Warren Joyce's boys earn valuable point at Oakwell.
- Wigan Athletic in goalless draw at Barnsley in the Sky Bet Championship.
- Warren Joyce earns first point as Wigan Athletic manager.
- Nick Powell and Adam Bogdan forced off through injury.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Warren Joyce earned his first point as Latics manager after a draw at Oakwell saw his team come away from South Yorkshire with something to show for a battling performance.
Not helped by an early injury to Nick Powell and later goalkeeper Adam Bogdan being forced off, Joyce had to improvise but his team stayed strong against a Barnsley side who threw the proverbial kitchen sink at the Latics back four in the closing stages.
Latics did have chances on the break, notably when Yanic Wildschut was set free by a terrific pass from Michael Jacobs midway through the second half, but his shot was collected by Adam Davies.
Barnsley did have their moments too, Sam Winnall coming close in both halves, while Adam Armstrong headed over after the break.
Joyce made three changes to the side he named for his first game in charge against Reading prior to the international break, bringing Powell, Craig Morgan and Wildschut back into the starting XI in place of Dan Burn, Jordi Gomez and Adam Le Fondre.
David Perkins, playing against his former club, was the first player to have an effort on goal in the match as he linked up with Powell and Wildschut on four minutes before seeing his effort from the corner of the box saved by Adam Davies.
As the half wore on, Barnsley looked strong in wide areas and left back Andy Yiadom’s delivery to the back post was met by Winnall, but the striker glanced his effort just wide of the post when well placed.
The returning Morgan then set the tone for another brave Latics defensive display as he launched himself in front of Adam Armstrong to block after Conor Hourihane's free kick fell nicely on the volley for the Newcastle United loanee.
Joyce had to make his first change on the half hour as Powell was replaced by Luke Garbutt after the former Manchester United man seemed to struggle following an earlier incident.
Paul Heckingbottom's side had the ball in the net on the stroke of half time as Hourihane swept the ball towards goal and Winnall flicked the ball home, only for the referee’s assistant to flag him offside.
After a delayed start to the second-half due to a floodlight safety issue, Armstrong saw another effort blocked before James Bree's 25-yard effort whistled just over.
Jussi Jaaskelainen came on for his first Sky Bet Championship appearance of the season just before the hour mark as he replaced Bogdan, who was taken away on a stretcher following an injury. Armstrong left the experienced stopper with no chance soon after with a curling 30-yard effort on the angle, though the Finnish stopper looked composed as the ball sailed just wide.
Jacobs played a superbly weighted pass to Wildschut shortly after the hour only for the Dutchman to connect with the ball too early, leaving Tykes goalkeeper Davies with a comfortable save to make.
That attack preceded Latics' best spell of the game and Morgan headed the impressive Garbutt's delivery just wide before another good corner from the Everton loanee saw Shaun MacDonald presented with a chance but, in the Welsh international's defence, he had little time to re-position himself to fire home at the near post.
Armstrong then failed to hit the target with a header from the middle of the area before Josh Scowen came close in the final moments with a low effort that went just wide before Hourihane was denied in the final few seconds as he fired straight at Jaaskelainen from the edge of the area.
Barnsley: Davies, Bree, Roberts, Jackson, Yiadom, Kent (Hammill 76), Hourihane, Scowen, Watkins, Winnall (Bradshaw 87), Armstrong (Janko 90).
Subs: Townsend, MacDonald, Williams, Kay.
Latics: Bogdan (Jaaskelainen 58), R. Burke, Morgan, Buxton, Warnock, Perkins, MacDonald, Jacobs, Wildschut (Davies 81), Powell (Garbutt 31)
Subs: Byrne, Flores, Grigg, Le Fondre.