A late goal from substitute Jordi Gomez rescued Wigan a point from a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough.

The home side had led through Grant Holt's early penalty, but found themselves trailing when George Friend equalised before half-time, with Grant Leadbitter putting the Teessiders ahead inside the final quarter.

Gomez, though, ensured a share of the spoils when he drilled home a brilliant free-kick five minutes from time.

Having made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Doncaster in midweek, Wigan came flying out of the blocks in search of the opening goal.

They had strong claims for a penalty waved away by referee David Coote when Friend appeared to nudge Marc-Antoine Fortune in the back as he shaped to shoot.

But Boro could have no complaints on the 16-minute mark when Coote did point to the spot, with the same two players involved.

This time Friend clearly had a handful of Fortune's shirt, and Holt made no mistake from the resulting penalty.

The home side were claiming again moments later when Holt went down in the box after getting the wrong side of Jonathan Woodgate, but this time the official said no.

Boro were looking dangerous on the break, Lukas Jutkiewicz twice forcing very good saves from Scott Carson with left-foot strikes.

And Albert Adomah, a summer target for Latics, was looking lively every time he got the ball down the right wing for Boro.

Carson was again called into the action to deny Mustapha Carayol with his legs, but Boro would find an equaliser a minute before half-time.

Friend made amends for conceding the Wigan penalty, getting the better of James McArthur down the left and cutting into the area.

Despite being fouled by the Scot, Friend stayed on his feet and was rewarded when his low shot flew past Carson and into the far corner of the net.

The half-time break saw the victorious Wigan Warriors rugby league side parade the Challenge Cup, with the FA Cup won by the football team last May also on show. But when the action resumed it was Boro who remained on the front foot.

After Luke Steele saved well from James McCarthy, Boro pushed forward and almost took the lead when Adomah cut inside Stephen Crainey only to see his shot saved by the legs of Carson.

But the visitors were asking the more probing questions by this point, and Adomah's 74th-minute cross was neatly finished off by Leadbitter to the delight of the travelling fans behind the goal.

Wigan, however, never gave up the ghost despite being below-par across the board.

They hauled themselves level with five minutes left when Roger Espinoza was fouled on the edge of the area, Gomez stepping up to rifle home the leveller with a cracking set-piece.

Marvin Emnes saw a late shot touched round the post by Carson, and then fired into the side-netting in stoppage time, but the honours were shared.

Elsewhere, Lewis McGugan's stunning free-kick ended Nottingham Forest's 100 per cent record but could not prevent his old club returning to the top of the Sky Bet Championship, as the game ended 1-1.

Billy Davies' side arrived at Watford on the back of three wins and three clean sheets and took an early lead through Andy Reid.

But if anyone was going to be the first player to score against Forest this season then McGugan was that man. He hit 44 goals - many of them spectacular - during seven years in Nottingham before a summer move to Watford.

Forest had gone ahead after only six minutes when Watford's renowned passing game proved their undoing as Marco Cassetti's extravagant crossfield ball was intercepted by Reid.

The Irishman still had plenty to do, first slipping the ball to Jamie Mackie who cut inside before nudging it back to Reid, whose trusty left foot arrowed a fierce drive past Manuel Almunia and into the top corner from 15 yards.

Watford spent the majority of the rest of the first half camped in the Forest half but the division's top scorers struggled to make inroads against the country's meanest defence.

And when the hosts did muster the odd shot on goal, Forest keeper Karl Darlow saved comfortably from both Diego Fabbrini and McGugan while Almen Abdi fired just wide.

Having soaked up the pressure Forest came agonisingly close to doubling their lead just before half-time when Reid's clever pass put Henri Lansbury in behind the Watford defence.

The ex-Hornets midfielder's shot flew across Almunia and crashed against the foot of the far post, with the rebound just eluding Mackie.

Watford immediately countered and Fabbrini's cross was met by the head of Troy Deeney, but the striker planted his effort wide.

Forest went on the attack at the start of the second half but Radoslaw Majewski and Greg Halford shot too close to Almunia.

And having survived those scares, in the 54th minute Watford went down the other end and finally breached Forest's backline.

Fabbrini was fouled by Adlene Guedioura 25 yards out and McGugan stepped up to bend his free-kick round the wall and into the top corner.

The midfielder kept his celebrations to a minimum but moments later he was at it again, playing a neat one-two before curling a first-time shot which Darlow kept out at full stretch.

Both sides had chances to win it with Almunia saving well from Mackie and Darlow denying both Sean Murray and Ikechi Anya.

A point was enough to send Forest back to the summit but they almost stole all three at the death when sub Ishmael Miller broke clear only to curl his effort against the post.