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Watson secures point for Wigan


Ben Watson

Ben Watson

Ben Watson

Ben Watson came off the bench to rescue a valuable 2-2 draw for 10-man Wigan in a thrilling finale to their match with Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

Victor Moses put the struggling Latics ahead on the stroke of half-time, but Gary Caldwell was then sent off for deliberate handball in the 76th minute and Jonathan Walters converted the resulting penalty to draw eighth-placed Stoke level.

When substitute Cameron Jerome - whose header had led to Caldwell's dismissal - subsequently put the hosts ahead, things looked bleak for Wigan, but Watson then scored an 87th-minute penalty of his own - with his first touch - after Ryan Shotton had been penalised for a tug on Hugo Rodallega's shirt.

Wigan, who remain in the Barclays Premier League relegation zone despite the point, took the lead in the 45th minute as Ronnie Stam played in Rodallega down the right channel and the Colombian crossed for Moses to slot home with a clinical first-time finish.

Wigan survived a major let-off just before the hour mark when Robert Huth headed against the post but the visitors were not so fortunate 13 minutes from time as Stoke drew level.

Jerome's goalbound header was blocked by the arm of Wigan skipper Caldwell, who was duly sent off, and from the resulting penalty Walters drilled his spot-kick into the bottom-left corner.

Stoke were soon pouring forward in search of a second, and Jerome was the man to provide it as the former Birmingham man slotted home after flick-ons from Peter Crouch and Walters had sent him clear.

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However, Wigan were then awarded a penalty of their own after Shotton grabbed Rodallega's shirt in the box.

Watson climbed off the bench to take the spot-kick and the midfielder calmly sent Thomas Sorensen the wrong way to salvage a point for his side.

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