AFC Bournemouth 2 – 2 Wigan Athletic: Cherries leave it late to prevent a shock FA Cup exit

AFC Bournemouth 2-2 Wigan Athletic

AFC Bournemouth forced an FA Cup 3rd round replay against Wigan Athletic thanks to a stoppage time equaliser from Steve Cook.

There was a real sense of indecisiveness when attempting to predict the scores between Wigan Athletic who flying in League 1 at the moment and AFC Bournemouth who appear focused on their mission to make a name for themselves in the Premier League.

Eddie Howe made an eye watering eight chances to the team that drew against Brighton last week with many speculating his lack of interest in the FA Cup, however this was not the case.

The FA Cup worked its magic with a possible shock on the cards when fan favorite Will Grigg the ball past goalkeeper Artur Boruc inside the first 5 minutes.  The lead was doubled by the 30 minute mark with a superb free kick from Nick Powell, which was struck 25 yards out and poured more misery on AFC Bournemouth.

Brad Smith was easily exploited by the Wigan attack on the wing and it looked as if the Latics were going to create a shock at the Vitality stadium as the half time whistle was blown.

Jordon Ibe and Marc Pugh came on to replace Brad Smith and Connor Mahoney at half time and the Cherries drastically improved.

The deficit was halved with Ibe delivering some brilliant footwork to set up Lys Mousset who slotted the ball past a beaten Walton at the 54-minute mark.  For the next half an hour the game was very much in the balance with both teams having perfect chances and displaying excellent defense in particular from Nathan Ake who teamed up with his teammate Steve Cook to prevent the excitable Wigan striker Ivan Toney from having any serious chances against shaky goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

As the game was rapidly heading to a close, a major talking was brought to attention in a penalty appeal from Wigan Athletic which led to assistant manager Leam Richardson being sent to the stand after a passionate outburst. Gavin Massey was brought down in the box by Adam Smith which referee Andrew Madley waved play on.  Later manager Eddie Howe mentioned it wouldn’t have had an impact in the game with Paul Cook disappointed on the decision but respectful of the officials citing the difficulties with the job of being a referee.

The equalizer finally came after a sublime header from Steve Cook deep into added time which was greatly deserved considering the chances that the cherries had.  Later manager Paul Cook had stated that Bournemouth did deserve the equalizing goal that leads Bournemouth travelling to the DW Stadium for the replay.

The result can be expected judging by the head to head record of both teams as after 18 matches both teams have won 6 and drawn 6 as well as scoring 18 goals apiece.  It will be an interesting game for the reply as both managers have stated they are interested in competing for the FA Cup.

AFC Bournemouth next host Arsenal in the Premier League where Wigan host Peterborough in the attempt to further cement their dominance at the top of League 1.