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Match Reports

Wigan Athletic 0 Town 0

26 December 2017

Town earn goalless draw against Wigan in a brilliant game

Town: Dean Henderson, Ben Godfrey, Mat Sadler, Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley, Abu Ogogo, Carlton Morris (Stefan Payne 76), James Bolton, Jon Nolan (Bryn Morris 90+1), Aristote Nsiala, Alex Rodman
Subs: Craig MacGillivray, Joe Riley, Louis Dodds, Arthur Gnahoua, Lenell John-Lewis, Bryn Morris, Stefan Payne

Wigan Athletic: Christian Walton, Nathan Byrne, Sam Morsy, Lee Evans, Will Grigg (Ivan Toney 78), Gavin Massey (Noel Hunt 90+1), Michael Jacobs, Chey Dunkley, Nick Powell (Max Power 84), Reece James, Dan Burn
Subs: Matija Sarkic, Callum Elder, Max Power, Ivan Toney, Alex Bruce, Gary Roberts, Noel Hunt

Referee: David Webb
Assistants: Alan Clayton and Christopher Ward
Fourth Official: Thomas Kirk

Attendance: 11115 (1347)    

Shrewsbury Town made it four points from a possible six against the league leaders this season as they drew 0-0 with Wigan Athletic. Wigan had the better opportunities and twice hit the bar from Will Grigg and Max Power, but Town defended brilliantly and they had a decent chance of their own when Jon Nolan’s shot was deflected inches wide.

Team News:
Paul Hurst made one change from the side which beat Portsmouth 2-0 on Saturday. He decided to go for solidity in the middle of the park, so Ben Godfrey replaced Bryn Morris. Elsewhere, it was same again with Carlton Morris leading the line despite Stefan Payne getting back on the scoresheet from the bench against Pompey.

First Half:
It was the home side that would have the first opportunity to have a strike a goal inside the opening couple of minutes when Abu Ogogo was judged to have handled the ball 30 yards outside from the Town goal. Lee Evans lined-up the free-kick but it hit the wall and trickled through to Dean Henderson.

Wigan were looking to get the ball over the top for Will Grigg, who had scored a hat-trick in their 7-0 win over Oxford on Saturday, to chase. On one occasion James Bolton did well to cover, whilst another time Dean Henderson had to be alert to come out and clear.

Town’s best early move came on the 10 minute mark when Town kept hold of possession well with the likes of Carlton Morris, Abu Ogogo and Shaun Whalley all having touches. The ball found its way out wide to Alex Rodman and he delivered a swinging ball which Abu Ogogo got his head to but he couldn’t direct it and it went over the bar.

The game then seemed to ebb and flow without either side creating any real changes of note. That was until the 23rd minute when Nathan Byrne did well down the right and his cross found the head of Will Grigg. Dean Henderson looked as if he was watching the ball go over the bar but it dipped and ended hitting the top of the crossbar before going over.

Grigg was without doubt Wigan’s dangerman and he had a great opportunity to open the scoring when he latched onto a through ball and got in behind Mat Sadler but Dean Henderson managed to turn his shot behind from a tight angle.

The home side were now firmly on top with Town struggling to get out of their own half at times. Both Nick Powell and Lee Evans pulled shots wide from the edge of the box, whilst Dean Henderson had to be at his best to turn a Dan Burns header round the post following a Wigan free-kick.

Ben Godfrey then shot over from 30 yards for Town, but it was the hosts who finished the half on the front foot with David Webb having to wave away Wigan penalty appeals when Michael Jacobs went down and Lee Evans pulling another shot wide from 25 yards.

Half-Time: 0-0

Second Half:
The second-half started much like the first with Wigan forcing an early corner but Town broke brilliantly and Whalley eventually played a cross-field ball over the top for Alex Rodman to chase. Rodman got there but he blazed his shot over the bar from a tight angle.

Town were now the side on top and the first 10 minutes of the second-half saw Wigan camped in their own half for the majority of it, but Town were struggling to test Walton in the Wigan goal as the final ball lacked accuracy.

However, Wigan continued to look a danger on the break and Omar Beckles was forced to take a yellow card when he pulled back Gavin Massey. The resulting free-kick was taken by Nick Powell and it went just over the bar after deflecting off the wall.

Shaun Whalley was the next into the referee’s book for a similar misdemeanour to Beckles as he brought down Nick Powell in the centre-circle as the former Manchester United man looked to break.

It was Town who would be the next team to make an incisive break. Alex Rodman expertly dispossessed Lee Evans before running 40 yards with the ball and feeding Jon Nolan who had a shot from the edge of the box, but the shot took a wicked deflection and went inches wide of the post.

The game took a very brief lull and in that period Town decided to make their first change of the afternoon as Stefan Payne replaced the hard working Carlton Morris who appeared out on his feet. Wigan then made a change of their own as former Town loanee Ivan Toney came on for Will Grigg.

Wigan then created the best opportunity of the game as Sam Morsy swung the ball into the six yard box and Nick Powell, who was unmarked at the back post, got onto the end of it, but he didn’t get the desired connection and Henderson made a comfortable save.

With six minutes to go Wigan made their second substitution of the game and it almost came off straight away as he volleyed towards goal with his first touch. The shot appeared to be dipping over Dean Henderson but it didn’t dip in time and it cannoned off the crossbar and away to safety.

Ivan Toney was the next man to come close as Wigan built brilliantly down the left and the ball found Toney eight yards out, who tried to find the corner with his left foot but it went inches with of the post.

The fourth official signalled that there would be three minutes of added time and both sides then made substitutions with Bryn Morris replacing Jon Nolan and Noel Hunt coming on for Gavin Massey.

Town were then able to hold on for point with no late chances for either side.

Full-Time: 0-0

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