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Fulham draw against Wigan ~ Ch. Match Report MD42

last updated Saturday 11th April 2015, 5:51 PM

Match Report

Fulham (2) 2 -2 (1) Wigan Athletic

Championship ~ Match Day 42 at Craven Cottage

Friday 10th April 2015     KO: 20:00

Fulham striker Ross McCormack
Fulham striker
Ross McCormack
Ross McCormack
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Gary Caldwell may not be a miracle worker but he has at least breathed some life into Wigan after they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Fulham.

Former Latics defender Caldwell, the surprise choice to replace the axed Malky Mackay as manager earlier this week, has inherited a team stuck in the Championship bottom three and looking doomed to relegation.

The 32-year-old Scot must have feared the worst when he saw his side concede after just three minutes at Craven Cottage thanks to Ross McCormack's strike.

A stylish Jermaine Pennant free kick hauled Wigan level, but a stunning long-range effort from Matt Smith put Fulham back in front before Jason Pearce's second-half effort earned the Latics a point.

Fulham striker Matt Smith
Matt Smith
Matt Smith
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It lifted them above Millwall on goal difference but things still look bleak for the 2013 FA Cup winners, who are seven points from safety with only four matches remaining.

Fulham should sleep a little easier, however, after another point edged them a step closer to ensuring they avoid the ignominy of back-to-back relegations.

They went ahead with their first attack as Wigan's defence simply stood off McCormack on the edge of the area, allowing the striker to shift the ball onto his right foot and unleash a superb curler past Scott Carson.

But the visitors did not let their heads drop and got a break in the 22nd minute when Scott Parker clumsily fouled James McClean on the edge of the area.

Former Liverpool winger Pennant, recalled to the starting line-up by Caldwell, stepped up to curl the free-kick inside Marcus Bettinelli's near post for his third goal since joining the Latics in February.

Match Stats Fulham Wigan
Goals (2) 2 2 (1)
Scorers McCormack 8 Pennant 22
Smith 35 Pearce 69
Goal attempts 14 9
On target 3 3
Shooting Accuracy 21%  33%
Possession 38% 62%
Corners 3 5
Offsides 0 4
Passes 376 637
Pass Success 73% 84%
Crosses 19 17
Crosses Success 32% 35%
Tackles 21 8
Tackles Success 86% 50%
Saves 1 1
Fouls 13 6
Yellows 2 0
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet/Fulham FC
Emerson Boyce ensured the scores remained level with a last-ditch challenge as McCormack was about to pull the trigger 15 yards out, and Smith headed a decent opportunity wide.

But Smith fired Fulham back into the lead 10 minutes before half-time, collecting Ryan Tunnicliffe's through-ball, turning and crashing a spectacular, dipping shot over Carson and into the net.

Dan Burn headed wide for the hosts early in the second half, but they were pegged back again in the 69th minute when Harry Maguire flicked on Pennant's corner and Pearce finished at the far post.

But it was Fulham who came closest to snatching a winner with substitute Cauley Woodrow heading McCormack's cross over and Carson saving from both Parker and Woodrow to ensure the points were shared.

Fulham: Bettinelli, Grimmer, Turner, Burn, Husband, Hoogland, Tunnicliffe, Parker, Kavanagh (Ruiz 73), Smith (Woodrow 63), McCormack (Stafylidis 90).
Subs Not Used: Kiraly, Hutchinson, Kacaniklic, Rodallega.

McCormack 4 ( right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sean Kavanagh),
Smith 35 (right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Ryan Tunnicliffe.).

Booked: Burn (27,f), Kavanagh (45,f).

Wigan: Carson, Boyce (McCann 70), Maguire, Pearce, Bong, Kvist Jorgensen, Perch, Pennant (Murphy 83), McClean, Kim, Fortune (Waghorn 57).
Subs Not Used: McKay, Ojo, Barnett, Al Habsi.

Goals: Pennant 22, Pearce 69.

Ref: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire).

Att: 15,994

Source ESPN FC/football league
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