WIGAN ATHLETIC 2 MILLWALL 2An injury time strike from Will Grigg sealed a dramatic point for Wigan Athletic, after they let a second half lead slip to a determined Millwall side.
All four goals came in an entertaining second half, and the visitors looked set for all three points, after strikes from Fred Onyedinma and Mark Beevers cancelled out Michael Jacobs’ classy opener, before Grigg ensured a point for his side in dramatic fashion.
The result means that Latics maintain their unbeaten start to the season at home, after tonight’s late drama.
Gary Caldwell made two changes to the side which drew away at Oldham on Saturday, with Tim Chow and Sean Murray brought in to replace the injured Jason Pearce and the suspended Jordan Flores.
Latics came into the game defending an unbeaten home record, and their confidence was apparent from the offset, with the hosts seeing plenty of possession in the opening exchanges.
It was an even contest for most of the half however, with both sides having half chances in the first quarter of an hour.
Reece James and Michael Jacobs were catching the eye down the left for Latics, with both players showing plenty of enthusiasm going forward, linking up well together and producing a couple of nice runs into dangerous positions.
Latics were starting to build on their possession and looked lively on the twenty minute mark, when David Perkins showed a great eye to switch the ball out on the left to Reece James, who made a great run into the area before seeing his ball to Jacobs cut out on the edge of the area.
James wasn’t finished, and had another go at the visiting defence by linking up with Jordy Hiwula, who produced a lovely flick back to Perkins before the ball was cleared.
It was promising play, but Millwall created the first clear cut chance of the game on the break sixty seconds later, when Mark Beevers nodded the ball down in the box to Gregory, whose shot on the turn was narrowly wide of the far post.
Latics responded with a half chance of their own twenty four minutes into the contest when Power switched across the area to the lively James, who couldn’t keep his effort down after doing well to bring the ball under control.
The hosts were just shading it, and had a clear cut chance of their own on the half hour mark, when Jordy Hiwula found himself free in the area, only to see his effort take a deflection in a crowded area and sneak over the crossbar.
The contest continued to be close up until the interval, with both sides seeing plenty of the ball, but neither was able to carve out a clear opportunity before the whistle.
Latics have made a habit of starting brightly in the second half so far this season, and again Caldwell’s men looked the livelier of the two in the opening exchanges, with substitute Francisco Junior galvanising his side in the middle.
The substitution soon paid dividends eight minutes into the second half, when Junior’s tenacity won the ball back and the ball fell to Jacobs midway in the visiting half, who surged into the left hand side of the area, before coolly rolling the ball past Jordan Archer into the bottom right hand corner.
Millwall were undeterred by falling behind however, and pressed Latics from the kick-off, with Caldwell’s side having to dig in for the initial five minutes after scoring to maintain their advantage.
Latics looked dangerous themselves on sixty six minutes, again through Reece James on the left, who almost picked out Jordy Hiwula out at the near post, only for Archer to just nip the ball away from the striker.
The visitors were edging play since the goal however, and drew level three minutes later through substitute Fred Onyedinma, who picked up the ball from point blank range in the area and coolly popped the ball into the back of the net.
Millwall were suddenly in complete control, and took the lead sixteen minutes from time through Mark Beevers, who headed home from a corner.
Latics initially looked to have just about cleared the danger after a goalmouth scramble, with Jacobs and McCann hastily attempting to hack it away, but the ball found its way to Beevers, who saw his header hit the crossbar and fall over the line to put his side in front.
The visitors almost sealed the result seven minutes from time through substitute Steve Morison’s curling effort on the edge of the area, only for O’Donnell to produce a great save to push it wide.
Latics were fighting for their lives, and almost got their reward three minutes from time through substitute Sanmi Odelusi, who headed his effort straight at Archer in the area after latching on to a cross from the left.
The hosts were handed a lifeline, with six minutes of added time to try and find an equaliser to maintain their unbeaten record.
Latics took full advantage of the time, and got that all important goal just sixty seconds after the announcement through Will Grigg, who came off the bench to snatch a late point, with his effort into the top right hand corner after a tenacious turn in the area.