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McClean goal earns struggling Wigan a point at Watford
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
James McClean got Wigan’s equaliser (PA)
James McClean got Wigan’s equaliser (PA)

Watford and Wigan drew 1-1 at Vicarage Road, a result which did neither side any favours with their respective goals at opposite ends of the Sky Bet Championship.

James McClean’s 51st minute goal earned the visitors a point, after Keinan Davis had given the hosts the lead just before half-time.

Fresh from their three-goal victory over Birmingham last week, Watford head coach Chris Wilder kept faith with the same starting 11 as they sought to maintain their play-off push.

Struggling Wigan made one change from their draw with Coventry, with Tom Naylor coming in for Ashley Fletcher.

The home side should have taken the lead after seven minutes. A long punt up the field by Daniel Bachmann was left alone by defender Ryan Nyambe who let in Joao Pedro – but the strike could only find the side-netting after rounding goalkeeper Ben Amos.

A lengthy stoppage saw Charlie Hughes on the floor for a Watford corner, and the defender was subbed after just 11 minutes by Omar Rekik.

The game was turning into a scrappy affair, with Watford generally having the better of the play – however, their crosses into the area were often overhit.

Jeremy Ngakia tested the Wigan goal with a volley seven minutes before the interval, but his effort was a foot wide.

Wigan offered little in the half, although Danel Sinani fired wide from outside the area on 42 minutes.

However, the home side finally and deservedly went ahead just before the interval. Davis picked up the ball from Pedro and produced an impressive solo run into the area before firing home through a group of defenders.

In an attempt to change the game in their favour, Wigan replaced Steven Caulker with Callum Lang for the second half.

The substitute played a significant part for the visitors six minutes after the restart, when his cross was met by McClean for the equaliser.

Watford remained dangerous and Imran Louza fired at Amos after good work by Ken Sema.

The Moroccan saw his curled effort hit the post after the hour mark, while Britt Assombalonga fired over the crossbar 15 minutes later.

Both teams looked for the winning effort, to help their position at their respective positions in the table, which started to lead to an open finish to the tie.

Lang managed to stretch the Watford back line with six minutes remaining, but his shot was weak and comfortably held by Bachmann.

Tempers were fraying in the latter stages, which saw Watford head coach Wilder yellow-carded in a heated exchange with the Wigan bench.

However, both teams came away from Vicarage Road with a point apiece.


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