Match ends, Reading 3, Wigan Athletic 2.
Reading 3-2 Wigan Athletic: Yakou Meite gives Royals late win
Paul Cook says his Wigan Athletic side's dramatic late defeat at the hands of fellow Championship strugglers Reading was "probably as low" as he has ever felt as a manager.
The Royals trailed 2-1 in the 89th minute at the Madejski Stadium, but Mo Barrow's 25-yard shot into the bottom-right corner and Yakou Meite's back-post finish seven minutes into injury-time secured a remarkable win.
Wigan, who had also surrendered a 1-0 lead only to lose against Derby in midweek, led through Nick Powell and, although John Swift levelled, Joe Garner made it 2-1.
But Reading's late surge ensured the Latics dropped below Reading on goal difference and finished the day three points clear of the relegation zone.
A distraught Cook told BBC Radio Manchester: "What can I say? How can you best describe it? You just don't feel good.
"Going towards the 90th minute, we looked all but home. All we've got to do is see the game out and then travel back with a great result.
"I thought we were full value to get something out of the game.
"We never sat off Reading. We went after them. I think even Reading fans will say that Wigan were hard done by."
Powell, returning to the Latics line-up after illness, gave the visitors a 20th-minute lead when he poked in a low Michael Jacobs cross from the left.
Swift equalised with a 20-yard free-kick only for the visitors to lead again thanks to Garner, who diverted in an acrobatic effort from Powell,
The visitors were in the ascendancy in a sustained period of early second-half pressure, during which Gavin Massey had a first-time drive well saved by Emiliano Martinez and Chey Dunkley shot wide after the ball dropped kindly for him in the area following a corner.
Martinez, whose poor distribution had contributed to Wigan's second goal, then redeemed himself with a spectacular save from Nick Powell's effort from inside the six-yard box to prevent the Latics from taking a 3-1 lead.
The save proved vital in paving the way for Reading's late show, which helped them climb above Wigan to 19th place.
Cook remains confident
Cook said he still remained confident of avoiding relegation despite their precarious position.
"If we replicate these type of performances, we won't have a problem in staying in this league," he said.
"I can't really turn my attentions to other games at the moment. This is all so fresh in the mind.
"You've got to be able to dissect it and digest it and then move on. It's just so tough to do that at the moment."
Reading manager Jose Gomes told BBC Radio Berkshire:
"After this result, I'm 10 years younger! I will live forever.
"The players deserved these points for the positive way they tried to play football. Our opponent just wanted to lose [waste] time from the beginning.
"I'm very happy and proud of the way the players gave their energy to the game. Sometimes I didn't like the way we played, but I don't know if it's possible for us to play another way.
"When Yakou (Meite) scored I ran towards him and got a yellow card. But football is passion."
- 19MiazgaBooked at 42mins
- 6MooreBooked at 50mins
- 21MeiteBooked at 90mins
- 18EjariaSubstituted forLoaderat 36'minutes
- 12McClearySubstituted forHarriottat 67'minutes
- 3RobinsonBooked at 57mins
- 11MasseySubstituted forNaismithat 74'minutes
- 17JacobsBooked at 70mins
- 25PowellSubstituted forClarkeat 78'minutes
- 41GarnerBooked at 42minsSubstituted forWindassat 90+3'minutes
- Andy Davies
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Reading 3, Wigan Athletic 2.
Attempt saved. Leon Clarke (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kal Naismith with a headed pass.
Yakou Meite (Reading) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.
Goal! Reading 3, Wigan Athletic 2. Yakou Meite (Reading) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Callum Harriott with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Antonee Robinson.
Offside, Wigan Athletic. Antonee Robinson tries a through ball, but Leon Clarke is caught offside.
Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Josh Windass replaces Joe Garner.
Attempt blocked. Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Michael Jacobs (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Foul by Tyler Blackett (Reading).
Kal Naismith (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Reading 2, Wigan Athletic 2. Modou Barrow (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Andy Yiadom.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Reece James (Wigan Athletic) because of an injury.
Foul by Andy Yiadom (Reading).
Michael Jacobs (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Michael Jacobs.
Foul by Callum Harriott (Reading).
Joe Garner (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Yakou Meite (Reading).
Cheyenne Dunkley (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Leon Clarke replaces Nick Powell.
Attempt blocked. Matt Miazga (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Liam Moore (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Modou Barrow (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Nathan Byrne (Wigan Athletic).
Attempt missed. Reece James (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Kal Naismith replaces Gavin Massey.
Danny Loader (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Reece James (Wigan Athletic).
Michael Jacobs (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Andy Yiadom (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Michael Jacobs (Wigan Athletic).
John Swift (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gavin Massey (Wigan Athletic).
Attempt saved. Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gavin Massey.
Attempt missed. Joe Garner (Wigan Athletic) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Reece James with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Matt Miazga.
Substitution, Reading. Callum Harriott replaces Garath McCleary.