Premier League - Newcastle rescue draw with Wigan

Sat, 16 Oct 16:59:00 2010

An injury time header from Fabricio Coloccini salvaged a 2-2 draw for Newcastle against a determined Wigan.

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Highlights: Newcastle 2-2 Wigan

Wigan had played themselves into a 0-2 lead at the interval through two goals from former Magpie Charles N'Zogbia, before a second half header from Shola Ameobi got the hosts back in the game and sparked a frantic finish.

Newcastle brought Coloccini and Danny Guthrie back into their eleven and Peter Lovenkrands came into the side for the injured Hatem Ben Arfa, while Wigan opted to leave Hugo Rodallega on the bench.

The first half was cagey. Newcastle began the better of the two sides and were at their most dangerous down the left flank, where Jonas Gutierrez and Jose Enrique tested Emmerson Boyce frequently.

Enrique fashioned Newcastle's best chance of the opening minutes with a dangerous cross slid along the ground towards Andy Carroll. Ali Al Habsi had to be at his bravest for Wigan to grab the ball at the feet of the Magpies striker.

But for most of the half Carroll cut an isolated and frustrated figure, and Newcastle rarely got close to the opposition goal.

Wigan did not create chances with great frequency either, but they made their opportunities count when they did come.

The first goal arrived after 21 minutes when N'Zogbia leapt athletically to meet Franco Di Santo's looping high cross and tuck the ball into the far corner.

And less than two minutes later he struck again - James McCarthy robbed Joey Barton of the ball, slid a pass to Di Santo whose cross was met by a fierce N'Zogbia volley which bested Tim Krul at his near post.

The Newcastle fans, who had been booing N'Zogbia every time he touched the ball, were shell-shocked, and the players also struggled to respond to the sucker punches.

The Magpies stayed in contention and Wigan had to ride their luck to clear Michael Williamson's goal-bound header off the line with five minutes left of the half.

Wigan continued to play on the break in the second half, happy to let the clock run down with a healthy lead.

Chances were thin on the ground, though Guthrie's early set piece from the left caused some concern as it missed everyone and slithered past the far post.

Chris Hughton opted to freshen up his Newcastle team by bringing on Ameobi for Lovenkrands and Wayne Routledge for Guthrie.

And it had the desired effect, with Ameobi slipping behind Antolin Alcaraz to head home Gutierrez's well-judged cross.

That strike brought the subdued hosts back into the game and provoked a scramble for an equaliser in the last fifteen minutes.

It looked like the Latics had managed to weather the storm and hold on for victory, but four minutes into stoppage time Gutierrez's corner was flicked on by Carroll into the path of the unmarked Coloccini, and Al Habsi could not keep the ball out.

A draw was a fair result as the hosts grafted their way back into the game, but Roberto Martinez will be disappointed that his determined side allowed a two-goal lead to slip in the final twenty minutes, a result which keeps both sides in the bottom half of the table.

Mark Patterson / Eurosport

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