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Match Reports

Match Report : 29/12/2013

29 December 2013


A tight affair against one of the Championship's front runners Burnley saw out 2013 with a point for Wigan Athletic.

Latics were dominant in possession for the second game in a row in front of the DW Stadium crowd, but a tightly packed Clarets defence wasn't for being broken down, with former Burnley man Chris McCann seeing the home side's best chance of the match headed off the line by Kieran Trippier in the first half.

A second clean sheet in a row for Ali Al Habsi and his defence will be seen as a major positive for Uwe Rosler's men, as will the debut of Rob Kiernan, who came on late into the game as a midfield substitute for McCann.

Rosler made five changes from the Boxing Day 0-0 draw against Birmingham as Emmerson Boyce and Nick Powell returned from injury, with Stephen Crainey, Jordi Gomez and Marc-Antoine Fortune also drafted in.

Attacking intent from set pieces was Latics' aim inside the first 15 minutes, twice troubling the Burnley defence, first with Crainey's in-swinging free kick bouncing dangerously through the penalty area.

That was followed up by Latics' best opportunity of the game as McCann rose inside the box from a corner, only to see his powerful header cleared by Trippier on the left post.

Moments later Fortune stung the gloves of Tom Heaton first time down the right side, forcing a corner with the power behind the shot forcing the Burnley stopper to parry into the path of his own defender.

Burnley forced their way into the action on 18 minutes when Sam Vokes' snapshot volley had Al Habsi diving to his left to hold on in the bottom corner.

A competitive first 20 minutes was followed by two fouls which almost saw Burnley defender Michael Duff sent for an early bath.

He first lunged in on James McArthur earning himself a yellow card, before taking down McCann in midfield with a professional foul as the Irishman burst through the midfield towards goal.

Chances followed for Latics, but nothing as clear cut as Burnley's late first half chance when former Latics midfielder David Jones forced a tremendous fingertip save from Ali Al Habsi, onto the cross bar and down onto the goal line, with Leon Barnett scrambling to clear.

The second half saw less drama, but instead had Latics showing their dominance in possession, much like the second half against Birmingham on Thursday.

Out and out chances were difficult to come by in the second 45 as Uwe Rosler made changes to try and shake things up, with James McClean and Roger Espinoza replacing Fortune and Gomez.

Former Brentford loan man under Uwe Rosler last season Rob Kiernan became Latics' third change of the night, as the Republic of Ireland Under 21 international making his first ever appearance for the club after a number of successful loan spells across the Football League, his most recent being at Southend United until he was recalled earlier this week.

Kiernan slotted into midfield for McCann, putting in a strong final 10 minutes of the game, but even he couldn't break down Burnley's rearguard as he saw a right footed shot pinball around the penalty area before being fired out for a throw in.

Burnley dug in for the four minutes of additional time, with Latics left to settle for a second successive 0-0 draw, and a second successive clean sheet for Al Habsi.

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