Latics leave it late
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: 29/10/05 2:35pm
Wigan Athletic stretched their winning run to five games after Pascal Chimbonda's injury time header saw off Fulham 1-0 at The JJB Stadium.
In a game full of endeavour, Chimbonda popped up in the dying embers of the match to sink a spirited Cottagers side.
Chris Coleman always sends his team out with a refreshing attitude of trying to win every game and the visitors were on the front foot from the word go.
Tomasz Radzinski snapped a skidding shot just wide of the upright, while Steed Malbranque should have scored after creating space in the area before curling his attempt wide with the outside of the boot from eight yards.
Wigan have been no shrinking violets themselves this season and almost scored via their first attack of the match. Henri Camara crossed to the far post and Ryan Taylor's header just evaded both Damien Francis' outstretched leg and the upright.
Fulham's first penalty appeal of the half came after more bright work from Malbranque after his cross rebounded off Leighton Baines' body and struck the defender's arm.
After Graham Kavanagh was booked for a late challenge on Luis Boa Morte, Papa Bouba Diop could only head the resultant free kick on to the top of the net.
With 10 minutes of the half remaining, Cottagers boss Coleman was incensed when referee Andre Marriner failed to send off John Filan after the Wigan keeper had darted out of his area to close down Collins John.
The Dutch striker had sprinted clear of the Wigan defence and, as he looked to poke the ball beyond the advancing Filan, it ricocheted off the keeper's body and hit his arm but, much to Coleman's vocal annoyance, Marriner waved play on.
John then had a great chance to continue his current hot streak after peeling away from his marker but he mistimed his header from Claus Jensen's superb cross.
To further infuriate Coleman before the interval, Marriner booked Moritz Volz for diving in the area, despite the German full back being bundled over by Alan Mahon.
The early parts of the second half saw a period of stagnation, with neither team finding a rhythm as both keepers remained largely unemployed.
Paul Jewell introduced Andreas Johansson just past the hour mark for Alan Mahon and the change added impetus to Wigan's attacks.
After Diop had ambitiously tried to hit the target with a 35-yard free kick, Latics midfielder Johansson headed over at the far post.
The Sweden international, who grabbed a brace in the Carling Cup win over Watford in midweek, then volleyed over under pressure after making a timely run into the box.
With 10 minutes of the game remaining, Wigan had a penalty appeal of their own but it was a carbon copy of the Baines incident as a deep cross hit Niclas Jensen on the leg before inadvertently brushing the Dane's arm.
The hosts were presented with a gift inside the final five minutes when a Carlos Bocanegra mistake allowed Camara a run on goal. The Senegal international rounded keeper Tony Warner but, despite steadying himself, was unable to steer his shot around Alain Goma and only found the side-netting.
Just as both teams were settling for a deserved point apiece, Graham Kavanagh curled in a deep free kick, Chimbonda outmuscled Diop and, despite the best efforts of Warner, the defender's header crept in the far post.
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|Wigan Athletic||Team Name||Fulham|
|4||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||1|
|6||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||6|
|11||Total Fouls Conceded||7|
Barclays Premier League
|7||West Ham United||22||36|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||22||22|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||22||19|