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Woodwork denies unlucky Birmingham as Wigan hold on for draw
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Juninho Bacuna scored for Birmingham as they were held by Wigan (Leila Coker/PA)
Juninho Bacuna scored for Birmingham as they were held by Wigan (Leila Coker/PA)

Birmingham hit the same post three times in as many second-half minutes, including from the penalty spot, as they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened Wigan.

Blues were ahead early on at the DW Stadium through Juninho Bacuna but that was cancelled out on the hour by Ashley Fletcher.

Things then took a further dip for the visitors soon after as Scott Hogan, from the spot, Tahith Chong and Maxime Colin all struck the same bit of woodwork to let Wigan escape with a welcome point.

Birmingham, who came into the match on the back of four successive defeats, were off to a flyer as they took the lead inside four minutes.

Christ Tiehi conceded a cheap free-kick just outside the Wigan box and Bacuna curled a beautiful free-kick over the wall and past Ben Amos’ right hand.

Bacuna then cut inside again shortly after but this time his shot was easy for Amos to gather.

At the other end, Wigan were struggling to get anything going. On-loan Norwich forward Danel Sinani fired wide of the far post and captain Max Power sent another shot over the top, but that was the extent of the early worries for the Blues defence.

Just before half-time, Fletcher got away down the right but bizarrely elected not to take the shot from 18 yards, turning back and instead feeding Sinani, whose shot from 30 yards was straight at Birmingham goalkeeper John Ruddy.

Wigan, with a string of very tough fixtures ahead, had to change something at half-time to get back into the game.

They sent on Will Keane for Tiehi and last year’s League One golden boot winner was quickly into the game, turning nicely and forcing a good save from Ruddy.

And Wigan were level on the hour mark when Thelo Aasgaard fed James McClean, whose left-wing cross was turned in well by Fletcher.

There followed a crazy period around the three-quarter mark that saw the visitors hit the same post three times in the space of as many minutes.

The first was from the penalty spot after Ryan Nyambe had been adjudged to have brought down Bacuna, when replays showed there was minimal contact at best.

However, perhaps justice was done when Hogan placed the ball on the spot and blasted against the right-hand post as he looked at the goal.

Blues did not let their heads drop, though, and they hit the woodwork twice more through Tahith Chong’s shot and Maxime Colin’s header with Amos clutching air on both occasions.

Boosted by the let-off, Wigan rallied and Keane took delivery of a Fletcher pass and rounded Ruddy, only to find the side-netting from a very tight angle.

The result sees Wigan move up a place from the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table but are now six points adrift of the safety mark, with Birmingham three places and seven points above the drop zone.


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