Scharner returns to haunt Wigan

Paul Scharner (left)

Paul Scharner (left)

First published in National Sport News © by

Wigan old boy Paul Scharner put another dent in the Latics' Barclays Premier League survival hopes with a 65th-minute equaliser to earn West Brom a 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium.

Wigan, who have managed just 25 goals in 29 games, dominated the first half but were out of luck, Emmerson Boyce and James McCarthy both hitting the bar among many fine chances.

They finally found the back of the net nine minutes after the break through James McArthur but Scharner headed in a corner to level matters and a late flurry from the hosts came to nothing.

Not making the most of good spells in games has been the story of Wigan's season and Gary Caldwell skewed a shot well wide from a great position, while a brilliant cross from Maynor Figueroa was met by a header from Boyce at the far post in the 16th minute that bounced off the top of the bar.

Gareth McAuley did well to block a Franco Di Santo header six minutes before the break and from the resulting corner the ball fell to McCarthy on the edge of the box, who fired in a thunderous shot that smashed against the bar.

When the ball finally came down the keeper reacted well to deny Victor Moses a tap-in, then moments later Jean Beausejour picked out Antolin Alcaraz in space at the far post, but he chose to try to find Shaun Maloney, making his first Premier League start for four years, who could not keep his balance with the goal gaping.

Wigan continued to probe at the start of the second half and in the 54th minute they finally got the goal they deserved as McArthur poked in his third of the season. It was created by Moses, who showed good persistence on the right of the area after his initial cross had been blocked to beat Nicky Shorey and fire in a cross that Billy Jones could only direct to McArthur.

Wigan probably should have had a second on the hour mark, Beausejour again showing his crossing prowess to pick out Alcaraz but the defender somehow failed to make any contact with the ball three yards out. And the hosts were made to pay five minutes later when Brunt's corner was headed in at the back post by Scharner, who had been left unmarked.

Wigan flooded forward in the final moments and came desperately close, first substitute Mohamed Diame miscuing a shot and hitting Di Santo when he should have scored and then Ben Foster keeping out Albert Crusat's cross at the near post after it had been deflected by McAuley.

The point at least drew Wigan level with Wolves and QPR but they remain bottom of the table having played a game more than their rivals.

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