Boro Perfect Storm Pegged Back
By Robert Nichols
Wednesday 12 Feb 2020 11:04:00
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A double strike from Lewis Wing turned this game on its head before Harold Marouchi headed into his own net to let 10 man Wigan off the hook. Boro fell behind against the run of play but looked disjointed and out of sorts all night until the perfect storm, in Lewis Wing, got to work. It did take a deflection and then a viciously swerving, probably wind-assisted, strike to leapfrog Morsy's Wigan lead. Yet Boro failed to take full advantage of the extra man as we were pegged back for a draw.

On a freezing cold night in blustery conditions it was #stormlewis that cancelled out Morsy's first half goal. Both goals were scored into the net in front of the away end Boro, so that helped keep us warm. Thanks Lewis.

We had threatened early on when Coulson tested Marshall in the Wigan goal. Boro actually had the ball in the net, a tremendous ball by Makoudi picked out Howson whose cross was finished by Fletcher. But it was ruled out, offside.

Ravel Morrison looked bright and inventive, making his first Boro start, in place of Tav. Morrison was playing off the two strikers Britt and Fletcher and he had the Wigan defence on high alert whenever he danced across the field.

But Boro were often guilty of playing one too many passes and until Lewis Wing set to work in the second half we did seem reluctant to shoot for goal.

We paid the full penalty of not capitalising on all that possession when we failed to deal with a Wigan attack and Latics captain Sam Morsy pulled the trigger through the legs of Makoudi and it arrowed into the corner past Pears. 1-0 to the home side and the pressure was now on Boro

Wigan held firm with a very disciplined defensive formation. Boro fans were frustrated as their team often passed sideways trying to work a way through the Wigan lines. Latics manager Paul Cook had obviously done his homework and had men billeted wide to prevent the raids of Coulson and Howson. This sent us into the centre, where Morrison, Wing and McNair were almost tripping over one and another. Britt and Fletcher were hardly getting a sniff but also lacked sharpness on the night. In such blustery conditions our passing game was not fully on song.

It looked like being a frustrating night as we continued to beaver away after the break but without threatening Wigan keeper, Marshall. Then Wigan's foul count finally caught up with them. Time and again Boro midfielders were left in a heap on the deck after late challenges. Lewis Wing was kicked up in the air and a yellow was rightly brandished. This turned out to be a second yellow and the defender was ordered off. Paul Cook went ballistic and was booked and the home fans had barely started booing before Wing's free kick deflected off the wall to leave Marshall stranded. 1-1.

Minutes later and Wing tried his luck again. This time his effort from full on 30 yards, it caught the wind and swerved all over the place to completely bewilder Marshall and go right through him for a goal. Yes. Get in. Loads of singing of the Lewis Wing song from the Boro end and Wigan fans to our left chanting 2-1 to the referee.

Boro ought to have finished off this game but we kept surrendering the ball in dangerous situations ourselves. Although we dealt with a few free kicks Harold Makoudi got it all wrong when throwing himself ahead of an attacker at a vicious centre. He ended up heading it straight into the back of our net. 2-2.

Both teams might have gone on to win. The home team might feel they had a great escape and certainly were looking to eat up the clock, however they did have late pressure.

Woodgate removed Fry and that signalled our intent to go for all 3 points but that did invite a nervy finale when Wigan won a corner and we had removed our tallest defender.

I am not sure who will feel happier about this result. Wigan need wins. Boro had to stop the home side from eating up any of the points gap. On the other hand at 2-1 up and 1 man up we really ought to have controlled the game and come away with our first win in aeons.

We need to click into gear on Saturday against Luton and take a leaf from Wing's book and start doing the basics like shooting for goal. If you don't shoot you won't get deflections. But I don't want to take anything away from Lewis he has an amazing shot in his boots. And he is a rarity for Boro, a goal scoring midfielder. A precious commodity. Three goals in two games. Keep them coming.

Wigan 2-2 Middlesbrough – Wing (2)

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