CHERRIES battled to a hard-earned draw at the DW Stadium this afternoon to take their place in tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth round draw.
Eddie Howe’s side made a mockery of Wigan’s Premier League status during an impressive first-half performance, with Eunan O’Kane’s goal on 41 minutes handing the visitors a deserved half-time lead.
But Jordi Gomez tapped home from close range 20 minutes from time to force the two sides into a replay after his initial penalty had been saved by Shwan Jalal.
Boss Howe made four changes from the side that lined up against Brentford on New Year’s Day, with David James, Wes Fogden and Brett Pitman dropping to the bench and Lewis Grabban missing out through illness.
Jalal, Josh McQuoid, Richard Hughes and Matt Tubbs came into Howe’s starting line-up.
Roberto Martinez, meanwhile, made nine changes from the side that was hammered 4-0 by Manchester United on January 1.
Cherries started brightly, showing no sign of nerves.
Some neat fourth-minute link-up play between Charlie Daniels and Marc Pugh down the left saw Daniels get a cross in, but Mike Pollitt in the Latics goal was able to snaffle up the delivery.
Steve Cook was on hand to clear Danny Redmond’s cross to safety moments later, while Jalal safely gathered Emmerson Boyce’s dangerous ball into the penalty area.
A quick free kick on 14 minutes saw Daniels cross from the left and the ball broke invitingly for Tubbs, but the striker was dispossessed by Redmond as he shaped to shoot.
Mauro Boselli might have done better after 21 minutes, but his shot on the turn while under pressure from Cook failed to trouble Jalal, before referee Bobby Madley took centre stage when booking Pugh for diving just after the half-hour mark.
Pugh burst into the box from the left channel and was barged out of the way by Roman Golobart, but Madley blew for a free kick in Wigan’s favour before handing Pugh a caution.
Jalal saved well from Boselli moments later after Harry Arter had been dispossessed in midfield, before O’Kane handed Cherries a deserved lead four minutes before half-time.
O’Kane created some space having picked up the ball midway inside the Latics half, before ghosting towards the box and unleashing a perfectly-placed left-foot drive past Pollitt.
Martinez handed a debut to Manchester United loanee Angelo Henriquez at half-time, with Redmond making way and the Chilean made an immediate impact when his header from David Jones’s free kick skimmed Jalal’s crossbar.
At the other end, McQuoid’s left-foot snapshot after 56 minutes looked to have beaten Pollitt but dipped narrowly over the bar, while Boyce went close moments later for the hosts.
Martinez’s men began to really push hard for an equaliser around the hour, with Golobart’s header flying over after 64 minutes before a wonderful, swerving left-foot drive from Maynor Figueroa, from all of 35 yards, came crashing back off the crossbar.
As Cherries defended resolutely, though, Wigan were rewarded for their endeavours when Simon Francis pulled back Figueroa inside the box after 68 minutes and referee Madley pointed to the spot.
Jalal saved the penalty from Gomez, but the Spaniard was on hand to bury the rebound.
Howe’s men continued to battle, though, and Pollitt saved well from substitute Wes Fogden’s curling effort after 73 minutes before Arter blazed over the bar from close range moments later following good work from Francis down the right flank.
Cook’s 89th-minute header was beaten away by Pollitt, but neither side was able to capitalise further.
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