12:28pm Wednesday 19th March 2014
By Will Carpenter
LUKE Ayling scrambled in an injury-time equaliser as Yeovil Town secured a vital point at promotion-chasing Wigan on Tuesday night (March 18).
Ayling's goal was the fifth of a crazy final nine minutes at the DW Stadium, which saw the lead change hands twice.
Marek Stech saved Jordi Gomez's first-half penalty, before Manchester United loanee Nick Powell fired Wigan in front.
As the game entered its closing stages, Ishmael Miller's quick-fire double put Yeovil in front with just five minutes left on the clock.
James McArthur equalised for the hosts and a Byron Webster own goal then put Wigan back in front.
But Ayling popped up in the dying seconds to turn the ball in from close range and deny Wigan a ninth straight victory.
It was all too much for manager Gary Johnson, who praised the desire and attitude of his battling players.
He said: “That's a fantastic point here at Wigan and also we got a shape that looked strong for long periods, we were well in the game and we frustrated a large crowd here at Wigan and they never made a sound until 80 minutes.
“It was unbelievable, because you're up you're down, you're up, you're down and then you're up at the end, but of course we'd have loved to have kept 2-1, but players at this level pull out something when it matters.
“And then at 3-2 we knew that was going to be the last corner and we sent Marek up - and that's the desire you need your team to have at the bottom to get that ball in the back of the net.”
Wigan were given the opportunity to take the lead on 25 minutes when Nick Powell was fouled in the area by Matteo Lanzoni, but Marek Stech saved well down to his left from Gomez's penalty.
Top-scorer Powell nodded home Callum McManaman's cross early in the second half - but the drama had barely begun.
On 81 minutes, Miller found space in the penalty area to fire past Al Habsi - and the striker struck again three minutes later with a neat finish that crept in at the far post.
Midfielder McArthur hit back almost immediately for the hosts when he turned in Jean Beausejour's cross from the left - and it was another cross from the Chilean that led to Wigan's third, as Webster turned the ball into his own net from inside the six-yard box.
But back came Yeovil, as Stech's presence from a Tom Lawrence corner caused confusion in the Wigan ranks - and Luke Ayling bundled home from almost on the goal line to earn the visitors a point.
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