Roberto Martinez made nine changes to the starting line up from the previous Premeir League with only Boyce and Figueroa retained and the resultant disjointed performance against a Bournemouth side that played with pace and passion and no little skill meant that the home side can consider themselves lucky to still be in the F.A.Cup.
Both sides started tentatively and Bournemouth seemed to get the early upper hand in midfield with Fyive and Gomez very much second best leaving Jones to have to work overtime to cover up their deficences. Up front for Wigan, McManaman chased every ball and was ably supported by Redmond but Bournemouth worked hard to close down any Wigan attacks. On the right Stam strove to break the away defence but he was comfortably shackled.
Bournemouth were roared on by a large and boisterous following were skilful with the ball and tenacious without it, seemingly able to break through the porous Wigan midfield at will but with little end product.
The game ultimately turned on two penalties, one given and one not, the latter looked to be a definate penalty when Pugh went down under a heavy challenge in the area but Mr Madley after what seemed an eternity , dramatically awarded a free kick to Wigan and booked Pugh for diving.
The scoreline didn’t remain scoreless for long when a lovely flowing move from Bournemouth saw the ball fall to O’Kane who wasn’t closed down by the Wigan defence and a superb shot beat the veteran Wigan keeper Mike Pollitt and the underdogs were ahead.
Half time brought muted boos from some of the home fans who were rightly disappointed with the performance from their favourites.
Roberto Martinez opted to withdraw Redmond at half time replacing him with new signing Henriquez and the tempo was increased with Figueroa looking a constant threat marauding down the left . Henriquez almost marked his debut with a goal, when from a Jones free kick he rose majestically to head the ball goal bound and with the home fans rising as one to acclaim the goal the ball hit the bar and bounced loose.
The woodwork served to thwart Wigan again, when a pile driver from Figueroa from forty yards out hit the cross bar allowing Bournemouth to clear.
Wigan were then awarded a penalty when Figueroa went down in the box under a challenge from Francis and Mr Madley adjuged this somewhat soft challenge to be worthy of a penalty. Even then Wigan conspired to mess it up when Gomez’s poor penalty was well saved by Jalal but he was unable to hold onto the ball and Gomez put the rebound away for the equaliser.
The home crowd expected their team to then up the tempo but the play still remained slow and methodical and all too often the ball found its way from the Bournemouth half back to the Wigan defence, not from Bournemouth players but from their own team mates !
Bournemouth had a couple of good chances to seal a victory at the first attempt but snatched at loose balls which didn’t trouble Pollitt in the Wigan goal. For Wigan a lot of effort in the last fifteen minutes produced very little presure on the Bournemouth goal and the full time whistle brought an increased level of disquiet from the home fans with a replay on the South coast in just under two weeks time.
Team Line up and Ratings
Pollitt….6, couldnt be faulted for the goal, did little else wrong.
Boyce…..6, Constantly tried to drive the team forwards.
Golobart….5, Comfortable in possession, caught out of position and beaten for pace on several occassions.
Figueroa….6.5, worked hard, one superb shot and defended well.
Stam….4.5 easily dealt with by the Bournemouth defence.
Redmond…..5.5., a few nice runs, withdrawn at half time.
Jones…..7, Looked like the game mattered to him.
Gomez…..5, Anonymous until he scored and he nearly messed that up.
Fyvie……5, Out played in midfield.
McManaman….6, faded after half time
Boselli…..4, very very poor, last game in a Wigan shirt?
Henriquez ( for Redmond)….6, unlucky not to score on his debut, worked hard.
McArthur ( for Jones) ….6, looked to drive the ball forwards.
Dicko.( for Fyvie….5.5., a few nice touches
Att …… 8,199
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