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Match Reports

Report | Wigan Athletic 2-2 Millwall

29 September 2015

Full-time from the DW Stadium

Millwall's proud unbeaten away record in League One remained intact as goal from sub Fred Onyedinma (69mins) and Mark Beevers (74mins) helped The Lions to a cracking 2-2 draw at Wigan Athletic.

Tuesday night's game pitched a Wigan side unbeaten at home in League One against a Lions outfit yet to taste defeat on their travels. The odds favoured a 0-0 draw as Wigan had conceded just one goal at the DW Stadium whilst The Lions had let in two on their travels, and after 45 minutes those who had had a flutter may have been confident of a pay-out at the bookies. However, few could have envisaged the drama that was to unfold in a pulsating second-half.

The home stole edged into a 53rd-minute lead through Michael Jacobs, only for two goals in a five-minute spell from Onyedinma and defender Beevers to put Millwall in the driving seat with quarter of an hour remaining.

However the Latics piled on the pressure in the latter stages and grabbed an injury-time leveller when sub Will Grigg hooked the ball home from close-range to ensure that the points were shared.

Lions boss Neil Harris had hinted that he would tinker with his starting XI as his side faced the second in a gruelling run of four games in 11 days. He made just two changes to the team that beat Rochdale at the weekend with winger Onyedinma making way for Ed Upson. Steve Morison was also rested and Lee Gregory took his place alongside Aiden O'Brien up front.

Wigan started confidently and in the opening exchanges forced a corner taken by Max Power which, although cleared, sparked a 67-second spell off possession by the home side that only came to an end when Carlos Edwards eventually blocked Chris McCann's left-wing cross.

Gary Caldwell's charges forced three corners in a dominant first 11 minutes, but The Lions, operating with two solid banks of four, kept their shape well and started to grow into the game themselves.

Gregory used his strength to win possession and play in O'Brien on the counter attack with Millwall's first really penetrative foray forward on 13 minutes. O'Brien then fed Shane Ferguson on the left, who in turn slipped the ball to over-lapping full-back Tony Craig. The skipper's cross was blocked for a corner - The Lions first of the game - but Ferguson's delivery was comfortably dealt with by the home defence.

Despite Wigan enjoying a lot of possession with livewire midfielder David Perkins constantly receiving and releasing the ball expertly to his team-mates, it was Millwall who created the first clear shot on goal after 21 minutes when Beevers flicked the ball into Gregory's path, whose shot on the turn flew inches wide of the right hand post.

At the other end Reece James had two stabs at the ball before hitting a rising shot over the bar as the game really started to open up nicely.

O'Brien soared above two defenders to power a header from Edwards' deep 25th-minute delivery just off the mark and moments later Gregory showed great tenacity to win the ball, but his cut-back to O'Brien was intercepted and the chance was gone.

A great bit of skill by Michael Jacobs saw the Wigan frontman ghost past two defenders but then go to ground Tom Daley-esque like on the half-hour. Referee Geoff Eltringham quite rightly waved play on with Jacobs perhaps lucky not to receive a yellow card for his theatrics.

Five minutes before the break wing-back Jacobs got into another dangerous position and lashed over after more good work by Perkins. The Lions conjured an instant response with Edwards and Upson combining to set up O'Brien who was crowded out in the penalty area as he prepared to pull the trigger.

Wigan introduced Francisco Junior for Sean Murray at half-time, with The Lions remaining unchanged at the sparsely populated DW Stadium.

The home fans were on their feet eight minutes after the restart when Shaun Williams was caught in possession, the ball was worked to Jacobs who surged into the penalty area and calmly slotted an angled drive into the bottom right hand corner beyond Jordan Archer's reach.

Archer came to the rescue to deny Wigan a second goal seconds later when James tried to sneak a low ball through to Hiwula, but The Lions' stopper rushed out bravely to gather the ball amidst a crowd of feet.

Lions boss Harris responded by making a double change bringing on Onyedinma and Morison for Upson and Ferguson, and little could he have dreamed at just how quickly that move would pay off.

Onyedinma had been on the field just six minutes when he picked up the ball via Williams and Abdou, jinked his way past a couple of challenges and poked the ball past Richard O'Donnell from close range to spark wild celebrations from the Millwall fans situated behind the goal.

The 238 supporters who had made the long trip up north were in dreamland just five minutes later when defender Beevers was on hand to thump the ball home following a goalmouth scramble to turn the game on its head and put Millwall 2-1 ahead.

It took a superb fingertip save by Archer to protect The Lions' lead as the keeper acrobatically flung himself low to his right to keep out Jacobs' 20-yard piledriver whilst his opposite number O'Donnell equalled that with a splendid save to turn Morison's curling effort round the post to deny the visitors a third goal that surely would have put the seal on matters.

The home side had a great chance to level six minutes from time when sub Sanmi Odelusi had a free header in front of goal, but directed his effort straight into the hands of a grateful Archer.

However that was not to be the end of the drama and in the second of six additonal minutes of time allowed, Wigan sub Grigg pounced on a loose ball in the box to grab a late, late equaliser and ensure that the spoils were shared in a topsy-turvy game.

Wigan Athletic: O'Donnell, James (Odelusi, 84mins), Perkins, Daniels, Power (Grigg, 77mins), McCann, Jacobs, Chow, Murray (Junior, 46mins), Barnett, Hiwula. Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Kellett, Morgan, Hendry.
Booking: Power (72mins)
Scorers: Jacobs (53mins), Grigg (90+2mins)

Millwall: Archer, Edwards, Craig, Beevers, Webster, Williams, Abdou, Ferguson (Morison, 63mins), O'Brien (Thompson, 82mins), Gregory, Upson (Onyedinma, 63mins). Subs not used: Forde, Marquis, L.Martin, J.Martin.
Bookings: Beevers (67mins), Abdou (71mins), Morison (90+3mins)
Scorers: Onyedinma (69mins), Beevers (74mins)

Ref: G. Eltringham
Att: 7,991 (away 238)

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