Wigan 1-1 Birmingham: Craig Davies nicks Latics late point
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 16/08/16 10:33pm
Substitute Craig Davies' 90th-minute equaliser earned Wigan a point in a 1-1 draw with a Birmingham side who had looked to have claimed victory courtesy of a controversial goal.
The Welshman, who once scored four in 19 minutes against Blues when at Barnsley, had not found the net since September prior to this contest but he was well placed to sweep home Will Grigg's pass from close range in the final minute.
That stopped Birmingham from taking their tally to seven points from their opening three games, though the Latics will argue justice was done after David Davis' dubious opener on the stroke of half-time.
The midfielder appeared to be a couple of yards inside the area when Clayton Donaldson's 44th-minute penalty was struck, allowing him to reach the rebound off Adam Bogdan's save well ahead of the blue and white shirts behind him.
After Wigan's 3-0 victory over Blackburn at the same venue three days earlier, Gary Caldwell selected an unchanged XI, with new signing Luke Garbutt not eligible to feature having only completed his loan move from Everton about an hour before kick-off.
The Latics looked tidy in possession but they should have fallen behind in the 14th minute when, after Jacques Maghoma fired a shot at Bogdan following a mazy run, a stretching Donaldson turned the rebound against a post.
Half an hour later, Birmingham led and Donaldson played a major part. There were cries for offside when he collected Stephen Gleeson's pass, though few complaints when he slipped the ball to the side of Bogdan and went down under the Hungarian's challenge.
The striker's penalty was weak and kept out by Bogdan, yet Davis was the first to reach the loose ball and was left with a simple finish.
Wigan's players' claim he had stolen a march on them by encroaching on the spot-kick appeared to be backed up by the replay as referee Jeremy Simpson and his officiating team received jeers upon their decision.
The hosts strove for an equaliser early in the second half, adopting urgency as Ryan Shotton's last-gasp tackle stopped David Perkins before Powell almost turned home Alex Gilbey's cross.
It also left them open on the counter, with former Wigan midfielder David Cotterill clipping the crossbar, while Powell's long-range try at the other end needed a tip over the top from Tomasz Kuszczak.
However, a lack of fluidity in midfield against a resolute side meant Caldwell's men were unable to truly force the issue and were reduced to a series of blocked Powell shots from distance.
Nevertheless, they found a way to level the contest, Davies slotting home six minutes from time after arriving from Grigg's delicious pass across the box and Birmingham's back-line.
There was almost a Wigan winner too, though Michael Jacobs' try was pushed over by Kuszczak after more good work from Grigg and Davies, whose partnership may have given Caldwell food for thought when he selects his next starting XI.