Newcastle 2 - 2 Wigan
10-man Wigan Athletic earned a 2-2 draw at St James' Park in a game that was a must-win situation for the hosts.
Newcastle needed a win to rise above the bottom three after having dropped points in their 2-1 loss to Fulham during the previous week. In the opening 45 minutes, Newcastle groped in the dark as they struggled to find any sort of opening in the strong Wigan defense.
Just three minutes into the game Ryan Taylor stunned Shay Given with a dipping volley that landed perfectly into the top corner to give the visitors the lead. If the goal woke the Magpies up, there was no sign of it on the field.
Wilson Palacios also tested Given in the first half, but the Irish keeper was equal to the taks. Joey Barton was given a proper workout by the Wigan midfield before he limped off injured. Nicky Butt and Danny Guthrie were often left clueless as the Wigan midfield took full control in the first half.
Enrique had a chance in the first half injury time, but Chris Kirkland blocked his shot.
After the break Emmerson Boyce was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 54th minute, even as he protested he got the ball. Thereafter Newcastle came back into the game and controlled possession for most of the remaining time.
Antonio Valencia forced Given to make a fine save in the 57th minute even as Wigan looked to seal the game. Michael Owen and Charles N'Zogbia came on for Jonas and Enrique with 22 minutes left and this changed the tone of the game.
Still Henri Camara beat Given with a header in the 76th minute, only for the ball to bounce back off the post. Michael Owen made amends in the 80th minute when he shot home from a parry by Kirkland. Seven minutes later Obafemi Martins looked to have sealed it for Wigan when he shot home, but former Newcastle defender Titus Bramble snatched a point late on with a fine header.
Tags: Wigan Athletic, Newcastle, Ryan Taylor, Shay Given, Wilson Palacios, Chris Kirkland, Emmerson Boyce, Antonio Valencia, Henri Camara