Tuncay header gives Wigan a point

Wigan 1 Stoke 1

Tuncay Sanli’s second-half header denied Wigan a precious victory as Stoke made off with a point at the DW Stadium.

The Latics took an early lead when Paul Scharner connected with Charles N’Zogbia’s wonderfully-flighted free-kick in the 14th minute.

But Tuncay rose to head home Matthew Etherington’s cross 16 minutes from time to ensure it finished honours even.

Although other results meant the draw moved Wigan up two places to 14th in the table, Roberto Martinez’s side were the superior side for long spells and now have only one win in their last 10 Barclays Premier League games.

Stoke, meanwhile, extended their unbeaten run since the turn of the year to five league games.

Tuncay dispossessed Mohamed Diame in the second minute and made a purposeful run into the box, but the Turkey forward was crowded out and the ball went for a throw.

Rory Delap launched it back into the area where it was only partially cleared to Glenn Whelan, whose shot was deflected wide.

At the other end, Hugo Rodallega was brought down on the edge of the box by Ryan Shawcross and took the free-kick himself, but could only send it straight into the wall.

Jason Scotland made a better attempt on goal in the 10th minute having been fed by James McCarthy, but after cutting inside his man the Trinidad and Tobago striker could not direct his shot on target.

Three minutes later Wigan were ahead. Etherington was booked for obstructing N’Zogbia midway into the Stoke half and the Frenchman sent a beautiful delivery into the box from the free-kick which Scharner headed past the diving Thomas Sorensen.

With their confidence buoyed by the goal, Wigan continued to push forward and after a mazy dribble, Diame had a shot blocked which fell to Rodallega, whose attempt flew over the bar.

But Stoke applied some pressure around the half-hour mark, with Etherington’s free-kick causing a goalmouth scramble which was cleared away and Whelan sending a speculative effort over.

Gary Caldwell then received a yellow card for bringing down Tuncay as the Potters striker broke forward, but Robert Huth drilled the free-kick straight into Shawcross, who could not get a decent shot away.

Mamady Sidibe was next to fire wide for Stoke and Tuncay sent a volley into Chris Kirkland’s arms after connecting with an Etherington cross.

But as the half drew to a close Wigan went close to extending their advantage, Scharner managing to flick N’Zogbia’s corner towards goal from six yards out, but the midfielder was leaning back too much to guide it on target.

Stoke came out for the second half looking determined to pick up the tempo, and after Delap had seen one of his long-throws punched away by Kirkland, Tuncay wasted an opportunity to equalise, miscuing a volley from close range after Huth had nodded down for him.

Tony Pulis threw on Ricardo Fuller – who was arrested at the weekend – after an hour, and a minute later Tuncay unleashed a shot on the turn which was deflected over by substitute Jordi Gomez.

But at the other end, Rodallega almost produced a moment of magic, holding off Shawcross with his back to goal and executing a bicycle kick that looped inches over Sorensen’s bar.

Stoke were looking increasingly potent and with just over a quarter of an hour remaining, they found an equaliser through Tuncay.

Etherington played a through-ball to Fuller, who made a lung-bursting run into the box but could only send a cross to the feet of Caldwell.

The defender’s clearance went straight back to Etherington, though, who crossed for an unmarked Tuncay to head past Kirkland.

Two minutes later, the Potters almost turned the game around completely as Fuller nodded Etherington’s cross back for Sidibe, who saw his header bounce off the crossbar.

Substitute James Beattie then had the chance to seal it for Stoke on the stroke of 90 minutes but Kirkland dived to push his shot away, while Marcelo Moreno - who had also come off the bench – scuffed an effort at the other end.

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