Early Tunnicliffe strike earns Latics final day draw at the DW
- Wigan Athletic draw with Leeds United in Sky Bet Championship finale.
- Ryan Tunnicliffe with his first in Latics colours after just six minutes.
- Chris Wood with early 2nd half equaliser from the spot for Leeds.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
LEEDS UNITED 1
Wood (pen) 49
Attendance – 15,280
Latics said fairwell to the Sky Bet Championship with a hard-fought draw against Leeds United, courtesy of an early goal from Ryan Tunnicliffe, his first for the club.
They had chances to score more and there was a controversial moment in the second half just after Chris Wood had drawn the visitors level from the spot, former England keeper Rob Green appearing to bring down Omar Bogle in the area, but nothing was given and in the end Graham Barrow’s men had to settle for a creditable final day draw.
Barrow made three changes for the game, Shaun MacDonald, Reece Burke and Nick Powell replaced by Max Power, Callum Connolly and a first start for Bogle in seven matches. On the bench, there was a first inclusion for 18-year old Callum Lang.
Latics went in a goal to the good at half-time, and were good value for it after a sluggish start in which the visitors had two good opportunities from Kemar Roofe and Pablo Hernandez.
However, they stunned Leeds with a superb goal after just six minutes.
Michael Jacobs was the architect, picking up the ball in midfield and showing a sudden burst of acceleration through the middle and slotting the ball in for Tunnicliffe, who broke free in the box, rounded Green on the right side, and with Bogle distracting a couple of defenders, smashed the ball low at the far post.
Leeds came at Latics for a spell of pressure, but Latics threatened on the break. Green had to come off his line to clear the ball and was shown a yellow card for manhandling Tunnicliffe to stop him taking a quick throw-in after 24 minutes.
Then, a minute later, Bogle broke clear and Green had to be sharp in coming off his line to block at his feet.
Green was again forced to dive at the feet of a Latics player after 31 minutes, Tunnicliffe latching on to Max Power’s excellent through ball but just showing a little bit too much of it to Green.
Leeds’ only other significant effort before the break came in injury time when Gaetano Beradi fired a yard over from the edge of the box.
Leeds were back in it in the 49th minute when the referee judged Tunnicliffe had tripped Eunan O’Kane in the box, Chris Wood coolly sending Matt Gilks the wrong way to slot home from the spot.
They could have had a second two minutes later when Roofe struck the crossbar from distance but Latics should have regained the lead immediately afterwards when Bogle found himself one on one with Green. Green saved the initial effort but then appeared to bundle down Bogle on the follow up, but with Latics urging for the referee to point to the spot, he signalled for a goal-kick.
Craig Morgan was forced off with injury after 56 minutes, replaced by Alex Bruce, then Nick Powell replaced Jacobs after an hour – could he weave a bit of magic?
There were calls for two further Latics penalties when Bogle went down in the box after 67 minutes and 72 minutes, but nothing was given on either occasion.
Bogle could have crowned his afternoon off with a goal in stoppage time, breaking free on the right side, but he wasn’t able to get his shot away and the ball was cleared. Max Power hooked the final effort of the game just over after Jamie Hanson swung in a free-kick from the right.
The players made a lap of appreciation at the end of the game to salute the supporters at the end of what has been a difficult season.
Wigan Athletic: Gilks, Hanson, Connolly, Morgan (Bruce, 56), Burn, Warnock, Perkins (Colclough, 75), Power, Tunnicliffe, Jacobs (Powell, 61), Bogle.
Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, James, Byrne, Lang.
Leeds United: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Coyle, Berardi, Vieira (Phillips, 76), O’Kane, Roofe, Hernandez (Pedrazza, 63), Dallas (Sacko, 69) Wood.
Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Antonsson, Doukara.