Fulham battle to Wigan draw

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Wigan suffered considerable frustration after failing to finish off Roy Hodgson's hard-working Fulham side in a contest that saw the Londoners return to the capital with a valuable 1-1 draw.

Roberto Martinez's side at least put the embarrassment of last week's drubbing at the hands of the Premier League's bottom club behind them but it could have been so much better.

Wigan dominated almost throughout, driven on by their lanky French midfielder Mohamed Diame, and led through Emmerson Boyce's strike only for Clint Dempsey to grab an equaliser from the spot.

While the Premier League heavyweights were slugging it out at Stamford Bridge, this was very much the undercard - a contest between two welterweights, and one that, had it been a boxing bout, Wigan would have won easily on points.

Erik Nevland almost opened the scoring early on when he left Chris Kirkland stranded with a looping header, but the ball dropped towards goal, clipped the inside of the post and bounced along the line before being hacked clear.

However Wigan went one better in the 14th minute.

Paul Scharner beat two defenders to meet Erik Edman's cross and headed the ball back to Boyce who, completely unmarked eight yards out, steered it past Mark Schwarzer.

Schwarzer performed heroics two minutes later to turn Charles N'Zogbia's thunderous 30-yard strike onto the crossbar.

Wigan's good work was undone however. Two chances to clear the ball were passed up and, when Dempsey shaped to shoot, Titus Bramble - who was otherwise excellent - dived in from behind to concede the spot-kick which the American tucked away.

It was then a case of 'anything you can do' at either end as both Schwarzer and Kirkland were called into action time and again.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Titus Bramble
Chris Kirkland
Emmerson Boyce
Mark Schwarzer
Premier League
Paul Scharner
Wigan Athletic
Charles N'Zogbia
Clint Dempsey
Mohamed Diame

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