Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday December 5 2010
An exciting game that saw Latics come from behind twice to take a point with all the goals coming in the first half on a bitterly cold day at the DW Stadium that was no place for the faint hearted.
Both teams looked like they wanted to win the game and it was end to end throughout the match, Stoke with their physical approach being matched by the Latics who didn`t let themselves get bullied out of the game
The first real chance fell to Stoke but Al-Habsi was off his line quick to smother Fullers effort, but the Potters didn`t wait long before they found themselves in front.
Referee Mike Jones awarded a soft free kick after Thomas dispossessed Fuller 25 yards out, up stepped Robert Huth to strike a daisy cutter that hit Momo Diame on the heal and sent the ball careering into the opposite corner that it was heading totally wrong footing Al-Habsi.
Latics responded well and 12 minutes later were level, Tom Cleverley was pushed other just outside the box by Robert Huth, Ben Watson took the free kick and his delivery, low and hard into the near post, was spot on and came off Danny Collins to deflect into the Stoke goal, 1-1.
Unfortunately the lead lasted just 90 seconds, Stoke broke from their own penalty box, swept a ball out to Kenwyne Jones on the right, Jones flew up the line, slipped the ball to Fuller who hit a cross into the Latics box, Matthew Etherington came in unmarked at the far post 1-2.
Latics had a fantastic chance to equalise when Charles N`Zogbia squared the ball to Hendry Thomas a yard off the line with the keeper nowhere to be seen, somehow the Honduras international got his feet all wrong and side footed wide with the miss of the season.
Thomas had an excellent game though and Tom Cleverley helped to spare some of his blushes when he struck home his second goal in a week, picking the ball up on the edge of the box Cleverley skipped inside and hit a shot that clipped a Stoke defender on its way into the back of the net, 2-2.
The second half saw both sides create chances with Al-Habsi denying Jones with a super reflex save and Begovic making a double save from Boselli and then late in the game tipping an N`Zogbia drive onto the post.
2-2 probably a fair result on the balance of play, the point though not enough to lift Latics out of the bottom three
Date:Sunday December 5 2010
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