Wigan struggling to adjust to life in the Championship – Wigan Athletic 2 Middlesbrough 2

Jordi Gomez

Jordi Gomez – superb free kick

A late equaliser by substitute Jordi Gomez saved a point for Wigan after they had been outplayed by Middlesbrough for long periods.

Latics had taken the lead through a Grant Holt penalty, after Marc-Antoine Fortune was brought down. Boro defender George Friend made amends for giving away the penalty by equalising just before half-time.

Grant Leadbitter then put the visitors in front after some poor defending by James McArthur, but Gomez’s superbly driven free-kick six minutes from time secured Wigan a precious point.

Wigan were missing star man Shaun Maloney after he was injured in the 2-2 draw with Doncaster in mid-week and manager Owen Coyle opted for a strike force of Grant Holt and Marc-Antoine Fortune in a 4-4-2 formation.

Wigan started brightly and had strong claims for a penalty waved away by the referee David Coote when Friend barged Fortuné in the back as he went to shoot.
But Boro could have no complaints in the 16th minute when Coote pointed to the spot, with the same two players involved. Friend had clearly grabbed Fortune’s shirt and Holt made no mistake from the resulting penalty.

Soon afterwards Holt went down in the box under a heavy challenge from Jonathan Woodgate but referee Coote was reluctant to give another penalty.

Boro were now threatening on the break and their number nine Lukas Jutkiewicz twice forced excellent saves from Scott Carson.

As the half progressed Wigan’s midfield was looking increasingly ragged with Chris McCann, James McCarthy and James McArthur struggling to compete with their Boro counterparts. It was no surprise when Boro got back into the game just before the interval. Friend got the better of McArthur down the left and cut into the area before unleashing a low shot past Carson and into the far corner of the net.

It was no more than Boro deserved for their enterprising play and it should have been a wake up call to Wigan.

But the second half continued in similar fashion with Boro looking the more likely to score and they almost took the lead when Adomah cut inside Stephen Crainey only to see his shot saved by the legs of Carson.

Grant Holt limped off for Latics on 64 minutes with a knee injury to be replaced by James McClean.

Boro took the lead on 74 minutes when Adomah’s cross was finished off by Leadbitter and it looked as though they would go onto secure all three points.

Yet Wigan managed to snatch a draw with only six minutes remaining, substitute Roger Espinoza was fouled on the edge of the area and Gómez stepped up to fire a splendid free kick past Steele in the Boro goal.

Even in injury time substitute Marvin Emnes nearly won it for Boro, but his shot hit the side-netting and luckily for Latics the points were shared.

Following relegation, a change in manager, player departures and ten new signings early season was always going to be a transitional period for Wigan. But Owen Coyle will be concerned that the team have only secured one win in four matches. They have only played well in patches and some of the defending has been pretty dire.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in George Friend, Grant Holt, Grant Leadbitter, Jordi Gomez, Middlesbrough, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Wigan struggling to adjust to life in the Championship – Wigan Athletic 2 Middlesbrough 2

  1. Pingback: Wigan struggling to adjust to life in the Championship – Wigan Athletic 2 Middlesbrough 2 - Unofficial Network

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