It’s rapidly approaching that part of the season where results are more critical in shaping of the campaign’s final outcome and both sides could certainly have done with maximum points at the Stadium of Light.
However both Roberto Martinez and his managerial predecessor had to make do with a share of the spoils following Kenwyne Jones’ headed equaliser just after the hour mark which further went to highlight Wigan’s frailties at the back.
Mohamed Diame’s first half strike, his first goal in a Wigan shirt, was well worthy of the title of matchwinner but, just as Maynor Fugueroa’s entry for goal of the season at Stoke, it eventually proved merely to be a contributing factor towards a solitary point.
The game itself was spoiled by the attendance of the inept Stuart Attwell who continually amazes how he actually made the elite list in the first place.
The Warwickshire official issued a total of nine cautions during a game that didn’t warrant such a heavy handed approach from the referee.
However if he was going to traverse down that route then consistency would have been helpful.
After dishing out the eighth yellow of the afternoon in time added on to Wigan’s Gary Caldwell, for apparantly taking too long in his free kick preparation, he then failed to even have a word with a Sunderland player who picked up a knock and stumbles off the field of play but then manages to make his way back on to receive attention from the physio and as a result bring the game to a temporary halt.
Wigan made two changes to the side that lined up against Everton at the DW Stadium the previous weekend with Chris Kirkland resuming his duties in goal and Paul Scharner returning to the starting line up with Serbian keeper Vladimir Stojikov and Jason Scotland resigned to the bench.
They were joined in the dug out by new signings Victor Moses and Marcelo Moreno as Roberto Martinez packed his bench with a number of strike options.
The game’s opening goal however, came from the boot of the continually impressive French midfielder Mohamed Diame whose
20th minute thunderbolt from the right hand edge of the area nearly ripped the back of the net and had Craig Gordon got any contact on it whatsoever I have no doubt that the Scottish keeper would have needed the services of the club physio such was the ferociousness of the shot.
The goal itself was a blinder but the build up was just as impressive with battling to win possession from Serbian Lorik Cana and waltzing with ease past Matthew Kilgallon before pulling the trigger.
Latics took control of the game and looked comfortable for their fourth victory on the road this season with the visitors bossing the midfield but their failure to convert possession and the half chance into actual goals is beginning to take its toll on the season.
Just as Everton had proved the previous weekend, Wigan are quite often there for the taking if you remain patient enough, and Sunderland did just that as Wigan couldn’t manage to find a follow up goal to put light between themselves and their hosts.
Kenwyne Jones’ future had recently been the topic of more speculation than you could shake a stick with Liverpool reportedly leading his suitors but the former Southampton striker brushed all that aside and showed just why his club were so determined to keep hold of their most prized asset.
The Trinidad and Tobago international rose to meet a pin point centre from local lad Jordan Henderson and power home a header for his seventh Premier League goal of the season – let’s hope that his T & T team mate sat on the Wigan bench took notes!
Attwell had already issued three yellow cards prior to that goal, two just before the break and a further one minutes before Jones’ leveller, but with less than fifteen minutes of normal time remaining no one could have thought that another six players would fall foul of the referee that less than 18 months ago award Reading a goal at Watford despite the ball flying yards wide of the far post.
The stop start way in which the game came to its finale didn’t help the proceedings but it didn’t thankfully have any effect on the outcome and some may say that one point is better than none, especially away from home, but I’d imagine that Roberto Martinez and his side will think that this was more like two points dropped.
However they can now look forward to three successive home games starting with the visit of Tony Pulis’ in form Stoke City to the DW Stadium.