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Match Reports

Report: Wigan 1-1 Wycombe

Stewart rescues point in the 90th minute.

17 August 2021

Anthony Stewart rescued a point for the Chairboys with a 90th-minute equaliser against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Tuesday night.

Callum Lang's emphatic finish soon after half-time looked to be the difference, with the Latics also having had the better of the first-half chances.

But Stewart struck late from Sullay Kaikai's corner to preserve Wycombe's unbeaten start to the season, ahead of the visit of Lincoln to Adams Park on Saturday

Gareth Ainsworth kept faith with the side that started in Saturday's 3-1 victory at Cheltenham, with the only change coming on the bench - Daryl Horgan replacing Tjay de Barr.

Wigan paraded new signing James McClean on the pitch before kick-off and their fans were on their feet again soon after the game began, with Will Keane jinking past Anthony Stewart before blasting wastefully over the bar with only David Stockdale to beat.

Then Tendayi Darikwa somehow missed the target from close range after the ball broke to him in the Latics' second attack of the game on six minutes, requiring a wake-up call from Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth at the next break of play.

It sparked a response as the Blues began to stem the tide and created the next chance for themselves, when Sam Vokes flicked on Jack Grimmer's throw neatly into the path of Garath McCleary, whose first-time shot from a tough angle was held by the keeper Ben Amos.

Wycombe grew more into the game and Anis Mehmeti came close on 24 minutes, starting a move with a glorious pass to Jordan Obita on the wing, and then racing into the box to meet Sullay Kaikai's knockback from Obita's cross, only for Mehmeti to see his shot deflect out for a corner. The resulting delivery almost flew straight in, but Jack Whatmough cleared from under his own crossbar.

Back came Mehmeti with another moment of magic, exchanging passes with McCleary whose scooped ball into the box was taken in Mehmeti's stride, only for his shot to be kept out by the keeper.

Wigan's first chance in half an hour arrived at the head of Charlie Wyke, and he really should have scored, as Jordan Jones' inviting cross was missed by Stewart and the striker planed his free header over the bar.

Jones was involved again moments later, reacting quickly to pounce on Jack Grimmer's under-hit backpass, but David Stockdale raced from his goal to deny the winger's first-time effort with his legs.

Back came Jones with another excellent contribution, whipping in a cross which was converted by Will Keane with a diving header only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside, before - at the other end - Mehmeti curled over the bar after some clever touches in the Latics' area.

That was the last real act of the first half, but the deadlock was broken fewer than two minutes into the second period. Wycombe were aggrieved to have conceded a free-kick moments after the referee failed to spot a foul on David Stockdale, and when the delivery came in from the home side, it fell kindly for Callum Lang to lash an unstoppable effort past the keeper into the top corner.

Wycombe's Olly Pendlebury and Wigan's Charlie Wyke were booked either side of a smart save from Stockdale, diving full-length to tip away Jordan Jones's long-range strike, before Gareth Ainsworth introduced Curtis Thompson and Daryl Horgan from the bench as Olly Pendlebury and Anis Mehmeti made way.

The move saw Wycombe move a a 4-1-4-1 shape, bringing Kaikai and Josh Scowen behind Sam Vokes as Horgan and McCleary occupied wide positions, and Scowen went for goal from a free-kick 25 yards out midway through the half, only to see his effort blocked by the wall.

Will Keane headed against the bar from Jack Whatmough's knockback as the Latics almost doubled their lead, before Sam Vokes headed a cross into the grateful arms of Ben Amos at the other end.

Vokes was withdrawn with 15 minutes to go as Adebayo Akinfenwa took his place in attack, and he hooked an awkward chance wide from a Kaikai corner after Horgan did well to unlock the defence.

Wigan swapped goalscorer Callum Lang with Thelo Aasgaard, and then had keeper Ben Amos booked for timewasting, before making their final change with Stephen Humphrys replacing Charlie Wyke.

Clear-cut chances were hard to come by for the Blues, despite their efforts to apply pressure to the Latics' backline as the clock ticked towards 90, and Jordan Obita was booked shortly before slicing a shot wide from 20 yards.

But then came the moment. Akinfenwa's presence from a cross earned a corner, and Kaikai's delivery was perfect for Anthony Stewart to rise highest at the back post to head home.

The celebrations had barely died down when Wigan then earned a free-kick in dangerous territory right on the edge of the box, but Max Power's effort was poor, into the wall, and nerves were eased again before the final whistle rang out.

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