantage52.7

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