Wigan 1 Fulham 1: Andy Johnson's late strike earns Cottagers a vital point

By Myles Hodgson

Andy Johnson came off the bench to end his long wait for a Premier League goal and earn Fulham a point in their scramble from the relegation zone.

He struck with five minutes remaining to cancel out Hugo Rodallega's effort and claim his first top-flight goal since scoring at Bolton in March 2009 - and his first in any competition since netting in the Europa League at the start of last season.

Andy man: Johnson squeezes home Fulham's equaliser

Andy man: Johnson squeezes home Fulham's equaliser

Having overcome knee surgery last term and recent hamstring trouble, Johnson's deflected finish was sufficient to earn a point, just as Wigan looked set to hold on.

Battle: Wigan defender Ronnie Stam clashes with Fulham midfielder Simon Davies

Battle: Wigan defender Ronnie Stam clashes with Fulham midfielder Simon Davies

'That will do Andy the world of good,' said Fulham manager Mark Hughes. 'Now he's off and running, I feel confident that he'll kick on and score goals from now until the end of the season.'

Wigan v Fulham - teams

WIGAN (4-5-1): Al Habsi; Gohouri, G Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Stam (McArthur 72min), Watson (Di Santo 87), Diame, Thomas, N’Zogbia; Rodallego. Subs (not used): Pollitt, S Caldwell, Gomez, Boyce, McManaman.
Booked: Alcaraz, Figueroa, Rodallega, Di Santo.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Stockdale; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Baird; Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Davies (A Johnson 76); Dempsey, Kamara (Dembele 59). Subs (not used): Etheridge, Salcido, Sidwell, Gera, Greening.
Booked: Pantsil, Hangeland.
Referee: A Taylor (Greater Manchester)

Both sides should have broken the deadlock during a scrappy first half, with Rodallega unlucky when his header hit the post. Damien Duff was guilty of missing the best chance when he was sent clear by Clint Dempsey but his tame shot was saved by the legs of Wigan's Ali Al Habsi.

Al Habsi played a key role in Wigan's opener midway through the second half when he hit a long clearance in the direction of Rodallega, who sprinted clear of Fulham's defence before chipping over goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Fulham thought they had an equaliser shortly after Johnson was introduced with 15 minutes remaining, but referee Anthony Taylor disallowed Dempsey's close-range finish because he controlled the ball with his hand.

Their patience was rewarded when Dempsey found space just outside the box and slid a pass through for Johnson to hit a deflected shot off Gary Caldwell, which looped into the net.

'We didn't get that little bit of luck you need in games, but I was extremely proud of their reaction in the second half,' said Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, whose side moved out of the drop zone.

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