Fortune favours West Brom in Wigan draw
A late header from Marc-Antoine Fortune rescued a point for hosts West Brom in their crucial English Premier League relegation clash with Wigan on Tuesday which saw it finish 2-2.
The draw does few favours for either side as Wigan, with just one win in the League since November, stay in the bottom three while West Brom are three points ahead of them but only have one win in their last eight league games.
The hosts had got off to a dream start as leading scorer Peter Odimwingie struck in the fifth minute with his ninth goal of a highly-productive maiden Premier League campaign for the Uzbekistan-born Nigerian international. He used his blistering pace to outstrip the Wigan defence and chip Jerome Thomas's long ball over Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.
West Brom's lead lasted only 15 minutes as the talented but inconsistent Charles N'Zogbia levelled for the visitors slotting home for his fourth league goal of the season to make Newcastle fans even more frustrated at missing out on re-signing the Frenchman in the recently closed transfer window. He did it all on his own, winning a free-kick and then converting it with his effort taking a deflection off Youssuf Mulumbu which beat a helpless Boaz Myhill in the West Brom goal.
Worse was to come for the hosts as their fragile defence - who have the worst record in the league and became the first top flight club since Bradford in 2001 to concede at least two goals in eight successive matches - was beaten again two minutes from the break, Ben Watson's free-kick defeating their wall to hit the back of the net.
As West Brom pushed for at the very least a point di Matteo pulled off Mexican international striker Carlos Vela as the recent loan signing from Arsenal faded, and sent on Cameroon attacking midfielder Somen Tchoyi. While Tchoyi failed to score himself he revitalised the side and after twice hitting the woodwork, through Fortune and then Chris Brunt, they got a deserved reward for their late showing with the equaliser.
Indeed the hosts came agonisingly close to grabbing all three points as Al Habsi had to be at full stretch to tip over Jonas Olsson's goalbound header.