Wigan Athletic vs Reading match report: James McArthur saves the day for Latics after late comeback by Nigel Adkins' men
The two former Premier League sides share the spoils at the DW Stadium
Saturday 09 August 2014
Wigan got out of jail with a stoppage-minute equaliser to rescue an opening-day 2-2 draw against Reading in the Sky Bet Championship.
The home side had been the better side in the first half and deservedly led at the break through Callum McManaman.
But the second half was completely the opposite as Reading completely bossed proceedings.
Two goals in the space of six minutes from Shaun Cummings and Sean Morrison gave the visitors a lead they thoroughly merited.
But a stoppage-time goal from James McArthur spared Wigan's blushes - and ensured honours ended even.
Reading could and probably should have been ahead from their very first attack.
Pavel Pogrebnyak dispossessed Emmerson Boyce and found Ryan Edwards on the edge of the area.
His shot was low and true but Scott Carson pulled off a fine save, diving to his left.
Then, from Jordan Obita's resulting corner, Nick Blackman hit the near post with a header from point-blank range.
With four players on debut it was always going to take Wigan time to get going, but they found their way into the game and took the lead on 27 minutes.
A lovely ball from the back from Boyce found McManaman, whose initial shot was parried by Adam Federici.
The rebound fell to Martyn Waghorn, whose shot was half-blocked, the ball falling to McManaman 10 yards out.
This time the winger made no mistake, clipping the ball over Federici for his first goal of the campaign.
McManaman had been Wigan's best player in the opening half-hour, and the goal merely added to his confidence.
The former Everton player wriggled away again down right, only for his cross to be cut out by a flailing Reading leg.
Andrew Taylor took on the shot from fully 35 yards and, although well-hit, the shot was always too high.
Wigan were just about good value for their half-time advantage - but the second period was all one-way traffic the other way.
Blackman evaded Taylor and reached the byline, his pull-back finding Cummings, whose shot from the edge of the area was deflected away.
Chris Gunter then fired over the top, before Jake Taylor's effort was blocked. The ball fell to Blackman, whose strike was way over the top.
Reading made a double change on the hour mark, throwing on new boy Simon Cox and Danny Guthrie for Jake Taylor and Ryan Edwards respectively.
The switch nearly paid immediate dividends as Cox cut in from the left and forced Carson into another save to his right.
Carson was again on hand moments later to keep out Blackman's flick header from Obita's cross.
The rebound fell to Guthrie 20 yards from goal, but the curled effort was well wide of the far post.
Wigan were hanging on at this stage, and Obita's cross somehow evaded Pogrebnyak sliding in at the far post
But Reading finally broke through on 71 minutes when Michael Hector found Cummings, who drilled in from 25 yards.
And after Blackman hit the post with a curling effort, the Royals went in front with 13 minutes remaining.
A clever free-kick from Guthrie found Pearce unmarked at the far post, and he headed across for Morrison to nod past Carson.
But Wigan somehow picked themselves up off the canvas, resulting in McArthur heading home past a disbelieving Federici four minutes into stoppage time.
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