Latics strike late to relegate Tigers

03 May 2010 03:58
Steven Gohouri's dramatic stoppage-time equaliser stole a point for Wigan in a 2-2 draw with Hull which confirmed the Tigers' relegation.[LNB] The visitors fell behind after half an hour when Victor Moses curled the ball in off the post, his first strike for the Latics since joining from Crystal Palace.[LNB]Hull looked to have turned the match around as youngsters Will Atkinson and Mark Cullen also opened their Premier League accounts, but Gohouri - another Wigan first-time scorer - struck with a late acrobatic effort to send the visitors down.[LNB]Due to a vastly inferior goal difference, Iain Dowie's team were already all but relegated before the start of play.[LNB]But they were cruelly denied what would have been a morale-boosting victory after Dowie's decision to field a youthful side - including Atkinson, Cullen and Tom Cairney from the start - almost paid off.[LNB]Wigan, who had secured survival last weekend, move up to 15th after rescuing their final home game of the season.[LNB]The hosts made a bright start, with Jordi Gomez sending a drive just wide of Matt Duke's left-hand post in the fourth minute and Hugo Rodallega having a close-range effort deflected behind shortly after. Gary Caldwell rose to meet the corner but could not connect properly.[LNB]At the other end, former Wigan midfielder Kevin Kilbane broke into the box but the danger was cleared by Gohouri. A minute later, goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic's poor kick fell straight to Cullen, who played a one-two with Atkinson before sending in a cross that Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink headed off-target.[LNB]Kilbane then picked out Atkinson in the box, who caught it first-time but saw his strike parried by Stojkovic, and the Irishman got a shot away himself in the 22nd minute which was wide of the mark.[LNB]Having soaked up some pressure, the Latics looked to hit back and Gomez deftly slipped Rodallega in on goal only for Steven Mouyokolo to make a vital interception.[LNB]The deadlock was broken on the half-hour thanks to a moment of quality from Moses, who collected Mohamed Diame's through-ball on the left, cut inside two defenders and lashed the ball across Duke and in off the far post.[LNB]Minutes later Moses had the chance to add another, but mis-cued his attempt from a knocked-down corner.[LNB]Hull had never been out of the match and three minutes before the break they found the equaliser they deserved, although in controversial circumstances.[LNB]Atkinson was the scorer, nodding Kilbane's cross past Stojkovic, but the goal appeared to have been ruled out for offside.[LNB]However, much to the consternation of Wigan's players, referee Phil Dowd chose to overrule his assistant, and Hull went in level at half-time.[LNB]The Tigers emerged for the second half looking lively and felt they deserved a penalty for handball when Maynor Figueroa blocked Cullen's shot.[LNB]But the endeavour of Gomez and Rodallega then led to a flurry of Wigan chances.[LNB]Gomez brought a save out of Duke with a shot from outside the area, and Rodallega tried to capitalise on some woeful Hull defending but fired wide.[LNB]The Colombian then made a better attempt, shooting just over after bringing down a ball on the run and he then teed up Gomez with a clever backheel that the Spaniard volleyed wide.[LNB]The Latics appeared to have all the momentum, but in the 64th minute Hull found themselves in front, with another young player getting his first senior goal.[LNB]This time it was teenager Cullen, who looked as if he could have been offside when he evaded his marker to head George Boateng's cross past Stojkovic.[LNB]Cullen tried his luck again with a drive 10 minutes from time but the effort went high and wide.[LNB]Moments later Wigan boss Roberto Martinez threw on Paul Scharner, who appeared to have the message "thanks" dyed into his hair.[LNB]And Scharner provided the assist for Gohouri in the dying moments as he fired an over-head kick past Duke.[LNB]Dowd and the stewards then had to deal with a pitch invasion before a final minute was played out and Hull's fate was sealed.

Source: Team_Talk