Potters grab equaliser to frustrate Latics
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
STOKE CITY 1
Report by Paul Chialton
Such a frustrating night for Latics having controlled the game for the best part of an hour and looking the superior team, were pulled back by a Tuncay header with 15 minutes to go.
Paul Scharner had claimed his fourth goal of the season a quarter-of-an-hour into the game, guiding Charles N'Zogbia's pin-point free-kick into the back of the net with a flick of the head.
It was reward for the classy way Roberto Martinez's men approached the game from the off, moving the ball round with ease and finding good space in and around the Stoke penalty area.
James McCarthy was as influential as ever in stringing things together and bringing people into the game, along with the resilient and, it has to be said, much sharper Jason Scotland.
The visitors just couldn't get to grips with Latics and were chasing the game for a long time. When they did get hold of the ball, their opportunities were limited thanks to some good closing down and good starting positions from the defence.
But just before the hour-mark McCarthy's involvement in the game was over, forced off with what appeared to be a slight knock. It was just the break Stoke needed, and Tony Pulis' team began to power back into the game.
Fighting strong on all over the pitch the Potters came forward and kept asking questions of the Latics defence. Alas it was the Turk Tuncay, a talisman around the penalty box, who brought the scores level, glancing home a Matthew Etherington cross.
Chris Kirkland then pulled off a magnificent save from James Beattie to make sure things didn't get worse.
Both sides pushed and surged for a winner but nothing gave and in the end a draw may just have been a fair result.
Latics: Kirkland; Boyce, Bramble, Caldwell, Figueroa; Diame (Moreno, 82), McCarthy (Thomas, 55); N'Zogbia, Scharner, Rodallega; Scotland (Gomez, 60)
Subs: Stojkovic, Melchiot, Sinclair, Moses
Stoke: Sorensen; Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Higginbotham; Delap (Fuller, 60), Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington; Tuncay (Lawrence, 88), Sidibe (Beattie, 88)
Subs: Begovic, Pugh, Coliins, Diao