A dramatic turnaround at the DW saw Sheffield United secure a share of the points with three goals in the last twenty minutes after they seemed dead and buried following an excellent first hour by Wigan.
Wigan made two changes from the last outing with Vuckic and McCann starting in place of Kellett and James.
Wigan tore into Sheffield from the start with the Blades defence troubled by the creativity of Power and Jacobs supplemented by the industry of Grigg and Vuckic and the first chance came to Jacobs whose powerful shot forced the keeper into a smart save.
Wigan continued to create half chances but the first goal owed an assist to the referee. A sideways midfield pass from a Sheffield player hit the referee and bounced into the path of Jacobs who laid a lovely ball through to Grigg who coolly slotted the ball past Long sparking a mass protest from the Blades’ players who felt that the referee should have brought play back.
Just before half time Wigan made their dominance tell when Vuckic scored his first goal on loan when he headed past Long from inside the box following an excellent cross from Pearce.
Sheffield had their chances in the first half , the best possibly falling to Hammond who was adjudged to have been fouled by Daniels when through on goal. Sheffield players immediately surrounded the referee demanding Daniels be shown a red card. The referee showed a yellow although reports suggest that even this was harsh and that Daniels had got the ball.
Wigan went off to a resounding crescendo of applause following a tremendous first half performance and started the second half as they had finished the first and with Daniels showing excellent skill on the right; Grigg, Vuckic and Jacobs all went close.
Two soon became three following a superb solo effort from McCann. A weaving run from the left wing back saw the big Irishman beat several players before firing an unstoppable shot past Long sparking an exit from some of the travelling away fans.
Those who left missed one of the comebacks of the season as within two minutes a poor error by Wigan on the left following the substitution prior to the third goal of the defensive dynamo Perkins saw Sharp fire a low cross into the six yard area leaving Done with a simple tap in past the static Latics defence and stranded keeper.
Wigan fans were left hoping this was just a consolation but the pressure was then ramped up when Daniels lost the ball in a similar area to McEveley who created an almost identical cross this time finished off by Sharp and it was game on.
Wigan’s tactics and ball control were poor, too often humping the ball up in the rough area of Jacobs or Grigg without any real direction and this allowed the opposition to increase the pressure on the embattled home defence.
Sheffield’s persistence was rewarded when a terrible error by Cowie saw the ball reach Sharp whose powerful was brilliantly saved by Jaaskelainen but the loose ball fell to Sharp who tucked home the ball for an equaliser that looked remote after the first sixty five minutes.
Both sides had chances in the last few minutes to win it, Jacobs being thwarted in a goalmouth scramble and Sharp seeing his goalbound shot being superbly tipped around the post by the outstretched right hand of the Wigan keeper.
The full time whistle brought to an end a roller coaster evening that was high on entertainment and drama and not for the faint hearted.
Team Line up and Player Ratings
Jaaskelainen…..6, some excellent saves but could have done better for the first two goals
Barnett……………4, poor, withdrawn
Morgan……………7, a captain’s performance
McCann…………..9, excellent , MOM
Daniels……………..8, some brilliant wingback play spoilt by the error for the second goal.
Perkins………………7, solid, missed when he went off injured…….withdrawn
Power………………. 8, at the heart of everything good about Wigan
Jacobs………………8, always dangerous
Vuckic……………….7, a fine first DW start, withdrawn
Grigg…………………7, worked hard
Wildschut for Vuckic……..5, struggled to get into the game
Cowie for Perkins……….2, or if the Aberdeen board are reading this 10
James for Barnett………..4, lost in midfield.
Entertainment Rating…..9/10 a game with everything bar the 3 points
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