Latics denied at the death – AFC Bournemouth 2 Wigan Athletic 2

Will Grigg Wigan Athletic

Will Grigg scored his 100th goal to give Latics an early lead

Wigan Athletic were denied an FA Cup victory at Premier League Bournemouth when Steve Cook equalised in added time at the Vitality Stadium.

Latics took the lead after only two minutes when Will Grigg turned home following Reece James’ cross.

In an end-to-end opening half both sides created chances but it was the visitors who increased their lead when Nick Powell’s free-kick flicked off the wall and looped into the top corner with keeper Artur Boric stranded.

The second half belonged to the Cherries who reduced the deficit on 55 minutes when Lys Mousset fired into the net past Christian Walton.

Despite mounting Bournemouth pressure Latics looked to be going into the 4th Round and they might have had a penalty when Ivan Toney appeared to be pushed in the penalty area when clean through.

But with one minute of added time remaining Steve Cook headed past Walton to frustrate Latics and force a replay at the DW Stadium.

Paul Cook made one change to the team which had won 1-0 at Northampton Town with Max Power replacing Lee Evans in midfield.

In a breathtaking opening Latics went in front after only two minutes when Reece James’ cross was knocked down in the area by Massey and Grigg gratefully converted the opportunity.

The Cherries tried to quickly get back into the game and Walton made an excellent save with his legs to deny Mousset. Nathan Ake then headed just wide of the target from a corner.

Latics then went close when Andrew Surman lost possession and Powell drove forward before unleashing a low drive which was narrowly wide.

However, on 29 minutes Powell’s 30-yard free-kick deflected off Emerson Hyndman in the Cherries defensive wall and looped into the top corner to give Latics a 2-0 lead.

Walton made a good save to deny Connor Mahoney just before the interval as the Cherries upped the ante to try and get back into the game.

Eddie Howe made two changes at the interval, with Marc Pugh and Jordan Ibe coming into the action.

Early in the second half Walton had to do well to save from Benik Afobe and Nathan Byrne headed off the line but the Cherries did draw level on 55 minutes.

Good work by Ibe set up Mousset and the Frenchman blasted home past Walton from inside the area.

Latics quickly made a change with David Perkins replacing Powell as they attempted to stem the tide of Bournemouth pressure.

Ivan Toney replaced Grigg on 65 minutes and he soon had a chance to increase the lead but his shot was high and wide of the target.

Max Power then had an even better opportunity minutes later following Michael Jacobs’ cut back but he blazed his shot over the crossbar from the edge of the box.

The Cherries surged forward but Latics were dangerous on the break and Gavin Massey had a shot blocked following Toney’s cross.

Massey was then replaced by Gary Roberts and the substitute set up a great chance for Toney.

Latics counter-attacked and Roberts set Toney free inside the penalty area but as he was about to pull the trigger he got a nudge from a defender and went down for what appeared to be a penalty. Referee Andy Madley surprisingly waved away all appeals.

Latics bench were incensed with the decision and Assistant Manager Leam Richardson was sent to the stands for arguing with the officials.

With seconds remaining it appeared Latics would hold out for a memorable victory but the Cherries Steve Cook headed home from Pugh’s cross to force the replay.

It was desperately disappointing for Latics to be pegged back so late in the game but it was a valiant performance, they are still in the FA Cup and have shown they are very capable of progressing further.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Bournemouth, FA Cup, Lys Mousset, Nick Powell, Steve Cook, Wigan Athletic, Will Grigg and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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