Late equaliser keeps Latics on track for the title – Bristol Rovers 1 Wigan Athletic 1

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Latics on the attack

Wigan Athletic maintained the advantage in the League One title race with a late equaliser at Bristol Rovers.

In wet and windy conditions at the Memorial Ground the visitors struggled to get their usual passing game going and went behind on 28 minutes when Liam Sercombe’s low 25-yard drive seemed to deceive keeper Christian Walton.

The Gas created the best opportunities in the first-half with Ellis Harrison firing wide early on and Kyle Bennett curling a right-footed shot against the post.

Walton made a superb double save on 43 minutes from Sercombe and Byron Moore to prevent Latics falling further behind.

With the match seemingly slipping away from Latics manager Paul Cook made a triple substitution introducing forwards Will Grigg, Devante Cole and Ryan Colclough and it was Colclough who rescued what could prove to be a vital point on 80 minutes.

The winger cut inside and unleashed a low drive which beat the despairing dive of Rovers keeper Sam Slocombe at his near post.

Cole had earlier been adjudged to have what looked like good goal ruled out for offside, but Rovers might have won it at the death when Lee Brown hit a post and Latics held on for what could prove to be an important point.

Blackburn secured automatic promotion on the night with a 1-0 win at Doncaster but remain one point behind Latics and with a significantly inferior goal difference with two games remaining.

Cook made two changes to the team which had so convincingly won at Fleetwood with Michael Jacobs and James Vaughan replacing Grigg and Colclough.

Latics made a tentative opening with none of their usual slick passing in evidence.

Rovers might have taken an early lead when Ellis Harrison had a one-on-one with Walton but fired just wide of the target.

The signs were ominous for Latics and the hosts went in front on 28 minutes after some unconvincing defending. Bennett’s pass to Harrison was deflected off Nathan Byrne and into the path of Sercombe whose low drive seemed to deceive Walton.

Latics were now under the cosh, Bennett curled a shot against the post and just before the interval Walton produced a superb double save to deny Rovers.

Rovers pressure continued to mount at the start of the second-half. Dan Burn had to make a crucial interception to deny Sercombe and then Moore fired wide of Walton’s near post.

Cook needed to shake things up if Latics were to get anything from the game and he duly made three changes. Colclough and Grigg were introduced on 67 minutes and Devante Cole came on ten minutes later.

Cole had what looked to be a good goal ruled out for offside after Colclough’s initial shot was saved by Slocombe, as Latics upped their game.

With ten minutes remaining Colclough cut inside and unleashed a dipping drive from 25-yards which beat Slocombe at his near post, much to the relief of Latics’ travelling fans.

In stoppage time Rovers hit the post with a Brown free-kick but Latics held on for what could prove to be an invaluable point in the title race.

If Latics can win their final two games at home to AFC Wimbledon and away at Doncaster they will be promoted as Champions with 100 points.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Bristol Rovers, League One, Liam Sercombe, Ryan Colclough, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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