Garner denies Town the win after Keane opener from the spot
Joe Garner’s 90th minute goal deprived the 10 men of Town what would have been a terrific three points.
The former Blue found the net from close range after Will Keane’s first-half penalty looked enough to give Town a first away win under Paul Lambert.
The Hull loanee finished expertly from the spot after Collin Quaner had been brought down in the box just past the half hour.
Town had dictated the play for much of the first-half but Jonas Knudsen’s red card for pulling back Leon Clarke on 25 minutes left Blues one man light and while Blues restricted Wigan to very few chances, Garner came off the bench to have the final word.
Town made one change from the team that drew with Stoke last weekend, with skipper Luke Chambers returning to the side. Teddy Bishop, who had been hit during midweek by the virus that has affected a number of the squad, making way.
Chambers was immediately involved, clearing from Michael Jacobs’ cross, then from another Jacobs delivery, Anthony Pilkington headed over.
Town responded, Keane weaving away from one challenge in the box and then going down under another but referee Lee Probert rejected the penalty claim.
Jon Nolan headed wide at the back post from James Bree’s cross as Town - operating with wing-backs - began to find space down the flanks, Alan Judge almost taking Bree’s cross in his stride at the far post.
Knudsen was in the right place to clear from Reece James’ cross, Clarke’s header back in to the danger area dealt with by Matt Pennington, then Pilkington’s strike smothered away by the Town defence.
Keane was a fingertip away from opening the scoring, Jamie Jones just doing enough to force his left foot curler past the post, the ‘keeper then judged to have pushed Trevoh Chalobah’s bullet behind for a corner. From the flagkick, the ball cannoned off the unmarked Keane into Jones’ grateful hands.
Town looked the far more likely to break the deadlock, Nolan unable to convert from Bree’s cross but on 25 minutes Blues were reduced to 10 men when Knudsen tugged back Clarke as he raced in on goal.
Kai Naismith’s free-kick was deflected wide to set up a flurry of corners for the Latics, Jacobs’ long ranger going straight at Bart Bialkoswski, then on 32 minutes Town were ahead, Quaner was tripped by Chey Dunkley and Keane did the rest from the spot.
Windass headed well wide as Town stayed resolute at the back, Clarke crowded out again as Wigan struggled to make any impact before the break.
Gwion Edwards replaced Quaner at the break in the game’s first change, the winger making an instant impact in winning a free-kick on the edge of the box, Pennington heading over from Judge’s delivery.
Jones did well to deny Keane with a save at his feet, Jacobs surrounded by Blues at the other end as Wigan looked to get back on level terms, Pilkington heading wide at the far post.
Windass couldn’t get on the end of Naismith’s cross, Judge then curling a 20 yarder wide after Town broke at pace, led by Chalobah.
The Chelsea loanee tested Jones from the edge of the box, Wigan’s ‘keeper tipping over Judge’s effort, then at the other end Clarke couldn’t convert Windass’ excellent cross after the Latics broke.
Nick Powell replaced Dunkley and Callum McManaman was introduced for Pilkington as Wigan boss Paul Cook shook up his line up after the hour, Keane was forced off with an injury for Blues, Kayden Jackon entering the fray.
Clarke was wide from close range after Windass and Jacobs had opened up the Town defence, Edwards replying for Blues but his shot was off target, Powell then winning a free-kick 30 yards out that was held by Bialkowski from James.
Judge blocked Windass’ strike with the Latics calling for a penalty, the Republic of Ireland international making way for Flynn Downes as Town freshened up the midfield for the closing stages.
Garner replaced Windass in Wigan’s final change, the striker forcing a save from Bialkowski with a header from close range before sliding the ball in on 90 minutes to level the scores.
Blues had to hang on for six minutes of added on time, Bialkowski saving from Jacobs to give Town a fully deserved point.
Wigan: Jones, Morsy, Fox, Windass (Garner 81), James, Pilkington (McManaman 62), Jacobs, Naismith, Dunkley (Powell 62), Clarke, Evans. Subs not used: Walton, Gibson, Massey, Kipre. Booked: Morsy.
Town: Bialkowski, Bree, Chambers, Pennington, Knudsen, Kenlock, Nolan, Chalobah, Judge (Downes 77), Quaner (Edwards 46), Keane (Jackson 63). Subs not used: Gerken, Dozzell, Skuse, Nsiala. Booked: Keane, Pennington, Kenlock.