Notts County 2 Wigan 2: Watson strikes late to prevent major upset

23 January 2010 11:35
The very existence of the Football League's oldest club, Notts County, may be in doubt but you could not tell last night. County were happy because they took topflight side Wigan all the way and, having made £200,000 from the FA Cup in four days, can now look forward to another bumper payday.

Wigan were delighted to come away wiser for the experience having earned a reprieve, and the fans witnessed a cracking game in the best traditions of the famous competition.

County's caretaker boss David Kevan said he wanted the focus to be on the football and his players responded by snatching a two-goal lead in the first half through Lee Hughes and a sumptuous free-kick from Ben Davies.

Rehabilitation: Lee Hughes nets his 20th of the season to put County a goal to the good

Even Wigan boss Roberto Martinez conceded: 'They were outstanding and clearly have players who should be at a higher level.

'It was a proper FA Cup tie and maybe some of my players, who hadnever played in it before, didn't understand it. We were slow andsloppy, but we responded well and I am delighted we have anotherchance.'

Jason Scotland was switched to a lone striking role and came up with his first goal in 21 appearances for Wigan.

Two good: Ben Davies celebrates his goal with fellow goalscorer Hughes

That sparked a comeback, capped by Ben Watson's equalising header after 83 minutes.

Even then debutant Serb goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic had to maketwo outstanding late saves from Hughes and Lee Rodgers to ensure areplay on Tuesday week.

Gutted: Davies and Hughes show their frustration after Watson's leveller

Kevan paid tribute to his elated players, saying: 'We had chances tokill Wigan off but, given the quality of the opposition, we aredelighted to have a replay and who knows what might happen there?'

Asked about the club's future, he said: 'Hopefully things will getresolved in the next week or so.' County face a winding-up order in theHigh Court on Wednesday.

They have debts of £1.5 million and director of football Sven Goran Eriksson is said to be on the verge of walking out. 

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Source: Daily_Mail