Martinez left frustrated by Wigan

The Honduras international scored with a superb quickly-taken

free-kick from just inside his own half to put the Latics ahead for

the second time in the match with 18 minutes remaining. However,

their lead lasted just two minutes as Ryan Shawcross rose to head

home Matthew Etherington’s corner with goalkeeper Chris Kirkland in

no-man’s land. Wigan had taken a 15th-minute lead through Emmerson

Boyce’s close-range header after Thomas Sorensen had saved

brilliantly from Hugo Rodallega. But somehow the visitors allowed

Tuncay Sanli all the space he needed in the penalty area to collect

Shawcross’ flick-on and shoot past Kirkland. To add to the drama,

Sorensen saved an 89th-minute Rodallega penalty after Robert Huth

had brought down Jordi Gomez, who had run from an offside position.

Wigan, who conceded nine at Tottenham last month, have the worst

defensive record in the Premier League and have not won

back-to-back matches yet. “It is a little bit frustrating because

it is about gaining that know-how,” said manager Roberto Martinez

of his side’s inability to hold onto leads. “At the moment we have

to be perfect to earn points in the Premier League and the moment

we have a bad 20-minute spell we don’t know how to weather the

storm and we get punished. “I think it is a great strength for any

team to know how to get results without playing well. “You are not

going to play well for 90 minutes over 38 games but at the moment

we have to work really hard for the results. “But I was very

pleased with the performance. When we play with intensity and focus

we can compete against anyone and that is a huge compliment for a

club like ours. “It could easily have gone away from us and I was

proud to see a difference in the five-minute period when Stoke were

really on top in the second half.” Had it not been for Sorensen’s

late heroics Wigan would have taken all three points, but it should

have been no surprise to anyone the 33-year-old came to his side’s

rescue again. The Denmark international has a brilliant recent

record with penalties, saving one in each of his last three matches

against Portsmouth, Arsenal and now Wigan. “It is all about

percentages. The average saving percentage is about 21% but my

stats are five out of the last six; two for Denmark and three out

of the last four here,” said Sorensen, who was probably three yards

off his line by the time Rodallega shot. “I have my own ideas about

technique. It is important to have some forward momentum because it

gives you a bit if spring, but if you look at all goalkeepers I

don’t think anyone stays on their line. “It is about giving

yourself those extra inches and it is up to the referee to decide

on that.” Stoke boss Tony Pulis felt Sorensen should have done

better with Wigan’s first goal by palming Rodallega’s header over

the crossbar instead of back into play for Boyce to convert.

However, neither he nor Sorensen had any issues with Figueroa’s

incredible strike. “He just ran up and smashed it. I always want to

take a positive starting position and obviously I got caught out,”

admitted the Potters goalkeeper. “I’m not happy being beaten from

the halfway line but you have to credit him for striking it the way

he did – unbelievable. These things happen in football.”