- Wigan Athletic were the dominant outfit against Ipswich Town and went ahead on 22 minutes through Callum Lang’s close range finish.
- The visitors were lucky not to have Conor Chaplin red carded for a stamp on Tom Pearce on the half hour mark.
- Will Keane appeared to have doubled Latics’ advantage on 70 minutes but the goal was controversially ruled offside by the officials.
- Ipswich then stunned the hosts when substitute James Norwood equalised following a free-kick in the 77th minute.
- But the hosts could’ve won the game in the 84th minute but Keane headed wide from a great position following a Max Power free-kick.
- Latics were left wondering how they did not collect all three points but they remain second in the table, two points behind Rotherham with a game in hand. Ipswich drop to 12th spot.
Leam Richardson made three changes to the starting eleven that defeated Shrewsbury Town in midweek with Tom Pearce, Gwion Edwards and Max Power returning to the starting line-up in place of Joe Bennett, Jordan Cousins and Gavin Massey. Former Latics players Christian Walton, Lee Evans and Samy Morsy all started for the visitors.
It would be interesting to see how Latics would fare against a team who had three ex-players in the line-up and had recently sacked their former boss Paul Cook.
Latics had an early opening when James McClean put an excellent cross into the box but Janoi Donacien was able to head away with Edwards in a good position.
On 20 minutes Pearce galloped forward down the left and raced into box before unleashing a rising drive which Walton did well to tip over at the near post.
Latics were ahead two minutes later when McClean’s corner was glanced on by Edwards, and although Walton got a hand to it, Lang was able to convert at the back post.
There was a flashpoint on the half hour mark as Chaplin tripped Pearce and in the resulting melee he appeared to stamp on Pearce. The Ipswich forward was very lucky to remain on the pitch.
Ben Amos made a good save from a downward header by Macauley Bonne from Lee Evans’ free-kick delivery.
Early in the second half Latics came close to doubling their lead after Power curled a free-kick just over the top of the crossbar before Keane fired wide of the target.
Keane then appeared to have doubled Latics’ advantage on 70 minutes but the goal was controversially ruled offside by the officials.
Ipswich then stunned the hosts when substitute James Norwood equalised following a free-kick in the 77th minute.
Latics failed to deal with the cross and the ball ricocheted off Tom Naylor and Norwood was allowed to convert from close range.
The hosts were unlucky not to go back in front when Power’s excellent free-kick from the left was headed narrowly wide by Keane with the goal at his mercy.
Richardson brought on Stephen Humphrys in added time, but Latics just couldn’t restore their advantage and they were left frustrated that they had allowed the three points to slip from their grasp.
Speaking to the media after the game Richardson was critical of the match officials,
“On big chances created, I thought it fell to us,” Richardson explained.
“The officials have got a load of decisions to make around the pitch and we’ve got to respect that. It’s a tough job – I certainly wouldn’t do it – but today they possibly missed big moments.
“Will Keane’s goal is onside and on the far side when the lad stomped on Tom (Pearce), he should leave the field.
“It’s an easy decision but if you take that away, I thought in the first half we controlled large parts and we were quite fluent although not so much in the second half. I still felt we were a threat on the counter-attack and you’ve got to respect every team and their players.
“If we’re not going to win today, we certainly don’t lose and I never thought we were in danger of losing the game.”
Latics are unbeaten in eleven games in all competitions and have now scored in a record breaking 27 successive league games.
They are still in the Papa John’s Trophy and in the FA Cup and are very well positioned in the League One table.
It’s a remarkable contrast to the dark days of last season’s administration and a relegation battle. The club is now being well managed by Phoenix 2021, the team is in fine form and the prospects for the rest of the season look very bright.