23 April 2022

Leam Richardson felt the big decisions went against Wigan in Plymouth draw

23 April 2022

Leam Richardson felt the big decisions went against his promotion-chasing Wigan side as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Plymouth at the DW Stadium.

Wigan still require one more point to mathematically secure a return to the Sky Bet Championship after two seasons in League One.

They did everything they could to see off an Argyle side who still have work to do to confirm their own play-off finish.

After Wigan dominated the opening period, Plymouth took a 64th-minute lead when Ben Amos spilled a routine free-kick, allowing Luke Jephcott to fire home.

Jack Whatmough equalised 10 minutes later for Wigan, who failed in their appeals to referee Seb Stockbridge for a stoppage-time penalty when Callum Lang appeared to be felled in the box.

“It shouldn’t matter, but I think if that happens on 70 or 80 minutes, that gets given,” said Richardson.

“The officials know it was a penalty, and if they hold up their hands, fair enough.

“He’s a very experienced referee, so if he does deem he’s made a mistake, he’ll be disappointed with that.

“But listen, we had 90-plus minutes to win the game, and I thought we worked hard enough to do that.”

Richardson was also unhappy with the passage of play that led to Plymouth’s opening goal.

“If I’m honest, it is very hard for officials, who get decisions thrown at them throughout the game,” he said.

“But I didn’t think the big decisions went with us today.

“For their goal, I didn’t like the fact he let them play on after a foul, let them have a shot, and then brought it back for the free-kick.

“I don’t think that’s right, I honestly don’t understand the rules with that.”

That meant a strange lap of appreciation following Wigan’s last home match, with the side so close to promotion – but not mathematically over the line.

“I think the crowd were very appreciative of the hard work that’s been put in this year, and during the game itself,” added Richardson.

“The first question you always ask is whether the players could have given any more – and I don’t think they could.

Plymouth boss Steven Schumacher was happy with the way his side raised their game after the break after playing second fiddle.

“I’m tired,” he said. “I don’t know how the players are feeling but I’m shattered!

“I thought it was a really tough game, the first half in particular we were right up against it.

“We had to defend incredibly well, because Wigan started like a house on fire.

“It was tough, and we really had to dig in.

“We didn’t really get an opportunity to play any football, because they were on top in all areas.

“But in the second half I thought we did loads better.

“We matched their energy, we played with more freedom, and when we went forward we looked like we had more of a spark about us.

“The second-half performance was really pleasing and, to get a point, I think it’s a good result for us.”

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