REPORT: WIGAN ATHLETIC 0 MILLWALL 0Wigan Athletic stretched their unbeaten run to four matches with an entertaining 0-0 draw with Milwall at the DW Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Latics came close to an elusive winner in a match they dominated, with Oriol Riera having a goal ruled out for offside, and Callum McManaman hitting the bar.
Latics were buoyed by the return of Maynor Figueroa to the club on a month’s loan from Hull City, news which was kept under wraps until the teams were released before kick-off.
Figueroa came straight into the starting eleven as one of three changes, alongside Marc-Antoine Fortune and William Kvist, replacing Callum McManaman, Don Cowie and Andrew Taylor.
Uwe Rosler’s men made a positive start to the game, particularly Oriol Riera, whose impressive pressure on David Forde almost provided the opener in the fourth minute, when the ‘keeper’s poor clearance went straight into the path of James McClean, who could struck the side netting.
Wigan looked bright early on, with Adam Forshaw catching the eye in the middle of the field. The midfielder looked particularly sharp, and made some impressive passes throughout the contest.
Forshaw almost built on his good play with the opening goal in the 20th minute, when he shot just wide of the left post from distance after picking the ball up from a Leon Barnett header and skilfully evading the incoming defender.
Latics continued to look dangerous on the ball and in particular down the right flank, with James Tavernier delivering some impressive balls into the box. However, Wigan were just lacking that final man to be in the right place to tuck the ball home.
Despite this, Rosler’s men were in complete control and the visitors rarely threatened, with their only chance of note falling to Scott McDonald in the 38th minute. McDonald produced a teasing effort which Scott Carson was equal to in goal and his save kept the scores level at the interval.
Wigan Athletic started the second half almost identically to the first, and Riera’s pressure on Forde almost paid dividends for a second time, with the striker only just short of stealing the ball in the penalty area with his slide tackle.
Latics built on their bright start, and had the ball in the net when Oriol Riera stabbed home Fortune’s cross, only for the Frenchman to be called offside.
The returning Maynor Figueroa attempted to take matters into his own hands just before the half hour mark, and attempted to drive it in from 35 yards, but Forde was able to make a comfortable save.
Rosler’s men needed a spark to bring them to life, and that moment of magic was almost provided by substitute Callum McManaman, who hit the bar 23 minutes from time.
The forward picked up the ball on the right hand edge of the effort and attempted a brilliant effort, which looped over Forde and onto the crossbar.
Roger Espinoza made a return to the side and was greeted by a fantastic cheer from the fans, and his introduction added some energy into Latics in the closing stages.
Callum McManaman continued to cause problems in the closing stages, putting some teasing crosses into the area, but nobody was able to provide that clinical touch and Wigan were left to settle for a draw.