REPORT: WIGAN ATHLETIC 2 READING 2A stoppage-time header from James McArthur rescued a point for Wigan Athletic, after two second half Reading goals had cancelled out Callum McManaman’s delicate chip.
After an encouraging first half that saw Latics take the lead through McManaman, Reading grew into the game and it was the late heroics of McArthur that bagged a first point of the season at the DW Stadium, after goals from Shaun Cummings and Sean Morrison had put Reading 2-1 up.
There was a cause for intrigue at kick-off, with new signings Oriol Riera, Emyr Huws, Don Cowie and Andrew Taylor all making their league debuts for Wigan Athletic.
The opening few minutes of the new season were competitive, with 19-year-old loanee Emyr Huws catching the eye. The young midfielder showed great enthusiasm, putting himself forward for the opening free kick of the game so early in his Latics career.
It was the visitors who had the opening chance of the game however, as Pavel Pobgrebnyak won the ball in the tenth minute and found Ryan Edwards, who forced a great save from Scott Carson in the Latics goal with a shot from the edge of the area.
There was no relief for Latics as the subsequent corner was somehow deflected onto the near post by Andrew Taylor, before being hooked away to safety.
Latics soon found their rhythm however and took the lead midway through the first half, with an exquisite chip from Callum McManaman. After seeing his initial shot parried by Reading keeper Adam Federici, the ball was returned to him by Martyn Waghorn and the midfielder made no mistake in tucking the ball into Federici’s bottom corner to put the hosts in front.
The goal put Latics firmly in control for the rest of the half, with McManaman’s pace causing particular problems down the right hand side for the visitors. New signing Oriol Riera began his Latics career brightly, linking up well with his teammates and particularly the impressive McManaman in the opening 45 minutes.
Both sides came out for the second half unchanged, but it was the visitors who were the brighter of the two, forcing Scott Carson into several saves to keep Latics’ lead intact, with new signing Don Cowie making several eye-catching blocks in defence.
New signing and substitute Simon Cox almost made an immediate impact for the Royals upon arrival, forcing a smart save from Carson after lashing a low effort from outside the area on the right hand side.
Carson was called into action eight minutes later, pushing away Nick Blackman’s looping header.
The visitors continued to add pressure and Latics’ goalkeeper was finally beaten by Shaun Cummings, who finished into the bottom left hand corner from a long range effort.
Latics were given a further warning of their visitors’ intentions, as Blackman struck the woodwork with a low effort from range.
The Royals soon took the lead, when Guthrie’s clever free kick was centred by Alex Pearce and finished off from close range by a header from Sean Morrison in the 76th minute.
Wigan tried to get themselves back into the game late on, with manager Uwe Rosler bringing on an extra striker in the form of Marc-Antoine Fortune, and the late pressure paid dividends, when McManaman’s flick was met by James McArthur, who rescued a point for the hosts with a stoppage time header into Federici’s goal.