Wigan Athletic 1 Leeds United 1

Ryan Tunnicliffe
Ryan Tunnicliffe

Ryan Tunnicliffe’s early goal wasn’t enough to help Wigan Athletic end a miserable campaign on a high, as Leeds United hit back to earn a 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium.

The on-loan midfielder opened the scoring inside six minutes when he took delivery of a clever ball from Michael Jacobs to round Rob Green and open his account for the club in probably his final appearance.

But Leeds were level four minutes after the break when Eunan O’Kane was adjudged to have been fouled inside the box - with several of the Latics side quick to offer their disgust to referee Scott Duncan.

Chris Wood rubbed salt into the wounds by sending Matt Gilks the wrong way from the spot, his 30th goal of a highly-productive campaign.

It could have been even worse for Latics had Kemal Roofe not hit the bar and then seen a header well saved by Gilks.

But Latics could have won it with virtually the last kick, when Green’s punch only reached the edge of the box, but Max Power’s attempted lob into an empty net drifted inches wide of the far post.

The result meant Latics finished nine points adrift of the safety mark, with plenty of time now to reflect on what went wrong, and - more importantly - how to put things right.

Leeds, with nothing to play for either, started the brighter, with Roofe seeing a shot deflected just wide inside two minutes.

The visitors squandered another opportunity three minutes later when O’Kane’s ball in deserved more from Pablo Hernandez, who fired wide from a good position.

But Latics - bucking the trend of the whole season - managed to get their noses in front with their first real sight of goal.

Jacobs supplied Tunnicliffe with a clever ball, and the former Manchester United junior showed great composure by rounding Green and finding the net with his right foot.

David Perkins’ attempts to make it 2-0 were thwarted by a visiting defender, who got enough of a block on the shot that made it easy for Green to gather.

Leeds had half a shout for a penalty when Jamie Hanson clashed with Wood, although the official was unmoved.

Tunnicliffe was causing problems down the Latics left, and his attempts to take a quick free-kick were only prevented by goalkeeper Green at the expense of a deserved yellow card.

Green was able to watch a shot from Omar Bogle - restored to the starting line-up - fly harmlessly over the bar, before Callum Connolly advanced up from right only to send his left-foot shot well wide.

At the other end, Gilks saved easily from Wood, who wasn’t getting much joy out of a determined Latics backline led by Dan Burn, who had deservedly been awarded the player of the year award before the game.

If the first half had been a little sedate, the second period started in rip-roaring fashion.

Leeds were back on level terms within five minutes of the restart, after the official pointed to the spot when O’Kane raced into the box before going to ground.

Several of the Latics players failed to hide their disgust at the award, but Wood wasn’t hanging around to argue, sending Gilks the wrong way from 12 yards.

It nearly went from bad to worse for Latics when, two minutes later, Roofe sent a free header against the crossbar and away to safety.

Roofe’s next effort, a close-range header, was on target, but Gilks was equal to it.

The tide had turned against the home side, though, and their appeals for what looked to be a clear penalty - when Bogle evaded Green only to be foiled by last-man Kyle Bartley - again fell on deaf ears.

Latics sent on Alex Bruce, Nick Powell and Ryan Colclough for Craig Morgan, Jacobs and Perkins, with Leeds also shuffling their pack inside the final quarter.

There was to be one more golden opportunity, which fell to Latics in the last minute of added time.

But after Green failed to get any distance on a punch from a corner, Power’s attempted lob back in flew agonisingly wide of the unguarded net.