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Posted on 19 February 2006  - 12:00

The first visit of Wigan Athletic to the Lane resulted in a draw as we twice clawed our way back from a losing position to finish 2-2.

The first visit of Wigan Athletic to the Lane resulted in a draw as we twice clawed our way back from a losing position to finish 2-2.

Mido hit his tenth and Jermain Defoe his eighth goal of the season in reply to two goals from Wigan striker Andreas Johansson. It will no doubt be reflected on as another opportunity missed to put clear daylight between ourselves in fourth and the chasing pack, but Wigan were never going to come and give up the points without a battle and, in truth, Paul Jewell's side did much more than that on the day with an enterprising performance.

Danny Murphy - who was introduced to the fans ahead of kick-off - was awarded his first start in place of Jermaine Jenas, absent due to illness. Mido was another given the nod to start with Robbie Keane reverting to the bench.

There was a couple of early attacking thrusts in what was a bright beginning - Mido and Aaron Lennon serving notice of their intentions for the afternoon.

However, it was the small Wigan contingent celebrating on nine minutes when Paul Scharner flick-on fell in the path of Johansson - in an offside looking position - and the stand-in striker managed to plant the ball beyond Paul Robinson and into the net.

The bounce of the ball then saw Defoe in a clear shooting position in front of goal, but Mike Pollitt in the Wigan goal provided a formidable obstacle and fended his shot away. There was a free-kick chance on 20 minutes when Mido was felled by Arjan De Zeeuw but was snatched at quickly by Murphy and the wall did its job.

Three minutes later and the match was level. A period of pressure led to Paul Stalteri driving in low from the right and the ball took a slight deflection off a defender before Mido helped it on its was past Pollitt and into the net. The relief was almost audible inside the Lane.

There followed a fine move when Defoe scurried away before playing in the advancing Lennon down the right and the little wideman dispatched a pinpoint cross onto the head of Mido. Everyone was ready to erupt once more, but Mido's header landed a matter of inches wide.

There was a handball shout against Pascal Chimbonda six minutes before the break when he appeared to use his arm to block a cross by Lee Young-Pyo. Three minutes on Carrick was bundled over by De Zeeuw and Murphy's free-kick radar was again askew.

Wigan were forced into a change at the interval due to injury to central defender Stephane Henchoz. Another veteran - Matt Jackson - took his place.

A determined dash by Edgar Davids set the tone at the start of the half - a slightly overhit final bHall letting it down - as both teams set about the business of trying to turn one point into three. An overhead kick from Henri Camara then caused momentary concern, not least because his strike partner Johansson was not far off making contact with the ball in flight. Camara, moments later, shook off the attentions of Davids before firing over the bar from inside the area.

At this point it was the visitors displaying the most urgency and our boys were looking a little rattled. Wigan got their reward on 66 minutes when Johansson played a one-two with Camara before slotting past Robinson.

The response was pretty much immediate and Mido headed down a high ball into the Defoe zone and the striker lifted the ball over Pollitt and into the net as the game came to life from our point of view on 67 minutes.

It was time for Keane on 73 minutes with Murphy making way. He immediately bought a new spark to proceedings but it took ten minutes of further frustration before his run was halted by the hand of his international teammate Graham Kavanagh on the edge of the area. A free-kick routine led to another hand ball call but again Wigan were clearing their lines.

Tom Huddlestone came on for Davids with five minutes left on the clock, but the next action was defending our goal from a Chimbonda cross from which Robinson needed to be sharp and it still took a clearance from Ledley King to avert the danger.

There was frenetic action at both ends as the game drew to a close, but it came to nothing and the look on the players faces as they left the pitch told a story of a missed opportunity of making home form count.