Wigan Athletic 1 Birmingham City 1

Craig Davies
Craig Davies

Craig Davies stepped up with a last-minute leveller to ensure Wigan Athletic rescued a point against Birmingham that their display undoubtedly merited.

The big striker was in the right place at the right time to convert an inviting cross from Will Grigg for his first goal in 11 months from close range.

A controversial goal from David Davis two minutes before half-time had looked as though it would give the visitors - who had earlier hit the post through Clayton Donaldson - all three points.

Adam Bogdan brought down Blues striker Donaldson in the area for a clear penalty, but the big goalkeeper made amends by saving the spot-kick from the same player.

However, when he needed a bit of luck, he didn’t get one as Davis prodded home despite looking as though he had encroached into the box for the kick.

The second half was almost all Latics - save a City break when former Wiganer David Cotterill hit the bar - only for the visitors to dig in and hold them out with a determined showing.

Latics never gave up, though, and - with all their attacking players on the field - they got their just desserts in the nick of time.

Boosted by Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Blackburn, Gary Caldwell’s men had started in the ascendancy as they aimed for back-to-back three points.

David Perkins was the unlikely figure who found himself on the end of the first chance, but his shot was high and wide.

But the visitors were also full of confidence after their weekend win at Leeds, and they almost took the lead with their first real sight of goal on 14 minutes.

Jacques Maghoma’s shot was brilliantly saved by Bogdan into the path of Donaldson, who could only put the follow-up against the post from point-blank range.

Within seconds Latics were almost in at the other end when Nick Powell’s cross found Grigg, who couldn’t get his header from 10 yards on target.

A driving run from Alex Gilbey offered more hope for Latics, only for the shot from a tight angle to fly straight at goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

The home side were really asking questions at this point, and a Yanic Wildschut cross was only taken off the head of Grigg by a desperate defender into the path of Gilbey, who volleyed high into the air.

That brought an appreciative cheer from the home fans, who recognised the effort their side were putting in, and Grigg sent another shot from 25 yards into the arms of Kuszczak, who was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers.

However, with half-time approaching, Latics were hit by the classic sucker-punch.

Stephen Gleeson’s threaded a nice ball through towards Donaldson, who was adjudged onside by the linesman on the near side.

The striker waited for Bogdan to commit himself before toeing the ball past the goalkeeper and being sent crashing to the ground by the inevitable collision.

Referee Mr Simpson pointed straight to the spot, and Donaldson picked himself up to take it.

Bogdan made immediate amends by getting his left hand to Donaldson’s admittedly weak penalty, although the ball remained in the six-yard box.

Davis was first to react and, despite TV replays showing him to have encroached as Donaldson took the kick, he was allowed to stab home from a yard.

Latics had no time to respond before the break, although they did show their attacking intent within two minutes of the restart by sending on forward Michael Jacobs for full-back Luke Burke.

A succession of corners saw Latics increasingly crank up the pressure, but the visitors were managing to stay firm in the face of the onslaught.

Gilbey crossed from the right for Powell to head just over, although Latics were given a warning as the hour mark approached.

Wales international Cotterill raced through and his shot beat Bogdan, only to clip the bar on the way over.

That was the signal for the DW Stadium to get its first look at Shaun MacDonald, who took over from Perkins in the engine room.

Latics threatened again when a Gilbey cross towards Grigg found its way to the edge of the area.

Powell controlled before seeing his shot blocked, when he’d probably have been better advised hitting it first time.

The home side went all in with six minutes to go, withdrawing Max Power and sending on Davies, the only other senior striker on the books.

And Davies was immediately into the game, arriving unmarked at the far post to connect with Grigg’s intelligent ball across.

It nearly got even better for Latics in the four added minutes, when Davies laid off Grigg’s cross into the path of Jacobs, whose shot was tipped over the top by Kuszczak at full stretch.