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17:38 15th January 2011


Rodallega 57

Johnson 86

Late goal frutration as Latics settle for point

Report By Iain McMullen

Latics were left frustrated today as a late Fulham strike salvaged a share of the points for the visitors.

In a match that was billed as a genuine 'six-pointer' the home side looked to have done enough to secure the victory until Andy Johnson climbed off the bench to deny them.

Looking for a first Barclays Premier League win in four games, Latics began the game brightly  with Ben Watson pulling the strings in midfield and  Charles N'Zogbia combining well with Hugo Rodallega to cause problems for the visitors up front.

The best chance of the first half fell to Rodallega as the Colombian hitman blasted just wide following great work by N'Zogbia and Maynor Figueroa down the Fulham right.

Ali Al Habsi was a virtual spectator during the first 45 minutes but when he was called into action, he proved up to the task as he dived bravely at the feet of Damien Duff when the Irishman raced clear of Latics' defence.

Latics continued to find success down the Fulham right as the half wore on and N'Zogbia and Figueroa were a constant threat to the visiting full-backs.

The sides went in to the break level but Latics' boss Roberto Martinez would have been the happier of the two managers as his team had asked most of the questions.

A cautious start to the second half was testament to the importance of the game and the opening exchanges amounted to little as the playing surface started to look heavy under foot.

The game was meandering until the 57th minute, when Latics scored a goal from nothing,  Rodallega latching on to a hopeful punt forward and calmly chipping over Stockdale to put the home side one up.

The strike had the DW Stadium rocking and visably lifted Latics but Dempsey almsot silenced them again soon after when he poked the ball into the net only to see the referee rule it out for handball.

Fulham surged forward looking for a way back into the game but Latic's still looked dangerous with N'Zogbia's pace a constant threat to an exposed  defence.

The introduction of England international Andy Johnson added more verve to the visitor's attack and Latics did well to keep the Londoners at bay as they  looked for the equaliser.

Latics' resolve finally broke five mintes from time, when Dempsey fed the dangerous Johnson, who fired a low shot past Al Habsi to level the scores and delight the travelling fans behin the goal.

A sense of frustration filled the DW Stadium on the final whistle but this hard-earned point could well prove vital towards the end of the season.

Wigan:Al Habsi, Gohouri, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Thomas, Diame, Stam(McArthur, 72), Watson (Di Santo, 87), N'Zogbia, RodallegaSubs:Pollitt. Boyce, S. Caldwell, Gomez, McArthur, McManaman, Di SantoFulham:Stockdale, Pantsil, Hangeland, Baird, Murphy (Capt), Kamara (Dembele, 59), Duff, Hughes, Etuhu, Dempsey, Davies (Johnson, 76).Subs:Etheridge, Salcido, Sidwell, Johnson, Gera, Greening, Dembele

    Data provided by Press Association