Wigan Athletic 1 Blues 1

Last updated : 08 April 2006 By Brian Cartlidge

Wigan were looking good for their first win at the JJB in 2006 thanks to Swedish star Andreas Johansson, who headed in his seventh goal of the season early in the second half.

It came from a controversial free-kick awarded against full back Matt Sadler but the Blues battled back to earn the draw.

Emile Heskey fired the ball across the face of goal and Dunn, fresh from bench duty, got the all important touch.

But it was a result neither side really wanted. For both, it was a must-win game - Wigan were anxious to continue the drive for European qualification and Blues are desperate to avoid the drop into the Championship.

The Latics were also looking to improve on a dismal run of results at the JJB stadium, while the Blues were on a relative high after good results and clean sheets against Chelsea and Bolton.

Blues' two latest additions to the casualty list, Stephen Clemence and Nicky Butt, were both sidelined, but Chris Sutton, Muzzy Izzet and Dunn were all in the squad.

The Latics struggled for possession early on and might have been two goals down inside the first ten minutes.

Keeper John Filan saved their bacon using his left hand to keep out a snap-shot from Sutton.

Then, Olivier Tebily powered in a header from Jermaine Pennant's corner. It looked to have the beating of Filan but Jimmy Bullard cleared off the line, although referee Howard Webb did not even give the Blues a corner.

Neat work between Johansson and Leighton Baines created a half chance for Latics after the left-back whipped in a teasing cross. But visiting skipper Kenny Cunningham got there in the nick of time to deny Roberts the opportunity to shoot.

It was end-to-end stuff with Sutton having another effort deflected off target by Arjan de Zeeuw, but it took an excellent save from Maik Taylor to deny Wigan the lead.

Roberts, looking full of confidence, cut inside from the left and as Cunningham stood off him, he let fly with a terrific shot. Taylor, diving to his left, just managed to get a hand to it and steer it to safety.

Wigan went close again when Roberts caused more havoc before setting up Bullard, whose volley just cleared the bar.

The Latics made the breakthrough four minutes after the restart when referee Webb awarded a controversial free-kick against Sadler for a challenge on Bullard.

Replays showed the Blues man got the ball. But from Bullard's free-kick, the ball was headed back by Paul Scharner and Johansson headed beyond the reach of Taylor.

Blues were just a whisker away from an equaliser, with Heskey just wide with a near post header. And Jiro Jarosik failed to cash in when gifted a clear sight of goal.

Johansson nearly struck again, placing a low shot just past the far post, and Wigan kept up the bombardment with Lee McCulloch and Roberts firing over the top.

Austria international Scharner cleared off the line from Tebily, and Heskey headed over as Blues refused to give up hope.

They got their reward when Heskey hammered in a cross and Dunn nipped in at the back post to slot in the equaliser 13 minutes from time.

In a frantic finish, Bullard almost won it for Wigan but thundered his shot wide of Taylor's left-hand post.