Rochdale 3 Wigan Athletic 3
After a scintillating first half performance, with Latics leading 2-1 and the home side down to ten men, the three points were definitely there for the taking as the second half began. However, a mix of profligate finishing and poor defending allowed Rochdale to claim a point.
The football played by Wigan in the first half was probably the best they have played this season. Tendawi Darikwa and Callum Lang fitted in seamlessly and Latics looked like a well-oiled machine.
Adam Long suffered an injury after 59 minutes in trying to keep the ball out of the net for Rochdale’s equaliser. It was a surprise that Leam Richardson chose to bring on a left back, Luke Robinson, to take Long’s place in central defence, despite Emeka Obi being available. The back four literally consisted of four full backs.
Despite their profligacy in front of goal and defensive vulnerability in the second half it was a fine performance by a Latics team that is defying the odds, despite the restrictions placed upon them and the injuries they have had.
After the game Leam Richardson commented:
“There is different pressures for different positions within a team and one thing that was great today was how we responded and the character. The goals that we scored emulated that because we kept going.
My overriding emotion is that I really enjoyed standing there and watching them today because individually – and in some parts collectively – I thought they were excellent.”
We are all aware that every day at Wigan Athletic is a learning day at the minute. It is up to a few of us to make the best of the situation.”
Let’s take a look at how fans reacted to the match through the message boards and social media.
Our thanks go to the Vital Wigan – Latics Speyk Forum and Twitter for providing the media for the posts below to happen. Thanks go to all whose contributions are identified below:
Enjoyed the game. Really good to see our movement up front with Lang and Joseph running beyond Keane. Lang was everywhere. Lots to be positive about. We are improving and if we keep up this rate of improvement we will stay up easily IMO.
Unless there is a reason that I’m unaware of, I think Leam got the last sub wrong, Only threat from Rochdale was in the air and we left Obi on the bench. No surprise their big lad out jumped our 2 full backs in the middle in the dying minutes to break our hearts.
2 points dropped, hope these don’t prove critical come May.
Kenny Morris said:
Disappointing that we lost 2 points in the final minute of extra, extra time but I would have taken this before the game considering the enforced changes to the team and the lack of numbers in subs. They beat us 5-0 a few weeks ago so this performance today was far, far better.
Can’t be too hard on the players even against 10 men for second half, Rochdale had a vastly more experienced team who are used to playing together, unlike our team which has been cobbled together this week. With only having 15 fit players we did well.
Long going off was a pivotal moment for us and it went downhill from then.
We definitely missed Tilt today and for me I was so fired up I was sure we would go away with 3 points and at the end even though we drew it felt like a loss !
But this performance today gives me great encouragement and I believe we can get through this mess providing we get a sale to the right owner done soon !
Long crashing into the back wall behind the net looked bad to me – I just hope the lad didn’t do any serious damage !
True Believer summed up:
Poor second half resulting in two points dropped. Why oh why did we stop playing the way we did in the first half. We started to try and push the passes instead of keeping it simple and lost the ball too often.
Great goals from Lang, Joseph and a cracker from Keane, his close control is a joy to watch.
Pearce continues to deliver great crosses from the left, whilst Darikwa slotted in well on the right.
Our biggest problem was at CB and although James and Long did well in the first half the long high balls in the second half found them out. With no tall CB going for the first ball after Long went off their forwards started to win the ball and more crosses coming into the box caused problems. I wondered why LR didn’t put Obi on to take the first ball instead of playing Luke Robinson, a left back, as a makeshift CB.
Owen Evans showed his inexperience for their second as he stepped back from the bouncing ball allowing the forward to gain the advantage in height. He should have been moving forward to gain the momentum and height. There was no need for him to actually catch the ball as if he had just knocked it down our backs were favourite to win the knock down. After that however he did pull off a decent save to keep the lead.
Overall it was a very good display going forward but our lack of a dominant CB cost us the 2 points. Time now to reflect on this performance and hopefully improve on it next time out. I hope any of the prospective owners were watching as this game has convinced me that with a couple of decent acquisitions we can survive the drop so taking the 15 points should be something they think seriously about. There are bound to be some very experienced players without a contract after the takeover and they could be just what we need to survive.
Onwards and upwards boys.