DCSIMG

Wigan Athletic 1 Pompey 2

Premiership, April 29, 2006

Pompey completed their Great Escape with a 2-1 win in front of 21,126 fans on their first visit to the JJB Stadium.

The result sent down West Brom and Birmingham City, who accompanied bottom club Sunderland into division one.

Looking destined for the drop in March, Pompey beat Manchester City at Fratton Park and then collected 17 points from the next eight matches, which included victories over West Ham, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Fulham.

The Blues should have taken the lead in the fifth minute at Wigan as Svetoslav Todorov headed over from close range.

After Benjani struck a shot from 10 yards that goalkeeper Mike Pollitt saved with his knees, Henri Camara had a goal disallowed for offside – but then put Wigan ahead on 34 minutes after Dean Kiely parried Matt Jackson’s header.

Pompey, cheered on by 5,000 fans, equalised in the 63rd minute when Benjani nodded home his first goal in 15 appearances.

Eight minutes later, and for the second consecutive week, Matt Taylor kept a cool head to slot home a winning penalty, awarded when Gary Teale handled Benjani’s goalbound header that led to the Latics man being sent off.

At least 2,000 Pompey fans made their way on to the pitch at the final whistle to acclaim manager Harry Redknapp and chairman Milan Mandaric for a remarkable run to safety .

WIGAN ATHLETIC: Mike Pollitt, Pascal Chimbonda, Leighton Baines, Graham Kavanah (Andreas Johansson), Stephane Henchoz, Matt Jackson, Gary Teale, David Thompson (Paul Scharner), Henri Camara (David Connolly), Jason Roberts, Lee McCulloch.

POMPEY: Dean Kiely, Linvoy Primus, Dejan Stefanovic, Brian Priske, Matt Taylor, Gary O’Neil, Sean Davis (Noe Pamarot), Pedro Mendes (Richard Hughes), Andres D’Alessandro, Benjani, Svetoslav Todorov (Wayne Routledge).

 

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