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Premier League: Stoke 2 Wigan 2

Stoke had to work hard for a share of the points against a dogged Wigan, with the sides playing out a 2-2 draw at Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

A sloppy first half was highlighted by Wigan’s opener just before the break, with Hugo Rodallega’s low cross finding Victor Moses, who toe-poked the ball past Thomas Sorensen.

Jonathan Walters levelled for Stoke from the penalty spot after 77 minutes, before substitute Cameron Jerome put them ahead seven minutes later.

However a cameo appearance from Ben Watson, who slotted home an 87th-minute penalty, saw the points shared.

The first 10 minutes of the game was all about the battle for possession, but it was Wigan who found the most success with their share of the ball as both Jordi Gomez and Rodallega forced saves out of Sorensen.

Robert Huth tried to offer Stoke some encouragement with a header that glided just inches wide of Ali Al-Habsi’s goal while Jermaine Pennant looked as energetic as ever down the right wing.

Rodallega made Sorensen work again, with the striker pacing through the offside trap and getting his foot to a loose ball before the ‘keeper, but the Colombian was denied by a well-placed Ryan Shawcross who anticipated the chip.

Good running down the right-flank from Rodallega saw him set up Wigan’s opener.

The attacker’s run led to a driving pass into the area for a waiting Moses at the front post, and he poked the ball past Sorensen just before half-time.

As the game got back underway a misty rain descended on the Britannia Stadium and the teams continued the scrappy affair with neither side able to hold onto the ball for long.

Stoke created their best chance of the game so far, as Rory Delap launched the ball into the Wigan box from the touchline for Huth to get his head to, but the defender agonisingly nodded the ball onto the post and into the hands of Al Habsi.

Stoke eventually took the initiative as Jerome arrived on the scene. A long throw into the area by Delap saw the striker’s header handled on the line by Gary Caldwell, who was then sent off.

Walters took the resulting penalty and brought Stoke back into the game.

A break for Stoke just moments later saw the ball headed in the path of former Birmingham man Jerome, who slotted the ball past Al Habsi and into the far corner.

But at the other end Wigan were handed the second penalty of the afternoon and substitute Watson powered the ball past Sorensen to bring the score back to level terms in a flurry of action.

The game hung in the balance until the end, with Stoke pushing for a winner while Wigan were content to see the honours remain even.

Sat 31 December, 2011
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