Late Hilal Soudani goal breaks superb Latics hearts as Latics once again produce entertaining performance at the DW Stadium.
- Match Report: Wigan Athletic 2 – 2 Nottingham Forest
- Nick Powell and Will Grigg twice gave Latics the lead at the DW Stadium
- Matty Cash drew Nottingham Forest level initially before Hilal Soudani scored late second for Aitor Karanka’s side.
Attendance: 11,543 (2,513 away)
WIGAN ATHLETIC 2
GRIGG (PEN) 30
NOTTINGHAM FOREST 2
Latics were dealt a cruel late blow on Saturday afternoon as they drew 2-2 with Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship, despite leading for the majority of the game at the DW Stadium.
Nick Powell and Will Grigg twice gave Latics the lead either side of Matty Cash’s initial leveller for the visitors, before Hilal Soudani scored in stoppage time after a controversial late penalty award resulted in the Algerian firing home the rebound after Lewis Grabban’s spot-kick was saved by Christian Walton.
A lot of heart from Latics, though, who, regardless of the match situations, must be content with their start to the season.
Paul Cook made two changes from Latics’ last league outing at Aston Villa, bringing Lee Evans and Gavin Massey back into the starting XI in place of Callum Connolly and Callum McManaman, who were both on the bench.
It was the perfect start to the afternoon for Cook’s side as Powell fired home from a Lee Evans corner, grabbing his third in as many Sky Bet Championship games.
Cook’s side were relentless from the off and went agonizingly close to an early second when Reece James and Gavin Massey linked up before the former crossed for Grigg, who fired on target but saw his effort well saved by Costel Pantilimon in the Nottingham Forest goal.
The visitors were level soon after, though, as Samy Morsy was dispossessed before Cash broke through and finished well past Christian Walton.
More chances followed in response for Cook’s side, though, as Michael Jacobs headed over at the back post before a brilliant Morsy win from Adlene Guedioura allowed Jacobs to pick up the loose ball, drive towards goal and see his shot deflected behind. Jacobs took the resulting corner, which was headed off target by Powell.
Latics got ahead again on the half hour mark as Grigg was fouled in the area by Ben Osborn before picking himself up to fire the spot-kick past Pantilimon for his first goal of the season.
Cook’s side remained in the ascendency for the remainder of the half as Morsy fired against the post before Powell’s follow up went wide.
Forest were better in the second-half and Latics had to defend bravely to protect their lead; first substitute Ben Watson – given a warm reception on his return – played in Soudani, who was denied by a Chey Dunkley block.
Further chances followed for Latics, though, as Robinson, Grigg and Morsy linked up to give the Everton loanee a chance to score but his effort was deflected behind for a corner from which Dunkley saw a header saved.
Substitute Soudani was a threat for the visitors after coming off the bench and he saw an effort saved by Walton before James headed off the line from another of his efforts.
And, albeit unconventionally, Soudani was the man who drew Forest level after a late penalty awarded by referee Geoff Eltringham saw Walton produce a good save from Lewis Grabban, only for the rebound to be fired home by Algerian.
Latics: Walton; James, Robinson, Kipre, Dunkley; Morsy (Capt), Evans; Massey (Byrne 88), Powell (Connolly 74), Jacobs; Grigg (Vaughan 74)
Subs: Jones, Windass, Bruce, McManaman.
Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon, Figueiredo, Fox (Capt), Guedioura (Watson 45), Colback, Grabban, Carvalho (Soudani 53), Osborn, Cash, Lolley (Robinson 64), Darikwa.
Subs: Steele, Murphy, Dawson, Dias.