Late goal lifts Wigan off the bottom and frustrates play-off chasing Coventry
Wigan moved off the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table as a late equaliser earned a 1-1 draw with play-off chasers Coventry at the DW Stadium.
With the wages that were due last week still not having been paid, Wigan’s players had to get in game-mode despite knowing a three-point EFL penalty was looming.
And the visitors could have been two goals ahead inside the first five minutes of the Sky Bet Championship clash.
First, only a brilliant save from Ben Amos prevented Gustavo Hamer opening the scoring with a fizzing free-kick from 25 yards.
Amos was again in the way when Matt Godden was sent clean through, with his shot taking a slight deflection off the backtracking Steven Caulker, which helped to take it into the hands of his goalkeeper.
Wigan grew into the game, though, and they could easily have scored a couple of goals themselves.
A stinging strike from Danel Sinani was well saved by Ben Wilson at the expense of a corner, from which there was a scramble that saw the ball hacked off the line.
Sinani, on loan from Norwich, then saw another shot touched around the post by Wilson.
Coventry failed to take another massive chance in an end-to-end affair when a clever ball from Hamer played in Sean Maguire, who took the ball around Amos, and attempted a shot from a tight angle.
Thankfully for Wigan, Academy product Charlie Hughes – who recently signed a new long-term contract – got back in time to clear the ball off the line.
A lovely move from Wigan then saw Ashley Fletcher tee up skipper Tendayi Darikwa, whose shot was deflected just wide of the near post.
The second half continued in a similar vein, and Coventry managed to break the deadlock within seven minutes of the restart.
Jake Bidwell crossed from the left, and Viktor Gyokeres planted a header home from close range past Amos.
Wigan were initially unable to lay a glove on City in response, with Will Keane’s shot from 20 yards easily pouched by Godden.
It looked like it was going to be one of those nights for the home side when substitute Callum Lang’s cross into Keane at the near post saw the ball somehow get wedged under goalkeeper Wilson’s body two yards out.
But Wigan kept at it and found an equaliser with eight minutes to go when Ryan Nyambe’s cross ended up in the back of the net via unfortunate City defender Kyle McFadzean.
There was almost a winner in stoppage time, but Hamer was thwarted by a superb save at point-blank range by Amos.