REPORT: WIGAN ATHLETIC 0 BRENTFORD 0
Wigan Athletic played out a 0-0 draw with Brentford at the DW Stadium, in Uwe Rosler’s 50th game in charge of the club.
Latics had their chances to win an open contest, with Don Cowie, Shaun Maloney and James McClean all having good opportunities to score, but are left to settle for a point.
Wigan made four changes from the side that battled to a creditable 2-2 draw at Wolves two weeks ago, with Callum McManaman, James Tavernier, Oriol Riera and Adam Forshaw coming in for Marc-Antoine Fortune, William Kvist, James Perch and Emyr Huws.
Adam Forshaw was handed a start against his former club and it was a cagey opening ten minutes to the game, with very little between the two sides.
Despite Brentford looking menacing going forward, Latics carved open the first real opportunity in the twelfth minute, when Oriol Riera picked up the ball on the right hand side and fed Don Cowie on the edge of the area, whose shot was deflected just wide of the right post.
The game continued to be very even, but Wigan Athletic were unlucky not to have taken the lead on the half hour mark, after tremendous work from Oriol Riera to find Shaun Maloney, who raced into the area and forced a good save from David Button.
The visitors soon had opportunities of their own however, and took advantage of a slip to break forward through Andre Gray, who chipped Scott Carson but saw his effort dip onto the netting on the roof of the goal.
Wigan continued to look more dangerous than their opponents though leading up to the interval, particularly down the left wing, with captain Shaun Maloney linking up well with McClean and McManaman.
Latics could have had a penalty on the stroke of half time, when McManaman’s cross looked to have hit a hand, but the referee waved play on, allowing the winger to slide the ball into Riera, whose effort deflected wide of the post.
The second half continued in a similar vein, and Uwe Rosler’s side had plenty of possession, but struggled to carve out a serious opportunity.
Latics will be mystified as to how they were unable to take the lead ten minutes in however, with two goal mouth scrambles in quick succession. First Callum McManaman’s ball from the right evaded a number of blue shirts in a dangerous position, before Leon Barnett picked up the ball in the area two minutes later, but was unable to feed a teammate and Brentford were able to clear.
The visitors grew into the contest, which continued to be very even, and could have stolen the points midway through the half, with first Alex Pritchard and Jota forcing good saves from Scott Carson from dangerous positions, before Jonathan Douglas fired the ball into the side netting.
Wigan continued to search for that elusive win, and could have had it ten minutes from time, when Shaun Maloney attempted one of his trademark free kicks from the edge of the area, only for David Button to pull off a save to keep the scores level.
James McClean had perhaps the best chance of the second half five minutes from time, when he met a fabulous cross from Tavernier, but he couldn’t keep his header on target, which left Latics to settle for their third draw in succession.