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Heskey loses temper in Wigan draw

Emile Heskey

Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey was fortunate not to be sent off after making contact with referee Mike Jones as relegation-threatened Wigan earned a precious point from a 1-1 draw in the battle for survival.

Heskey lost his composure after not winning a free-kick and barged into the official but he escaped with a yellow card before being substituted at half-time.

Charles N'Zogbia gave the Latics the lead but Ashley Young levelled for the home side with his ninth goal of the campaign.

A share of the spoils kept Wigan's survival hopes alive ahead of next week's crunch meeting with West Ham.

N'Zogbia gave Wigan a 10th-minute lead. Victor Moses made a purposeful run before slipping the ball into N'Zogbia, whose low shot flew past Brad Friedel into the corner of the net.

But after 17 minutes, Young brought Villa level. The England winger was brought down in a central position 20 yards out by Ben Watson. Young played a short free-kick to Stiliyan Petrov before receiving the ball back and curling a low shot wide of the defensive wall into the corner of the net.

Heskey was shown a yellow card after 33 minutes after he appeared to barge into referee Jones. He was clearly unhappy at not being given a free-kick after a tussle with Gary Caldwell.

Skipper Petrov was spoken to by Jones about the behaviour of the striker and caretaker manager Gary McAllister replaced him with Marc Albrighton for the second period.

Wigan came within inches of taking the lead after 77 minutes when substitute Franco Di Santo's flick on was seized on by Hugo Rodallega. He turned sharply and his low shot beat Friedel but flashed just past the post.

Darren Bent could have won the game for Villa when he found himself one on one with Ali Al Habsi, but his shot was blocked as Wigan survived.