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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 April 2006, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Portsmouth win to ensure survival
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp celebrates
Redknapp completed a great escape
Portsmouth completed their great escape with a 2-1 win at Wigan which sealed their Premiership safety and sent West Brom and Birmingham down.

For the second successive week Matt Taylor kept a cool head to slot home a winning penalty, awarded for a handling offence which saw Gary Teale sent off.

That came after Benjani Mwaruwari nodded home a close-range equaliser for his first goal in 15 appearances.

Henri Camara put Wigan ahead after Dean Kiely parried Matt Jackson's header.

Camara lit the touch-paper on a firework-filled start to the game when he tested Pompey keeper Dean Kiely in the opening seconds.

Svetoslav Todorov beat the offside trap but in his haste to cut inside merely ran into a cul-de-sac and was crowded out.

David Thompson then climbed high at the far post to Teale's cross but could not keep his header down, while at the other end Andres D'Alessandro picked out Todorov with his cross, only for the Bulgarian striker to head over from six yards.

The catalogue of chances continued, with Benjani firing at Mike Pollitt and that set up a Wigan break which saw Graham Kavanagh send Camara clear but Kiely spread himself to save.

Portsmouth were grateful for some Devine intervention when the linesman of that name wrongly ruled out a Camara strike when the Cameroon striker broke clear from an onside position.

Still the chances continued with Pascal Chimbonda on the spot to clear off the line as Sean Davis bulleted a header in.

Wigan opened the scoring through Camara, who Pompey boss Harry Redknapp took to Southampton last season in an attempt to keep them up.

Thompson's corner was cleared back to him and his second cross found an unmarked Matt Jackson whose header was parried by Kiely into the path of Camara who stabbed home from three yards.

Camara then glanced a free header wide from six yards before Gary O'Neill curled an exquisite shot on to the top of Pollitt's bar.

Portsmouth had another let-off when Jackson again escaped shoddy marking only to head Thompson's corner wide from five yards out.

Henri Camara celebrates with Jason Roberts
Camara put Wigan ahead

Todorov missed a golden chance to level at the start of the second half when he met Benjani's near-post cross but from two yards out somehow contrived to scoop the ball over the bar.

Pollitt preserved Wigan's lead with good reactions to block O'Neil's first-time shot from Brian Priske's cross but his luck deserted him when Benjani broke his duck to level.

Taylor's shot rebounded off the inside of the post and the Zimbabwean nodded in from a yard out for his first goal since his 4.4m capture from Auxerre.

Portsmouth could sniff a winner and Pollitt went full-length to claw away a Mendes piledriver and D'Alessandro curled a shot inches wide.

Portsmouth were handed the lead by Gary Teale, who handled Benjani's goal-bound header to earn himself a red card and Pompey a penalty which Taylor tucked away.

  • Wigan boss Paul Jewell:
    "That game summed up our season, in the first half we played really well but couldn't keep up the tempo in the second.

    "We've taken the lead in six of the last seven games but couldn't hold on.

    "We have to get that ruthless streak, we got away with it this year but next year we have to get better."

  • Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp:
    "I knew when I came back from Southampton I would never win over everybody, but I took Pompey into the Premiership and kept them there twice.

    ""People talk about great escapes but this has got to be one of the all-time great ones.

    "i'm proud of what I've done here, I'm pleased for myself, as well as for the players and everyone at the club."

    Wigan: Pollitt, Chimbonda, Jackson, Henchoz, Baines, Teale, Thompson (Scharner 72), Kavanagh (Johansson 84), McCulloch, Roberts, Camara (Connolly 80).
    Subs Not Used: Wright, Francis.

    Sent Off: Teale (70).

    Booked: Baines, Henchoz, McCulloch.

    Goals: Camara 34.

    Portsmouth: Kiely, Priske, Primus, Stefanovic, Taylor, O'Neil, Davis (Pamarot 45), Pedro Mendes (Hughes 68), D'Alessandro, Mwaruwari, Todorov (Routledge 90).
    Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Karadas.

    Booked: Hughes.

    Goals: Mwaruwari 63, Taylor 71 pen.

    Att: 21,126

    Referee: M Riley (W Yorkshire).

    Interview: Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp

    Interview: Wigan manager Paul Jewell

    Interview: Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric


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