Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Wigan 1 Fulham 1

Second-half substitute Andy Johnson grabbed a crucial equaliser for Fulham with four minutes remaining after Hugo Rodallega had opened the scoring for Wigan earlier in the half.

Wigan Athletic offered their fans a two-for-£20 deal to drum up interest in the visit of fellow strugglers Fulham. Fearing the prospect of 90 minutes of relegation-fuelled desperation, those canny locals failed to take the bait.

Their judgement was fully vindicated on a murky mid-winter afternoon that set the mood of the match. Those who were there witnessed a Premier League basement encounter which ended with neither side managing to deal a decisive blow.

In truth, decisive blows have not been either side’s stock-in-trade this season. Fulham’s generally dreadful away record allied to Wigan’s recent poor form at home meant a stalemate was always the safest bet.

Although the Cottages sat five places above the Latics come 3 o’clock, only one point separated the two sides. With two points covering the bottom seven places a win, however fashioned, would have helped ease the pressure even if for a short period.

But neither side could muster enough gumption to fashion the crucial breakthrough and both Wigan boss Roberto Martinez and his opposite number Mark Hughes were left to take the solitary point and look ahead to the next game.

Fulham took the field in sepia and brown tones and they neatly summed up this encounter. Aside from two moments of excitement, the half could best be described as dismal.

It took around half an hour for either side to trouble the goal, Rodallega leaping high and sending a header crashing off Stockdale’s right-hand post after a storming run and cross from Ronnie Stam.

In the 32nd minute Fulham missed a glorious chance. Damien Duff found himself bearing down on goal with only Al-Habsi to beat. But the Oman international stood tall and diverted the Irishman’s shot to safety. Duff should have given his side the lead.

Ten minutes into the second half and Hugo Rodallega scored the crucial opener for Wigan. Al-Habsi sent a high kick that bypassed the Cottagers’ defence and the Colombian gave chase. The ball seemed to take an age to drop from the heavens, but when it finally arrived the Latics’ top scorer coolly lobbed Stockdale for his 6th of the season.

In the 66th minute Fulham finally responded, Clint Dempsey bringing out an instinctive close-range save from Al-Habsi.

A minute later and Wigan should have doubled their lead. The impressive Charles N’Zogbia burst down the left and sent a perfect cross over to Rodallega who somehow managed to direct his volley towards the far corner flag.

Another powerful N’Zogbia run in the 70th minute allowed Rodallega send a flick onto the post via Stockdale’s glove.

With twenty minutes remaining only one team was likely to win this match as Fulham struggled to build up any momentum. But at 1-0 the home crowd became more and more apprehensive as the minutes ticked by to the final whistle.

And in the 78th minute it seemed their worst fears had been realised when Clint Dempsey fired home from close range. However, referee Anthony Taylor ruled it out for offside.

Dempsey again threatened in the 85th minute with a scissors-kick that the broad chest of Caldwell blocked.

With four minutes remaining Fulham were legitimately level. Returning from injury and looking lively, substitute Andy Johnson scored his first goal in seventeen months. His low drive was palmed upwards by Al-Habsi, but he could only watch helplessly as it drifted over his head and into the net.

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