Wigan 1 Fulham 1
The honours were shared at the DW Stadium this afternoon as Fulham came from behind to snatch a late point.
Mark Hughes kept faith with the starting eleven that had served him last time out; with Schwarzer away on international duty Stockdale retained the keepers` jersey. On the bench were Moussa Dembele and Andrew Johnson both on the comeback trail after further injuries had curtailed their involvement in recent weeks. Also on the bench was our latest signing Steve Sidwell.
To the neutral this didn`t on paper, look to be the most attractive of fixtures and the poor attendance inside the DW Stadium probably proved that point. But, in a first half that was littered with errors, from both sides, there was some meaningful action.
After a cagey start whereby Fulham had lots of possession but lacking that all too familiar cutting edge, especially away from home, it was Baird that unleashed the first shot, from all of twenty-five yards, but the Wigan keeper had it covered all the way.
Our hosts then saw Rodallega shoot wide before, against the run of play, the same player saw his header whack the post after a great cross in from Stam. Having the better of the play, Dempsey created a great chance for Duff but with Damien one-on-one with the keeper he could only hit the keeper`s legs with his shot from inside the area.
Half Time - Wigan 0 Fulham 0
Wigan started the second half the better side and just before the hour mark took the lead when Rodallega scored. The goal was classic route one with Rodallega scooping the ball over Stockdale, for ten yards out, after a giant clearance from the Wigan keeper, Al Habsi.
Fulham responded well with Al Habsi saving well from Dempsey but as Fulham pushed forward Wigan were quick to counter-attack. N`Zogbia and Rodallega combined twice to create havoc in our defnce, the second occasion saw Stockdale produce a fine save t tip a shot from Rodallega on to the post.
Dempsey thought he`d equalised, turning in a cross from Johnson, but a sharp eyed assistant had his flag up for handball. Demspey though he should then have had a penalty when he tumbled under a tackle from Thomas but play was waved on.
With four minutes left the equaliser finally came when Johnson, on as a substitute for Davies, latched on to a pass from Dempsey and his shot carried too much power for Al Habsi to keep it out. It was Johnson`s first goal since March 2009 in the Premier League.
A crucial away point won or two dropped?