Relegation threatened Wigan Athletic were held to a 1-1 draw by fellow Championship strugglers Huddersfield Town at the DW Stadium.
Latics went in search of the three points after a nine game winless run and took the lead on 43 minutes when Josh Windass produced a cool finish following a mistake by keeper Kamil Grabara.
The hosts were dominant in the first half and had the chances to increase their lead, and they might’ve doubled their advantage in the second half when Windass was again in the clear but this time Grabara made a vital save.
Latics failure to capitalise on their dominance proved crucial as the Terriers equalised with a superb strike from Karlan Grant on 70 Minutes.
Both teams spurned chances in the latter stages and Latics had to settle for a point in their battle against relegation.
Latics remain in 23rd spot while Huddersfield stay in 19th in the Championship table.
Paul Cook retained the same starting eleven from the midweek draw with West Brom.
Latics made the early running and Windass produced a dangerous low cross which was scrambled away by the Terriers.
The hosts under strength defence was performing admirably with Cedric Kipre and Kal Naismith looking comfortable in the centre.
When Huddersfield did breakthrough Grant fired straight at Jamie Jones after he was set up by Juninho Bacuna.
With half time approaching Latics were gifted the lead when Windass calmly finished after intercepting Grabara’s poor clearance.
Early in the second half Windass had a chance to double Latics’ advantage when he nearly capitalised on another mistake by Josh Simpson but this time Grabara was able to make the crucial stop.
At the other end Jones was called into action as he saved at the second attempt from Bacuna’s long range effort.
The Terriers drew level in the 70th minute after Grant cut inside and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Windass then had another good opportunity but this time his low drive from the edge of the box found the side netting.
Both teams had opportunities to win it in the latter stages. The Terriers substitute Steve Mounie had a goal bound header cleared off the line by Jamal Lowe.
Substitute Anthony Pilkington came close to giving Latics the winner but Jon Gorenc Stankovic’s late interception denied the hosts the three points they so desperately craved.
In the last two games Cook has eschewed the long ball tactics of this season and selected a team to out pass their opponents.
It has proved to be a positive move with two improved performances but their failure to be clinical in the final third is proving to be their Achilles heel.
Latics invested in strikers Kieffer Moore and Jamal Lowe for £5.5m but they have only managed three goals between them.
The club’s other forwards Josh Windass, Michael Jacobs, Gavin Massey, Joe Garner, Anthony Pilkington and the ‘time limited’ Joe Gelhardt have eight goals between them.
In comparison the Terriers striker Karlan Grant has 12 goals to his name which is more than all of Latics attacking players put together.
The lack of a proven goal scorer is likely to be their downfall in an expensively funded division.
Despite Latics’ downward trajectory the board have shown no sign of sacking Cook, so it looks as though he will take the club into the New Year.
If this is the case it will be interesting to see what resources he will be given in the January transfer window as they look to protect their Championship status.