Wigan 1-1 Leeds: Disappointing end for both as game ends draw
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 07/05/17 3:47pm
Wigan finished their single-season stay in the Sky Bet Championship with a 1-1 draw against Leeds at the DW Stadium.
The hosts edged in front inside six minutes as Ryan Tunnicliffe raced clear before rounding goalkeeper Rob Green and slotting into an empty net. Leeds drew level within five minutes of the restart, with Chris Wood converting from the spot after Eunan O'Kane has been fouled inside the box.
The visitors could have won it when Kemar Roofe fired against the bar and then saw a header well saved by Wigan goalkeeper Matt Gilks. The campaign ended in disappointment for both sides, with Leeds missing the play-offs and Wigan finishing nine points adrift of safety.
Leeds made the brighter start in the Lancashire sunshine, with Roofe seeing a shot deflected just wide with only two minutes gone. Moments later, O'Kane played in an intelligent ball to Pablo Hernandez, who fired wastefully wide from 15 yards.
But the visitors were rocked when Wigan took the lead with their first attack on six minutes. Michael Jacobs played a lovely ball through to Tunnicliffe, who showed great composure to round Green before steadying himself and slotting home from close range.
Leeds were claiming a penalty on the 15-minute mark when Wood went down under the challenge of Jamie Hanson, although the referee waved play on.
Omar Bogle, having been restored to Wigan's starting line-up, fired over from the edge of the box, before Wood warmed the hands of Gilks at the other end.
After a relatively quiet first half, the game burst into life just after the restart. The visitors were awarded a spot-kick just four minutes into the second period, when O'Kane took a tumble inside the Wigan box.
Wood stepped up to score his 30th goal of the season, and it was almost 2-1 Leeds within three minutes when Roofe's shot from 25 yards hit the bar.
Wigan were claiming a penalty of their own on 53 minutes when Bogle took advantage of a mistake in the Leeds backline and wriggled his way past Green.
But as he tried to slot the ball home, he was felled by a challenge from Leeds skipper Kyle Bartley, which referee Scott Duncan ruled was fair game.
Gilks had to move his feet quickly to keep out a flick header from Roofe, before both sides made a raft of changes that took some of the sting out of the game.
Wigan had one more chance to win it at the death, but Max Power's shot floated inches wide of the far post.
Wigan interim boss Graham Barrow:
"It was a decent way to finish the season, and we had chances at the end to have won it. We had to dig in a few times in that second half, because Leeds are a good side - one of the better sides we've played. I'm impressed with what Garry's done there, so fair play to him, but it was one of those games that we could have won.
"We sort of stuck to what we did at Reading last week, and we tweaked it a bit after the goal because they got a bit clever to it. They were getting in down the sides, with good movement, and they asked more questions of us than even Newcastle and Brighton in recent weeks.
"I can't understand why he (Monk) is under any sort of pressure really, because he's done a very good job."
Leeds boss Garry Monk:
"We spoke to the players in pre-season, and we set some ambitious targets. The players have pretty much reached what we spoke about. We spoke about a minimum points total, we spoke about clean sheets, we spoke about Elland Road becoming a fortress, we spoke about having a mentality.
"There are always improvements to be achieved, but we pretty much achieved everything we wanted to. We knew 75 points was an ambitious target, but in most other seasons it would have got us there (into the play-offs).
"Overall it's been a fantastic season, and I'm very proud to have been working with these guys. The stuff that's been put in place can only help the club to build, and that was really the most important thing about this season."