Top of the table clash ends in stalemate – Rotherham United 1 Wigan Athletic 1

Latics on the attack

  • Second-placed Wigan Athletic and League One leaders Rotherham United fought out a combative 1-1 draw at the New York Stadium.
  • Latics went ahead in the 28th minute when Stephen Humphrys lashed home a fine left-footed strike from 20-yards.
  • Callum Lang had a goal disallowed for a foul on the Rotherham goalkeeper by substitute Will Keane.
  • Ollie Rathbone equalised with a powerful right-foot strike from 25-yards out on 70 minutes.
  • Neither team could get the upper hand in the latter stages and the points had to be shared.
  • Latics remain six points behind Rotherham with two games in hand and are six points ahead of third place MK Dons with two games in hand.

Leam Richardson made four changes from Tuesday’s victory against Crewe with Jason Kerr, Curtis Tilt, Gavin Massey and Humphrys replacing Kell Watts, Tendayi Darikwa, Gwion Edwards and Will Keane.

In a frantic opening period it was the hosts who first went close when Shane Ferguson’s low cross from the left-hand side almost found Michael Smith at the far post.

The tackles were flying in from both sides and referee Jeremy Simpson struggled to cope producing some random decisions.

Latics went in front in the 28th minute when Humphrys produced a stunning strike from just outside the area.

The Millers tried to respond but Latics held firm with the former Rotherham centre-half Curtis Tilt outstanding at the back.

The Millers started strongly in the second half and Ben Amos had to produce a superb save to keep the visitors ahead.

Ogbene pulled the ball back from the right to Smith whose low effort was heading towards the bottom corner but Amos was somehow able to push it away.

Latics had the ball in the back of the net in the 74th minute when Lang fired home at the far post after Josh Vickers had spilt Max Power’s free-kick, but the referee Simpson gave a free-kick for a foul on the goalkeeper by Keane.

Almost out of the blue the hosts drew level with a thunderous strike from Rathbone from 25-yards out which flew past Amos into the bottom corner.

Both teams continued to press for the three points but ultimately they had to settle for a point each.

Nothing is settled as far as the title is concerned but both teams are in the prime positions for automatic promotion.

League One Table

Afterwards Richardson reflected on a positive week that has seen his team take seven points from three games in seven days.

A week that culminated in an intense battle at the top of League One.

“It was everything that we expected,” Richardson said.

“Compliments to what they have done this year, with the amount of balls they put in your box, the pressure they put on teams at home and you have to match it.

“We played Saturday and Tuesday so to then play again on Friday made it a tough turnaround for us and we had to match fire with fire.

“I thought we defended well all night, Stephen [Humphrys] took his goal really well and we could have had a couple of chances in the first half on the counter attack.

“When you come to Rotherham, you have to defend and you have to totally respect what they do. Any point away from home is a good one.

“Probably the only bits of quality in the game – without disrespecting anything else that happened because it was competitive – were the two goals.

“We had to defend without the ball, work hard on the ball and second half I thought they got the momentum – which you’d expect – and then I thought we grew into it towards the end of the game and possibly could have had a breakaway.

“To take seven points in the week, credit goes to the players and to the staff for how hard they’ve worked, recovered and travelled.

“Both sets of fans were great; our fans were unbelievable again and even the conditions didn’t stop them coming across. Their energy at the end of the game got us through.”

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in League One, Leam Richardson, Ollie Rathbone, Rotherham United, Stephen Humphrys, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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