Late Joe Garner goal earns Latics another important point in the Sky Bet Championship.
- Match Report: Wigan Athletic 1 – 1 Ipswich Town
- Late Joe Garner strike saves the day for Latics, earning another important point in the Sky Bet Championship
- Will Keane penalty had given Ipswich, who had Jonas Knudsen sent off in the first-half, the lead until the late stages.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
IPSWICH TOWN 1
Keane (pen) 32
Attendance: 10,835 (886 away)
Substitute Joe Garner earned Latics another important point in the Sky Bet Championship as Latics left it late against Ipswich Town at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Garner’s goal came after a sustained spell of pressure from Paul Cook’s side in which time they no doubt created enough chances to win the game.
In equal measure, though, there was no doubting the sense of relief as Garner fired home at close range after 10 man Ipswich had led for the majority of the game through former Latic Will Keane’s penalty, which came after Jonas Knudsen had been sent off for Paul Lambert’s side.
Latics made two changes to their starting XI from the last Sky Bet Championship outing against Stoke City, with Danny Fox and Lee Evans into the team in place of Cedric Kipre and Nathan Byrne.
Cook’s side started brightly with an early Michael Jacobs cross inside the first minute headed over by Anthony Pilkington at the back post.
However, the visitors bounced back with early openings of their own as a James Bree cross was headed wide by Jon Nolan before Jamie Jones had to tip a Keane shot from the edge of the area around his post.
Ipswich’s best chance prior to their opener fell to Keane at the back post following a flick on from a corner but he couldn’t adjust his body to test Jones.
Jacobs curled over after a good run on the left from Naismith before the game sparked into life on 24 minutes when Leon Clarke went in behind the Ipswich defence and was pulled back by Knudsen, with referee Lee Probert adjudging the defender to have denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
However, instead of getting into the ascendency, Latics fell behind when Colin Quaner fell under the challenge of Chey Dunkley in the penalty area, with Probert deciding the contact was significant enough to award a spot-kick. Jamie Jones almost saved Keane’s effort from the spot, but there was enough power from the former Latic to see the ball creep home.
As the first-half wore on, deliveries into the Ipswich area were returning little, albeit Josh Windass headed off target just before the break from a Reece James cross.
The second-half started into a similar pattern to the way the first ended as Latics got the ball into wide areas and crossed for Clarke and the players around him, with Pilkington heading off target once more following a Naismith cross on 51 minutes.
A couple of minutes later, a fine Naismith delivery looked destined to be nodded home by one of Clarke or Windass, though neither one of the attacking pair could add a clinical finish.
Alan Judge had a couple of rare second-half chances for the visitors as the hour mark approached before Cook introduced Nick Powell and Callum McManaman from the bench in search of an equaliser.
And just prior to that change, Latics had almost forced said equaliser as a quick break from Windass on the right resulted in a delivery to the back post to Clarke who couldn’t quite fire home when stretching.
Eight minutes later, Clarke had another opportunity as Jacobs did well on the left before crossing to the near post for the Sheffield United loanee, who couldn’t divert on target.
James had a free-kick saved from 25 yards and Windass had an effort blocked as the game entered the final 20 minutes with Latics in complete control but lacking the decisive touch.
Six minutes from the end, Cook’s side were denied by a superb Bartosz Bialkowski save as Powell headed a James cross towards the top corner.
However, the leveller came when a fine cross from James was finished with great composure by Garner against his former club.
With six minutes added on, the DW Stadium got behind their players in search of a winner and Jacobs – on his 150th Latics appearance – almost grabbed it but his powerful 25-yard shot was saved by Bialkowski.
Latics: Jones, James, Dunkley (Powell 60), Fox, Naismith, Morsy (Capt), Evans, Pilkington (McManaman 61), Windass (Garner 80), Jacobs, Clarke
Subs: Walton, Gibson, Massey, Kipre.
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers (Capt), Pennington, Chalobah, Nolan, Keane (Jackson 63), Kenlock, Judge (Downes 77), Bree, Quaner (Edwards 45).
Subs: Gerken, Skuse, Nsiala, Dozzell