Latics edge out of the drop zone – AFC Wimbledon 1 Wigan Athletic 1

Jamie Proctor put Latics ahead

Wigan Athletic moved out of the relegation zone after a hard fought 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers AFC Wimbledon.

The visitors took a deserved 58th minute lead following a flowing attacking move. Viv Solomon-Otabor’s excellent right wing cross found substitute Dan Gardner in the box and he set the ball back to Jamie Proctor who produced a composed finish into the bottom left corner of the net.

The hosts pressed for the equaliser as Latics were forced deeper and it came on 79 minutes when Ryan Longman’s inviting cross from the right was headed into the bottom left corner by George Dobson.

Late in the game Latics keeper Jamie Jones came to the rescue with a clearing header from Curtis Tilt’s risky back pass and the points were shared.

Latics move above Northampton into 20th place while the Dons climb to 22nd place and are two points from safety with a game in hand.

Leam Richardson made one change from the starting eleven with Scott Wootton returning after being unavailable for the win at Plymouth. Callum Lang missed out due to a groin injury.

Prior to this battle of the basement Latics had been boosted by the news 24 hours earlier that the takeover by the Bahraini consortium was almost complete.

Latics started brightly and forced a couple of early corners in their first visit to the new Plough Lane Stadium.

The hosts went close on 11 minutes when Joe Pigott curled his shot from the edge of the box narrowly wide of the target.

As the half progressed both teams struggled to create any clear-cut chances in windy conditions.

Latics lost Gavin Massey to a hamstring injury on 40 minutes, his replacement Gardner started on the left with Viv Solomon-Otabor moving over to the right wing.

0-0 at the interval after a cagey first 45 minutes. Both teams had been limited in the final third and it was noticeable that Latics were missing Lang’s energy and goal threat.

The second half was a much livelier affair and Latics started to threaten.

First Tendayi Darikwa’s dangerous cross was well cut out by the Dons keeper Nik Tzanev with Proctor ready to pounce.

Soon afterwards Lee Evans audacious free kick from an acute angle forced another excellent save from the New Zealand international and a couple of minutes later he saved low down to his left from Proctor.

At the other end Longman’s effort from the edge of the box was straight at Jones and a minute later he fired wide when the Dons broke quickly out of defence.

Latics went ahead in the 58th minute with a well worked move. Solomon-Otabor crossed from the right and Gardner set the ball back to Proctor who showed great composure before placing the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.

The Dons responded and went close when Pigott’s near post header from a corner went narrowly wide.

Joe Dodoo replaced Proctor as the lone striker on 73 minutes.

The Dons drew level on 79 minutes when Longman’s excellent cross from the right was headed into the bottom left corner by Dobson.

Luke O’Neill’s left footed shot from outside the box was easily saved by Jones on 83 minutes but soon afterwards the Latics keeper came to the rescue when he headed clear Tilt’s risky back pass.

Gardner blazed over the crossbar from the edge of the area on 86 minutes and in added time Evans’ 35-yard free kick caused havoc in the Dons box but a Latics player was ruled offside and the points had to be shared.

Despite being held it has still been a great period for Latics’ supporters with seven points from the last three games and news that the takeover by Phoenix 2021 Ltd should be completed by the end of the month.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
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