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Premier League

  • September 1, 2012
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 16247
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Wigan 2-2 Stoke City: Crouch rescues point for Pulis's side

Wigan 2-2 Stoke City: Crouch rescues point for Pulis's side

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In an outstanding game with two penalties and end-to-end action, the two sides take a point each with Stoke unlucky not to steal all three points after dominating the second-half

Stoke twice fought back from a goal down to claim a point against Wigan after a tremendous 2-2 draw at the DW Stadium.

Shaun Maloney's penalty gave Wigan an early lead after Robert Huth handballed James McCarthy's goalbound effort inside the first five minutes.

Despite dominating the first-half, Stoke were handed a way back into the game after Maynor Figueroa blatantly handled in the area, and Jonathan Walters tucked away the penalty five minutes before half-time.

Wigan was back in front just three minutes after the break though, with Franco Di Santo's fine finish capping an excellent move from the Lancashire club.

Stoke, however, would not give up and deservedly hit back for a second time through Peter Crouch, who headed home after being set up by Walters.

Charlie Adam almost made the headlines after his free-kick was horribly deflected goalbound by Gary Caldwell, but a fine save from Ali-Al Habsi saved a point for The Latics.

Wigan was keen to build on its impressive 2-0 victory at St Mary's last weekend, and started brighty as it sought to control possession in the early stages, stroking the ball around the back four.

But with their first real attacking move of the game, the deadlock was broken as The Latics edged ahead after just four minutes.

Franco Di Santo received the ball on the left and played into the Stoke area to the arriving James McCarthy, who struck a powerful effort which hit the outstretched arm of Robert Huth, and despite Stoke's protest that it was unintentional, referee Martin Atkinson had no choice other than to point to the spot.

Shaun Maloney stepped up for the penalty, and coolly slotted it into the bottom right-hand corner, sending Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic the wrong way to give the hosts an early lead at the DW Stadium.

Wigan received a slight blow with Beausejour seeing his afternoon cut short after going down on the left and landing awkwardly, with Martinez forced to replace him with David Jones just before the half-hour mark.

Stoke did then have the ball in the net a few minutes later but the whistle had already gone, with Jonathan Walters adjudged to have fouled Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi as the ball rolled into the net, meeting with a sarcastic cheer from the home fans who were enjoying the afternoon.

Just minutes later, Figueroa was again in the limelight for the wrong reasons, and the Honduras international will be disappointed with his part in Stoke's equalizing goal.

The ball came to Peter Crouch in the area, and the former Tottenham striker juggled the ball before looping it in the air. Figueroa's feeble attempt to block the pass from Crouch was then to prove costly as it struck his arm, with Atkinson again showing no hesitation pointing straight to the spot.

Walters stepped up for the spot-kick, and despite Al-Habsi choosing the right way, the Irish international's penalty was well-struck into the bottom right-hand corner to draw Stoke level.

Stoke's change in tactics looked to give them a new-found belief, and defender Marc Wilson had two golden chances to give Stoke an unlikely lead.

First, his well-struck volley was deflected onto the crossbar, and from the subsequent corner, met the ball at the front post, narrowly heading over as a pulsating end-to-end first-half came to a close.

The second-half started the same way as the first, with a goal for Wigan after some excellent play from Arouna Kone and Di Santo.

Di Santo broke down the right-hand side after Wigan cleared Stoke's set piece, and played a brilliant ball down the line to Kone. The Ivorian came under pressure and the chance looked to have gone but kept his composure to square to Di Santo, who placed an incisive finish past the helpless Begovic to put Wigan back in front.

Stoke were shellshocked by Wigan's goal and immediately searched to equalize for a second time, with Walters threatening to add to his tally, firing just past the post.

After fading slightly towards the end of the first half, Maloney sprung into action, dribbling well down the left-hand side before finding Jones. His shot was deflected towards Boyce, but couldn't direct his effort on target as Wigan looked to consolidate their lead.

Stoke, however, had other ideas, and Michael Kightly spurned a brilliant opportunity to level when Crouch found him unmarked in the box, but the summer signing from Wolves didn't connect well with the volley. The North East outfit were starting to get back into the game.

And after scoring from the penalty spot in the first half, Walters turned provider to hand Stoke a deserved equalizer after stepping up a gear.

A flick on from substitute Cameron Jerome played in Walters down the left-hand side of the penalty area, and his floated ball found the towering Crouch, who nodded past Al-Habsi to set up an exciting final 15 minutes.

The Potters could've got in front the first time when Jerome broke through on goal bursting with pace, striking a low effort which Al-Habsi did well to parm away, and Caldwell made a heroic block to deny Crouch.

Without doubt chance of the game then fell to debutant Adam as he lined up the free-kick from 25 yards out. The Scot curled an effort which took a wicked deflection and looked to be heading towards the goal, until the wrong-footed Al-Habsi flung himself to make a sensational save to keep the scores level.

Miyachi then raced into the Stoke penalty area and looked to have a chance on goal until Ryan Shawcross executed a perfect challenge, and despite the appeals of the young Arsenal loanee for a penalty, Atkinson was not prepared to point to the spot for a third time.

With three minutes added on, both sides looked to clinch a late winner, but after a pulsating encounter at the DW Stadium, both sides were content to come away with a point.

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