MITCHELL Dijks struck his first Norwich City goal to earn his team a point as they drew 2-2 with Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Tuesday.
After an even start, City took hold of the game in the opening period and following Jonny Howson’s thunderous drive that found the woodwork, Nelson Oliveira nodded them into the lead from Alex Pritchard’s cross five minutes before half-time.
Wigan came out fighting in the second period and stunned Alex Neil’s troops by claiming the lead as debutant Omar Bogle first headed in from a corner and then, six minutes later, converted a free-kick.
In their search for a draw, Dijks helped his new team come up trumps as he rose above everyone else in the Latics’ box to score 11 minutes from time, assisted once again by Pritchard.
HOW THEY LINED UP
Alex Tettey began his two-match suspension which meant the return of Youssouf Mulumbu from a thigh issue was timely for City boss Neil.
That was one of three changes as Neil switched to a 4-4-2 formation; Nelson Oliveira replaced Wes Hoolahan to join Cameron Jerome in attack, while Alex Pritchard was preferred to Jacob Murphy.
Yanic Wildschut returned to Wigan exactly a week after he completed a deadline day switch to the Canaries; the back five behind him were the same that kept a cleansheet in Saturday’s win over Cardiff City.
Dijks’ maiden goal in yellow and green ensured that Neil’s men didn’t lose all momentum from their recent run of results.
City have carried a significant threat in opposition boxes in recent weeks and Dijks used all of his considerable frame to meet Pritchard’s corner and turn his header beyond Jakob Haugaard.
After appearing in control at the break, Wigan had struck back with Bogle’s double but the Canaries did well to grasp back the initiative and claim a share of the spoils.
WHAT IT MEANS
City’s spirit once again came through as they turned a potentially demoralising loss into a draw in Greater Manchester.
With no other action in the division, they maintained their place just outside the top six, closing to within two points of Sheffield Wednesday above them.
: Omar Bogle (62, 68) - Canaries
: Nelson Oliveira (40), Mitchell Dijks (73)
: Haugaard; Buxton, Power, Morsy, Connolly, Bogle, MacDonald, Jacobs, Warnock (c), Burn, Weir (Grigg 45). Subs not used
: Gilks (GK), Perkins, Kellett, Tunnicliffe, Hanson, Mandron.
: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin (c), Klose, Dijks; Pritchard (Ja. Murphy 84), Mulumbu, Howson, Wildschut (Jo. Murphy 71); Oliveira, Jerome. Subs not used
: McGovern (GK), Whittaker, Lafferty, Bennett, Godfrey.
: Peter Bankes
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