Late decision denies Latics victory – Wigan Athletic 1 Norwich City 1

Man of the match Reece James

Wigan Athletic were unlucky not secure all three points in their fight against relegation when they were held 1-1 by Championship table toppers Norwich City at the DW Stadium.

Man of the match Reece James had given Latics a first half lead from the penalty spot after Ben Godfrey had handled Sam Morsy’s shot.

But the Canaries drew level on 81 minutes when Teemu Pukki scored his 27th Championship goal of the season.

Latics were denied a stoppage time winner when on-loan striker Leon Clarke’s header was controversially ruled out for offside and they had to settle for a point.

Paul Cook made four changes to the starting line up from the midweek defeat to Hull City, with Lee Evans, Gavin Massey, Kal Naismith and Clarke replacing Darron Gibson, Josh Windass, Nick Powell and Joe Garner.

The manager moved Latics’ most influential player James back into midfield after disappointingly selecting him at full back against Hull.

Latics started brightly and had an early opportunity to open the scoring when Massey was put in the clear by Evans but the winger failed to hit the target firing wide of Tim Krul’s right hand post.

Samy Morsy had an effort from 25-yards and Clarke headed over from a James cross as Latics continued to press forward.

An Evans diving header from an Antonee Robinson cross forced a good save from Krul before Latics went in front just before half time.

Morsy’s goal bound shot was blocked by the hand of Ben Godfrey and referee Linington awarded the spot kick which was confidently converted by the 19-year-old Chelsea loanee James.

The Canaries came out firing at the beginning of the second half when Onel Hernandez forced a good save from Walton.

At the other end the impressive James drove forward and fired just over from 25 yards.

It was end to end stuff as Walton saved from Pukki and from the resulting corner Godfrey headed over the crossbar.

Latics best chance came when Naismith set up Clarke, who slipped a defender before lifting the ball over Krul, but also agonisingly wide of the post.

James fired another free-kick over and Robinson blazed wide from a good position as Latics went in search of the second goal which would have almost certainly clinched all three points.

Latics had defended well throughout but on 81 minutes they were caught out when Pukki was allowed far too much space and the prolific Finn finished past Walton for the equaliser.

Even then Latics might have won it in stoppage time as Clarke headed in an excellent James free-kick but the goal was frustratingly adjudged to be offside by the assistant referee.

Latics’ home form hasn’t been a problem this season – they were very unlucky not to get all three points against Norwich – but they now need to show the same level of effort and commitment at second place Leeds United on Good Friday as they seek to put an end to their abysmal away form.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Norwich City, Reece James, Teemu Pukki, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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