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WIGAN Robin Park’s attempts to grab the top spot in the North West Counties first division were dashed as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Oldham Boro on Saturday.

In a controversial match Phil Howard equalised for Wigan in the 28th minute, but five minutes later was sent off for violent conduct.

It was the visitors that took the lead on ten minutes when the dangerous James Curley got on the end of a delicious cross to head past Jay Foulds.

Howard levelled when he fired home from 20 yards.

Five minutes later Howard was again hauled down by an Oldham central defender.

The referee awarded a free kick, but while Howard was on the ground a fracas developed that saw the Wigan player kicking out and red-carded.

The prolific striker will now miss four games, starting 21 days from the offence.

The second half saw no more goals but the Robins were the better team as Steve Edwards lead the line superbly.

Shaun Judge and Edwards both went close, while Foulds had little to do at the other end.

After the game, Robins’ manager John Neafcy wasn’t unduly upset with dropping two points, saying: “We played 60 minutes of the game with ten men so we have to be content with the draw.

“Phil knows he’s let his team-mates down and I wasn’t happy with him at half-time, but that’s football and these things happen.”

The result keeps the Robins in second place one point behind – but with two games in hand on – Abbey Hey, who they visit on Saturday.