Wigan Athletic 2 Norwich City 2
PUBLISHED: 21:41 07 February 2017 | UPDATED: 21:45 07 February 2017
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Norwich City new boy Mitchell Dijks salvaged a Championship point for the Canaries after Wigan stormed back in the second half at the DW Stadium on Tuesday night.
Nelson Oliveira’s eighth goal in his last 10 games put Alex Neil’s men in front at the break but Latics’ January signing Omar Bogle struck twice in six minutes before on-loan Ajax defender Dijks crashed home a close range header to earn the visitors a draw.
Neil made three changes to the side that beat Cardiff 1-0 in the Championship at the weekend. Youssouf Mulumbu came back in for his first outing since the New Year’s Eve league draw at Brentford after his recent stint at the African Cup of Nations. Mulumbu replaced the suspended Alex Tettey with Pritchard preferred to Wes Hoolahan. Oliveira was included in tandem with Cameron Jerome as Jacob Murphy dropped to the bench.
Wigan gave a full debut to January signing Bogle with Will Grigg named among the substitutes.
Yanic Wildschut received a predictably hostile reaction from the sparse home crowd when he was announced prior to kick-off following his deadline night move to Norwich from the DW Stadium.
Pritchard tried to work a corner routine after some early sparring, but Mulumbu miscued his volley at the edge of the home penalty area.
The former Tottenham youngster looked the best source to inject a degree of quality into the physical skirmishes when he clipped a ball for the on-rushing Wildschut, which hit the Dutchman on his back - much to the delight of the home supporters.
John Ruddy was pressed into service in the 13th minute when he confronted Bogle to save with his legs after Timm Klose had let the striker escape.
Russell Martin’s header was ruled out for offside against the City skipper in the 26th minute following Jonny Howson’s long range hammer strike against the bar.
Norwich continued to persist with raking balls into the channels for Jerome and Oliveira to square up their opposing defenders. The Portuguese international’s lack of precision from a promising position provoked a frustrated response from Neil at the front of his technical area.
Wildschut’s deflected shot spiralled behind from a superb Ivo Pinto break before Stephen Warnock bravely thwarted Klose from point blank range as the Canaries threatened to move through the gears.
City did make the vital breakthrough in the 40th minute when Oliveira’s looping header from Pritchard’s whipped free kick drifted over Jakob Haugaard into his top corner.
Grigg was introduced at the interval but his first meaningful contribution was earning a caution along with a bemused Martin after the duo tangled.
The Northern Irishman did show a glimpse of his threat in the 55th minute with a glancing header wide after City’s midfield afforded Max Power too much time to deliver.
Norwich appeared content to remain vigilant out of possession but there was another scare when Klose’s attempted block forced Ruddy to tip over his own bar from Grigg’s angled cross.
Howson was then perfectly positioned on the far post to head Power’s goalbound effort away before the Norwich backline eventually scrambled the ball away from Bogle’s knockdown.
But the Latics’ new boy headed an equaliser in the 62nd minute when Ruddy was left stranded deep inside his six yard box in a failed attempt to deal with the latest corner, allowing the striker to head home from point blank range.
Wildschut was penalised on the edge of his own penalty area with painful consequences for the Wigan old boy when Bogle’s free kick beat the four-man wall and Ruddy.
Neil had seen enough and replaced the midfielder for Josh Murphy to huge boos from the home faithful. Oliveira appeared to be hauled back by Dan Burn but referee Bankes played on. Justice was served when the unmarked Dijks rose imperiously to head home Pritchard’s corner inside the six yard box.
Morsy was denied twice in the space of seconds as the game lurched wildly one way and the next, first by Mulumbu and then a tip over from Ruddy.
Josh Murphy then cracked a close range shot stopped by Haugaard with his outstretched left leg. Twin Jacob replaced Pritchard for the final seven minutes.
Oliveira thumped a 20-yard free kick over after City had survived another scare from a home corner.
• Wigan Athletic: Haugaard, Buxton, Power, Morsy, Connolly, Bogle, MacDonald, Jacobs, Warnock, Burn, Weir (Grigg 45). Subs (not used): Gilks (GK), Perkins, Kellett, Tunnicliffe, Hanson, Mandron.
• Bookings: Grigg (foul on Martin, 48); Morsy (foul on Jerome, 90)
• Goals: Bogle (62, 68)
• Norwich City: Ruddy, Pinto, Martin, Klose, Dijks, Pritchard (Jacob Murphy 83), Howson, Mulumbu, Wildschut (Josh Murphy 71), Oliveira, Jerome. Subs (not used): McGovern (GK), Whittaker, Lafferty, Bennett, Godfrey.
• Bookings: Martin (foul on Grigg, 48); Pinto (dissent, 86)
• Goals: Oliveira (40), Dijks (73)
• Time added on: 1 minute / 4 minutes
• Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside)
• Attendance: 10,193 (677 away fans)