GRIGG’S IN THE GOALS AGAIN BUT NO CIGAR
Maddison hits late leveller
WIGAN manager Gary Caldwell says he can’t ask any more of his players after the in-form Latics extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches following a draw with Peterborough United at the DW Stadium.
Will Grigg’s 14th goal of the season looked to have won it for the home side only for Marcus Maddison to snatch a point for Posh with a stunning free-kick ten minutes from time.
Caldwell admitted the result was probably a fair one but was full of praise for his side, whose draw extended the gap between themselves and third place in League One to five points.
“In terms of effort, in terms of trying to win the game, I can’t ask any more of the players,” said Caldwell. “The boys gave it everything and kept going right until the last minute.
“At the end of the game we looked very strong and if any team was going to win it, it was going to be us.
“Just for a bit of quality in the penalty box or putting more of the chances that we created away we would have won the game.”
After a slow start the home side grew into the game and top scorer Grigg had the first meaningful attempt on goal in the 12th minute.
A long-range drive from Max Power was palmed into his path by visiting goalkeeper Stuart Moore and Grigg pounced on the follow-up but Moore reacted quickly to save again.
Just as Wigan began to seize the initiative, Peterborough broke dangerously with Maddison curling in a cross from the right that Michael Smith volleyed into the ground and towards goal.
Peterborough winger Jon Taylor inadvertently deflected the shot over the bar and collided with Wigan keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen in the process, knocking the Finn to the ground. After several minutes of treatment in the goalmouth Jaaskelainen got gingerly to his feet and clearly worse for wear, trudged off the field to be replaced by reserve keeper Lee Nicholls.
Yanic Wildschut scored in the reverse fixture in October and should have done better in the 41st minute, slicing his close-range effort lazily wide after Ryan Colclough had cut the ball back.
The Dutchman missed another glorious chance to put the Latics ahead in the 71st minute, firing wide after bursting clear down the left.
But Grigg spared Wildschut’s blushes seconds later, slotting clinically past Moore from inside the penalty area after the industrious Donervon Daniels had retrieved possession down the right.
It was a goal the striker thoroughly merited according to his manager.
“His work-rate and hold up play is first class,” said Caldwell. “He’s a player that if we create chances, will score goals and he deserved that one.”
Peterborough, however, refused to lie down and with ten minutes remaining they got their reward as Maddison thumped a stunning free-kick from 30 yards into the top corner.
Grigg nearly snatched a winner three minutes from time, spinning and shooting inside the box, but the agile Moore got down well to deny the striker and halt his side’s five-game losing streak.
Posh manager Graham Westley was delighted with the result afterwards and couldn’t speak highly enough of his goalscorer.
“Marcus has really stepped up to the plate and he’s doing some fantastic things on the pitch,” said Westley.
“He creates some great football pictures and some great individual moments. He’s one hell of a talent.
“I really enjoyed the character of team when we went 1-0 down.
“They showed not to give up the ghost, not to be defined by the run of results that we’ve had and showed that they’re better men than that.
“The character and reaction was fantastic.
“We’re improving, we’re going forward and the big picture at our club is very positive even if the short-term picture’s been difficult because we’ve had injuries and we’ve had to blood a lot of people.”
WILL POWER: Grigg of Wigan Athletic (centre) celebrates scoring the opening goal
MARC-SMAN: Peterborough’s Marcus Maddison celebrates scoring the equalising goal from a free-kick, inset
ON THE RUN: Peterborough’s Jon Taylor escapes his man