Bradford City 1 Wigan Athletic 1
The Bantams came from behind to register a very respectable point against an in-form Wigan Athletic side with the aim of an immediate return to the Championship. Michael Jacobs opened the scoring for the visitors midway through the second half when he curled a shot past Ben Williams from the edge of the area after being teed up by Latics substitute Donald Love. City weren’t behind for long, however, when James Hanson, who was back in the side for the injured Steven Davies, he headed home the equaliser after getting on the end of Tony McMahon’s corner kick.
City started the game brightly, but it was the visitors who had the first chance of the game. Yanic Wildschut, on loan from Middlesbrough, ran into the area down the right channel before hitting a fierce shot into the side netting.
Rory McArdle went close in the opening exchanges with a header that went just wide after he’d latched onto Reece Burke’s cross. The Latics had a couple of decent early opportunities as well, Jacobs saw an effort from 25 yards spilled behind for a corner by Williams before Max Power’s ambitious 30 yard attempt went inches over the bar.
Midway into the opening half, the pressure was certainly being applied by the home side with the corner count rising rapidly. McMahon, a busy man throughout the game, delivering a plentiful supply into the area.
Lee Evans saw a diving near-post header deflected wide off Leon Barnett, McArdle saw penalty appeals waved away after an apparent push by Max Power, plus Hanson had a goal-bound effort headed away from goal by Chris McCann - all from first half McMahon corners.
Although the first half hour saw City on top, Wigan came back into the game towards the end of the first half and Will Grigg found the net with a superb angled finish, fortunately though the flag was already up for an offside decision.
McMahon was having an admirable display as his run in the side continues and he had a crack at goal with a dipping half volley from the edge of the area which one-time City trialist Jussi Jaaskelainen had to push over the bar.
Wigan took the lead after 53 minutes when Evans' loose touch lost the ball to Love, who ran the channel and pulled possession back to the edge of the area for Jacobs to curl a first time shot past Williams and into the back of the net.
The Bantams bench felt Hanson had been fouled by Wigan midfielder David Perkins in the build up but play was allowed to continue and City were punished.
Hanson could have levelled things with City’s next opportunity but his header towards goal from McMahon’s in-swinging free kick was held onto by Jaaskelainen. The big frontman was to make no mistake with his next goal scoring opportunity though.
There was a growing feeling that one of McMahon’s set-pieces was bound to break down Wigan at some stage and his corner ten minutes after Jacobs' opener did find the back of the net for City via the head of Hanson.
The visitors looked for the winner late on, strike duo Craig Davies and Grant Holt introduced from the bench as they enjoyed good spells of possession.
The pair linked up well in the area to allow the latter to prod a shot towards goal which Williams had to turn round his near post for a corner kick.
Although City were having to hold strong to keep Wigan at arms' length as the game ticked down to its conclusion, there was still one more opportunity to snatch all three points when Devante Cole got the better of Wigan skipper Craig Morgan and he delivered a cross into the area but Hanson fired over with a first time effort.