—END OF LOAD TAG—>
|Gary Caldwell, G|
|James McCarthy (Hendry Thomas, 55)|
|Mohamed Diame (Marcelo Moreno, 81)|
|Jason Scotland (Garcia Jordi Gomez, 60)|
|Rory Delap (Ricardo Fuller, 60)|
|Mamady Sidibe (James Beattie, 88)|
|Sanli Tuncay (Liam Lawrence, 88)|
Full Time: Wigan 1-1 Stoke. A well fought encounter ends in a draw as Tuncay's header cancels out Scharner's early opener.
Etherington slides the ball across goal from the left byline and picks out Beattie who thumps it goalbound. The strike seems destined for the corner but Kirkland makes a fine diving save to keep the scores level.
Lawrence takes a corner from the right hand side, it is partially cleared, falls for Etherington on the edge of the box but he strikes well wide of the mark.
Liam Lawrence is on for Sanli Tuncay.
James Beattie comes on for Mamady Sidibe.
A speculative drive from Gomez from some thirty yards takes a deflection and wins the home side a corner. N'Zogbia delivers but the corner is comfortably dealt with by Stoke.
With the two teams on terms neither side is able to penetrate effectively and possession is constantly changing hands in the middle of the park.
Moreno is on for Diame.
Wigan can't put together a forward move at the moment and concede a free-kick that Higginbotham will look to strike at goal. The full-back takes the shot on but he makes a mess of it and WIgan can clear easily.
Etherington is involved again and Wigan are under pressure! Etherington crosses for Fuller who heads it back to Sidibe but his headed effort is denied by the crossbar.
WIGAN 1-1 STOKE. Fuller's cross from the right byline is headed clear but only as far as Etherington. He turns the ball back into the box and finds TUNCAY who heads home from eight yards.
Sidibe flicks a crossfield pass into Fuller on the right side of the box. Fuller controls and shoots from a tight angle but Kirkland saves with his leg. Fuller gets the ball back and picks out Tuncay but he scuffs his shot and Wigan clear.
Hugo Rodallega trips Shawcross rather petulantly and earns himself a caution.
N'Zogbia works a throw into the feet of Gomez and gets the return pass before looking to cross for Rodallega but Huth blocks the ball before it gets into the box.
A long ball from Caldwell is brought down smartly by Rodallega before he strikes an overhead kick towards goal but the effort hits the bar and goes over. That was a fine acrobatic effort from Rodallega.
Stoke win a free-kick just inside the Wigan half and work the ball into Etherington on the right edge of the box but his cross is shut down and Wigan can clear.
Wigan concede possession deep in their own half and are almost made to pay as Tuncay shoots from the edge of the box but it is deflected wide. The resulting corner is easily dealt with by a Wigan defence that has been solid all game.
Jordi Gomez is introduced as Jason Scotland makes way.
Fuller comes on for Delap as Tony Pulis probes for an equaliser.
Higginbotham plays a raking pass from left to right as he looks to pick out Whelan in behind the Wigan defence but the ball is just too high for the Irishman and Wigan have a throw.
James McCarthy limps off injured and is replaced by Hendry Thomas.
Stoke have a free-kick just inside the Wigan half and opt to launch it long into the box. The ball finds Huth at the back post and he nods it back across goal but it is behind Tuncay and Wigan clear.
Delap launches a long-throw into the box but Rodallega heads it away and Scotland breaks for Wigan. Scotland crosses from the byline and Huth has to concede a corner but the ball in is easily dealt with.
A rather bizarre moment here as one of Figueroa's contact lenses comes out and Boyce and the referee have to help him put it back in.
The second period gets underway.
Halftime: Wigan 1-0 Stoke. The halftime whistle goes and Wigan go into the lead ahead thanks to Scharner's header. The home side could well have been further ahead but the visitors have created chances of their own.
Huth fouls Rodallega. That's another caution for the Stoke side.
N'Zogbia again has the chance to deliver from the corner after Rodallega's shot was turned wide. The ball finds Scharner unmarked, six yards from goal but his header goes centimetres wide of the upright. What a chance to double the lead!
Stoke make a rapid coutner attack and Tuncay plays a slick one-two with Etherington and fires goalbound but his effort is straight at Kirkland from just inside the box.
N'Zogbia sends a corner in from the right, the ball drops to Scotland but his snap shot is blocked behind for another corner. N'Zogbia delivers again but the whistle is blown for a foul on Sorensen.
Wigan are under pressure at the moment. Shawcross sends the ball into the box from the left byline, Tuncay flicks it onto Sidibe at the back post but the striker shoots well wide.
Robert Huth strikes the free-kick towards goal but drives it into the wall. The ball drops for Shawcross in the box but he turns it wide from ten yards.
Tuncay runs towards the box and is brought down by Caldwell and wins a free-kick. Caldwell is cautioned.
Sidibe wins a free-kick thirty yards from goal after a partially cleared Stoke corner. Glenn Whelan certainly has the ability to score from this range, he steps up but strikes it high and wide. Not enough dip or curl on that one.
Diame cuts onto his favored right foot and looks to shoot but Shawcross blocks. The rebound falls kindly for Boyce but he fires it high and wide from twenty-five yards out.
Wigan earn a free-kick thirty yards from goal - Charles N'Zogbia takes and strikes for goal but the effort goes high over the crossbar to a round of jeers from the visiting fans.
Kirkland collects a poor free-kick from Delap and sets Wigan away on the break. N'Zogbia makes an agressive run into the Stoke half before slipping it back to Scotland but his shot from the edge of the box is charged down by Shawcross.
A game that has certainly begun brightly remains a scrapy affair in the midfield. The two sides are certainly not renowned for their fluent passing football. Sorry Stoke fans.
Stoke have a free-kick a long way from goal so it will be tossed into the box by Etherington. The ball drops for Whitehead in the box but the midfielder is off balance as he strikes it and sends it well wide.
WIgan continue to come forward and this time it's McCarthy who looks to test Sorensen but his long range effort sails straight into the arms of the keeper.
WIGAN 1-0 STOKE. N'Zogbia delivers the free-kick from the left hand side and the ball comes in at pace. SCHARNER comes onto the ball and meets it with a confident header that finds the corner.
Etherington brings down Scharner and becomes the second Stoke player to be booked.
Sorensen is a busy man at the minute. Boyce crosses from the right but the keeper is off his line swiftly to gather but Stoke quickly lose possession. Diame crosses again and this time Sorensen punches clear.
Wigan break forward and the ball is sent long to Scotland but he scuffs his effort and is lucky to win a corner after a deflection. The corner comes in from the right but comes to nothing.
This looks familiar - Delap winds up a long-throw in from the left hand side some thirty yards from goal. He launches it into the box but none of the Stoke players are able to get on the end of it and Kirkland can collect.
Rodallega himself will take the free-kick and opts to strike for goal from long range but Wilkinson is in the path of the ball and the shot is blocked.
Rodallega is tripped by Shawcross and earns himself a caution in the opening ten minutes. He will have to be careful from now on.
Rodallega picks the ball up in the Stoke half and looks to play Scharner in on the left hand side of the area but the South American overhits the pass and the ball travels harmlessly out of play.
Stoke press in the early moments as they look to set the tone for the game. Glenn Whelan tries a snap shot from just outside the box but Scharner gets a block in before the effort can reach the goal.
Andre Marriner gets the game underway.
Tony Pulis pairs Sidibe and Tuncay in attack and a familar midfield four of Delap, Wheland, Whitehead and Etherington playing infront of a strong back four. Shawcross will play in the centre of defence with Huth while Wilkinson plays at right back.
Jason Scotland will lead the line for the home side today with support coming from the trio of McCarthy, N'Zogbia and Rodallega. Diame and Scharner will anchor the midfield and Caldwell and Bramble play in the centre of defence.
Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Delap, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Sanli, Sidibe
Wigan: Kirkland, Boyce, Bramble, Caldwell, Figueroa, N'Zogbia, Scharner, Diame, Rodallega, Scotland, McCarthy
Hello and welcome to the DW Stadium where Wigan Athletic take on Stoke City with both sides looking to improve their league position with three points tonight.
Thats it for a few months, the Premier Leagues done.
Whats a more impressive feat for a manager leading a group of stars to the title, or guiding a