Wigan Athletic F.C. vs. M.K. Dons F.C.
Date: Saturday 4th January 2014
Venue: The DW Stadium
Referee: Roger East
F.A. Cup holders, Wigan Athletic, were forced into an F.A. Cup third round replay by M.K. Dons after a 3-3 draw in which both teams displayed some woeful defending.
At this stage of the competition last year, the Latics were held at home to Bournemouth and the same thing happened again in 2014.
The warning was not heeded and it was Roger Espinoza, with his first F.A. Cup goal, who gave Wigan the lead after just 18 minutes as he scored a scorcher from 25 yards.
Shortly after this first Wigan goal, Jordi Gomez scored to double his team’s lead. Callum McManaman worked hard to win a header ahead of Dean Lewington which fell to Grant Holt, who did well to pass inside to Gomez. Gomez then ran into the box and slotted home past M.K. Dons ‘keeper, David Martin.
M.K. Dons, after the second Wigan goal, showed that they may be up for some sort of a fight as they won three successive corners which were all dealt with easily by the Wigan defence, led by Emmerson Boyce.
Then, the Latics failed to put the game to bed late on in the first half as McManaman decided not to pass across goal to McClean in a two on one situation.
This miss came to haunt Wigan as the M.K. Dons scored two goals in as many minutes. Ben Reeves showed great footwork to curl a ball past the flailing Ali Al-Habsi before he found the net again two minutes later as he struck inside the box.
The second half was a completely different story as M.K. Dons looked to push up on a shaky Wigan defence. They should have taken the lead early on as McClean clumsily fouled George Baldock in the box to gift the Dons a penalty.
Well known penalty specialist, Al-Habsi was equal to Shaun Williams’ spot kick as he kept the score at 2-2.
Within seconds, however, Wigan were back in the lead. Marc-Antoine Fortune, on as a substitute, held the ball up nicely before passing to Espinoza who spotted the run of McManaman and played the youngster a through ball which saw him score one on one with the ‘keeper.
Once again Wigan had the chance to put the game beyond M.K. Dons as Fortune found himself one on one with the ‘keeper but smashed the ball wide when he could have passed to McClean who was just inside of him.
The Dons were not finished and, with 8 minutes left to play, Patrick Bamford restored the parity as he fired home from close range after some questionable Wigan defending.
This is a game that Wigan should have won comfortably, especially after going 2-0 up, but some crazy defending means that they will have to do it all again on the 14th January at the Stadium:MK.