Joe Gelhardt secures Wigan a point at Hull

Substitute Joe Gelhardt’s fine individual goal earned Wigan a 2-2 draw at Hull.

Paul Cook’s team have now won just two of their last 29 games away from the DW Stadium, but their supporters should be happy with this hard-earned point in East Yorkshire.

There was a sighter for what Wigan might achieve at the KCOM Stadium when Chey Dunkley gave the visitors an early lead.

But once Jarrod Bowen equalised soon afterwards, Hull were superior for long periods.

Kamil Grosicki’s excellent free-kick after 20 minutes put the hosts in control, but 17-year-old Gelhardt had the final word – just three minutes after he replaced Gavin Massey.

Despite their awful away form, the visitors began purposefully. And their early labours were rewarded when Dunkley scored after eight minutes.

Charlie Mulgrew’s cute free-kick from the right caused unease within the Hull defence – not least when Kieffer Moore’s intelligent, glancing header went towards goal.

George Long saved Moore’s effort with two hands, but the Hull goalkeeper will be disappointed to have spilled the ball inside the six-yard box.

Dunkley reacted quickly to the error and simply could not miss.

Yet with the Wigan fans making self-deprecating fun of a rare lead on their travels, Hull silenced the away supporters just two minutes later.

Bowen has scored far better goals, but the well-regarded winger had the presence of mind to keep calm once his left-footed strike was blocked by a Wigan defender.

The ball ricocheted kindly towards Bowen, who smashed home with his right foot from close range.

Grosicki played a significant role in Hull’s equaliser, with a deft cross from the left that was not dealt with by Wigan.

But the Poland international soon made a far greater contribution to the game when he put the home team in front.

Grosicki at first won a nicely-positioned free-kick on the left flank when Nathan Byrne had little option but to foul the onrushing winger on the corner of the penalty box.

David Marshall seemingly had all bases covered, but Grosicki surprised the former Hull goalkeeper, who had anticipated the ball going in the other direction, with a lovely strike into the top left-hand corner.

By contrast to the early, frenetic stages, the remainder of the first half was sedate, but Hull were the more threatening team.

It remained a similar story in the second half, with Callum Elder going close after 58 minutes after he forced a smart stop from Marshall at his near post.

The Scotland international was later faced with an almost identical scenario to which he conceded a second from Grosicki.

Marshall this time was alert to the danger and clawed the ball away from the top-right corner, with Tom Eaves’ follow-up well blocked by Mulgrew.

Just when it felt like Hull would cut loose, Gelhardt intervened with a terrific equaliser – and his first goal for the club – after 75 minutes.

Gelhardt had much to do inside the penalty box once Jamal Lowe passed to him in a fairly innocuous position.

But the Wigan forward turned Kevin Stewart inside out before he planted a firm, central hit past a statuesque Long to earn his side a point.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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