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17:37 4th February 2012


Everton own goal not enough for all three points

Wigan Athletic 1
Neville o.g. 76

Everton 1
Anichebe 83

Report by Nick Taylor

In a game of little chances and neither team dominating possession, Latics took the lead in bizarre circumstances as home debutant Jean Beausejour's low cross was poked into the Everton goal by Phil Neville as Tim Howard let the spinning ball through his hands and into the bottom corner.

The game was levelled just seven minutes from time when substitute Victor Anichebe rose above the Latics defence to glance his header into the bottom corner of the goal.

Latics had late chances to take the game but, nobody could pull the trigger in time and Everton stunted the fight for a winner.

Manager's Post Match InterviewAfter the 3-1 defeat away at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, Latics came back to the DW Stadium looking quietly confident as the fans got behind them despite the more than harsh weather conditions.

Roberto Martinez made one change to the Latics side on his 100th Barclays Premier League game in charge as Ben Watson dropped to the bench as Tuesday's goal scorer James McArthur earned a place in the starting 11.

The change seemed to make a difference as the Scotsman added that extra bite to the midfield but, neither team showed signs of controlling the game as possession ebbed and flowed.

Latics looked the most dangerous early on as Beausejour twisted, turned and powered his way passed Tony Hibbert on many occasions, playing in inviting crosses but nobody could quite get on the end of them.

The first clear cut chance of the match fell to Franco di Santo as Maynor Figueroa spotted his advancing run and played an inch perfect ball to the striker.

The Argentinian battled off Sylvain Distin but his left foot strike was well saved by Howard.

Just 10 minutes later, Jordi Gomez then had the opportunity to open the scoring from a free kick that floated just over the crossbar.

Latics picked up the momentum towards the end of the first half and looked like the better side but, the end product just wasn't there.

It was the same story after half time as Latics continued to beat the full backs but couldn't create enough in the final third.

Everton had their chances too but it looked as though the Wigan defence was going to remain solid throughout.

On 70 minutes Latics had a big shout for a penalty turned down when James McCarthy's shot seemed to strike the arm of Johnny Heitinga as he dove in to block the ball but, referee Anthony Taylor waved play on.

Just six minutes later Latics got the lead that they arguably deserved and they will be grateful for the unlikely series of events that lead to it.

Latics pushed high up the pitch with Albert Crusat in possession, he spread the ball out wide to Beausejour and made a run towards the back post. Beausejour played in a low cross and to the misfortune of Neville it came off his boot and headed towards goal.

It looked like Howard would handle it easily but the pressure of Crusat bearing down on him lead the goalkeeper to let the ball slip through his hands and spin into the bottom corner.

The goal looked to have lifted both the players and the crowd with the fans urging their team to go for another goal.

It almost came as Latics hit Everton on the break once again with substitute Hugo Rodallega having the perfect chance to lay through Crusat for what would have surely been a simple tap in.

The Colombian took too much time on the ball and the move was thwarted much to the dismay of his team-mates.

Latics were then made to rue their missed chances after McCarthy cleared a corner but only as far as Leighton Baines who curled a pin point cross to the unmarked and unchallenged Anichebe who headed into the bottom corner to level the scores.

The striker had only been on the pitch for two minutes as David Moyes brought him on for Hibbert.

Latics pushed and pushed for a winner but, despite intricate build-up play, shots were blocked and gambles to shoot were not taken.

The home team were left frustrated as the game came to a close, one that they knew was their's for the taking.

The point lifts Latics up to 16 points in the league and five points from safety with a massive local derby to come next week.

Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, McCarthy, Caldwell (C), Di Santo (Crusat 68), Moses, Gomez (Rodallega 64), McArthur, Boyce, Beausejour, Stam (Jones 64), Figueroa
Unused subs: Pollitt, Alcaraz, Watson, Diame.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert (Anichebe 81), Baines, Gibson, Heitinga, Donovan, Stracqualursi (Jelavic 60), Distin, Cahill (Neville 45), Pienaar, Fellaini.
Unused subs: Mucha, Drenthe, Gueye, Duffy.
    Data provided by Press Association