Blackburn Rovers 2 Wigan Athletic 2

Second-half goals from Will Grigg and Max Power saw Wigan Athletic fight back from a 2-0 interval deficit to secure a point at League One leaders Blackburn.

Sunday, 4th March 2018, 1:13 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th March 2018, 7:30 pm
Will Grigg and Dan Burn celebrate

Adam Armstrong opened the scoring for Rovers with only six minutes gone with a cracking finish after a lovely through ball from Bradley Dack.

And it looked curtains for Latics when - after clearly fouling Nathan Byrne - the lively Dack played in Elliott Bennett, who beat Christian Walton with ease on 17 minutes.

The visitors gave themselves a lifeline on 63 minutes when Michael Jacobs’ shot took a tiny flick off Grigg on the way past David Raya.

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And Power levelled the scores with 17 minutes to go when his free-kick from the left wing beat everyone in the box - and the helpless Rovers goalkeeper - on its way in.

The result ensures Latics remain six points behind leaders Rovers, but with FOUR games in hand.

And it was the visiting fans - all 2,367 of them - who had a spring in their step on their way home, as opposed to the frustrated home faithful.

That mood was in stark contrast to the start of the game, when everything Rovers touched turned to gold.

Latics had barely settled into their rhythm before they were behind, and it was a goal of stunning simplicity.

Dack escaped from Sam Morsy in the centre-circle and played a delicious ball inside Chey Dunkley for Armstrong to chase.

Before any Latics defended could get nearer him, the on-loan Newcastle man shot first time from 25 yards, and his left-foot strike perhaps surprised Walton, who couldn’t get down in time.

A decent response from Latics followed, with Gavin Massey crossing just too high for Grigg, before the latter was far more successful in returning the favour.

However, Massey could only stab the ball well wide from a good position.

And Latics quickly found themselves staring down the barrell, with Rovers doubling their advantage.

After being surprisingly allowed to play on, despite leaving Byrne in a heap on the ground, Dack disguised a pass magnificently to release Bennett.

The midfielder advanced into the Wigan box, and slotted easily past Walton from close range.

Wigan’s mood wouldn’t have been helped when skipper Morsy was clattered in the air by Corry Evans for a nailed-on booking.

But it wasn’t long before Morsy returned the favour, and left his mark on Evans, which also earned him a caution.

Nick Powell might have done better than dragging a shot well wide from the edge of the area, before the former Manchester United man was caught up in a couple of off-the-ball run-ins with Darragh Lenihan which were completely missed by referee Geoff Eltringham.

Powell almost had his revenge when he lined up an overhead kick only to see it fly straight at Raya.

Within seconds it was almost 3-0, when a Dack cross found Evans, who fired into the ground and towards the top corner before being tipped over by Walton.

Dunkley headed just wide from a Power corner, before the big centre-half had to be on his guard at the other end to execute an inch-perfect sliding tackle to prevent Dack closing in on goal.

Elder was yellow-carded, somewhat harshly, at the start of the second half, with Powell doing likewise shortly after.

By this time, Vaughan and Jamie Walker were on for Byrne and Massey, which resulted in Power slotting in at right-back and Powell dropping into central midfield.

Just after the hour mark, though, Latics had their lifeline when Powell’s cross was nodded back by Vaughan into the path of Jacobs.

The midfielder’s goalbound shot took a touch off Grigg on its way in - and suddenly the away fans behind the goal had something to cling on to.

Within 10 minutes later it was 2-2, when Power’s free-kick from the left found its way past a host of bodies in the area - and past a bemused Raya.

David Perkins taking over from Powell with 10 minutes to go perhaps hinted Latics were satisfied with a point.

But the visitors remained a going concern as an attacking force and, if anything, looked the side most likely to nick it.