FULL-TIME: Colchester United 3 Wigan Athletic 3
- Credit: Archant
Will Grigg struck in the final minute of normal time to break Colchester United hearts and earn a point for high-flying Wigan Athletic in a 3-3 draw at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Grigg made no mistake from close range after Craig Davies’ volley deflected into his path, and denied the rock-bottom U’s a famous win in their battle against relegation from League One.
The U’s looked set to hold on after Alex Gilbey and Elliot Lee equalisers preceded a penalty from George Moncur – Wigan having twice gone ahead through Yanic Wildschut and Ryan Colclough to lead 2-1 at half-time.
The first 20 minutes did little to hide the gap between the sides in League One, Colchester bottom of the table and Wigan, chasing promotion, in the second automatic spot.
Goalkeeper Elliot Parish saved the U’s on three occasions in the opening 27 minutes, twice from Grigg, who should have done better with two close range shots in quick succession, and once from Max Power.
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However, the longer the U’s kept the Latics out, the more they grew in confidence and Jussi Jaaskelainen had to be at his best to parry out a fierce Lee effort.
Lee went close again moment later, his goalbound-shot being blocked by Donervon Daniels, before the visitors went ahead.
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Tom Eastman initially did well to dispossess Grigg on the left byline, but under hit a pass which was seized on by Wildschut, who finished from the left side of the box after 36 minutes.
The goal was tough on Colchester but they kept their heads up and equalised four minutes later, Gilbey firing home an unstoppable effort into the top corner, past Jaaskelainen, from 30 yards.
Lee then fired wide of the far post as the U’s looked to take the lead going into the break, before Wigan grabbed their second on 44 minutes, Wildschut jinking his way into the box from the left and squaring for Colclough who finished from 14 yards.
Colchester were far from disheartened as the second half started though and Lee, the U’s stand-out player, grabbed a second equaliser for the hosts with a fierce left-foor shot that curled away from Jaaskelainen, and into the top corner, from 20 yards.
Wigan tried to hit back through Power, who shot over the bar, but the U’s were ahead for the first time on the hour, the impressive Lee feeding Moncur who ran through into the box before being upended by former Ipswich Town loanee Reece Wabara.
Moncur made no mistake from 12 yards.
Wildschut, Daniels and Andy Kellett, whose looping cross hit the top of the bar, went close for the Latics, before Grigg broke the U’s hearts, firing home from a narrow angle after Davies’ deflected volley had fell into his path.