Belfast Telegraph

Cleverley grabs point for Latics

Deflections were the order of the day as Wigan and Stoke had to settle for a 2-2 draw from a lively Barclays Premier League encounter at the DW Stadium.

All the goals came in the first half, with Robert Huth getting the ball rolling with an 18th-minute free-kick that deflected in off Mohamed Diame in the wall. If the Latics were cursing their luck, they got some of their own half an hour in as Danny Collins diverted Ben Watson's free-kick past his own goalkeeper.

A minute later, Matthew Etherington put Stoke back in front before Tom Cleverley levelled again five minutes before the break when his shot flew in off Rory Delap.

The Latics were somewhat unfortunate to fall behind.

Huth's effort from 30 yards was fairly weak, but it caught the heel of Diame in the wall and rolled over the line, with Ali Al Habsi totally wrong-footed.

Wigan could have equalised with a Steve Gohouri header and did when Collins could only divert Watson's set-piece past his own goalkeeper.

Parity lasted less than two minutes as Stoke broke down the right, where Kenwyne Jones and Ricardo Fuller combined to tee up Etherington, who finished well.

The Latics poured forward in search of a second equaliser, and only Hendry Thomas will know how he did not score after Maynor Figueroa's shot was parried into his path five yards out.

Five minutes before the break, the home fans were celebrating, and for the third time a deflection played a crucial part in a goal.

Cleverley cut in from the right and let fly from 20 yards, with the ball taking a key touch off Delap and nestling in the corner.

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