The recently appointed Wigan Athletic captain Stephen Warnock produced a Man of the Match performance in the 0-0 draw at Brentford and helped the club to their first away point of the season.
The 34-year-old former England international defender inspired a defensive shut-out against free-scoring Brentford at Griffin Park. The Bees had scored nine goals in their previous two home matches but Warnock along with fellow defenders Dan Burn, Jake Buxton and keeper Adam Bogdan were all determined not to concede.
Warnock marshalled the defence superbly and despite suffering a head injury in the first half he was able to make several excellent interceptions and a crucial headed goal line clearance.
Despite Brentford having the majority of the chances, Latics might have taken all three points in the final quarter when substitutes Adam Le Fondre and Nick Powell went close.
Latics maintain 21st spot in the table and Brentford slip down to 7th.
Latics made two changes from 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Will Grigg returning to the starting line up in place of Adam Le Fondre and Michael Jacobs returning in place of Yanic Wildschut.
A confident Brentford attacked from the kick off and Latics struggled to make an early impression.
The home team created some good opportunities in the opening period but Warnock and Burn were able to make important interceptions to deny Scott Hogan and Lasse Vibe.
Latics started to get into the game around the half hour mark with Grigg and Jacobs combining to set up Max Power whose effort was saved by keeper Daniel Bentley.
The visitors might even have gone ahead just before the interval when Nathan Byrne set up Power from a tight angle but the midfielder’s effort hit the side netting.
Warnock was on hand 10 minutes into the second half to make another crucial defensive clearance, this time reacting superbly to get his head in the way of Vibe’s powerful effort which looked destined for the top corner.
Shaun MacDonald was having another good game in midfield breaking up several good Brentford attacks. He was able to make some telling tackles including blocking a cross which would surely have given Hogan a great chance to score. Warnock was again in the thick of the action and denied Egan’s powerful effort with his head.
Gary Caldwell made a double substitution on 57 minutes with Powell and Wildschut replacing Jordi Gomez and Nathan Byrne.
Wildschut, Powell and Jacobs soon combined well and Will Grigg almost got on the end of a great cross into the six yard box.
With 10 minutes remaining Le Fondre replaced Grigg, and almost immediately he had an opportunity to make an impact, but unfortunately his effort at the near post ended in the side netting.
Either team could have won it in the final stages, first Buxton did well to clear off his own line after Lewis MacLeod’s cross shot was only half saved by Bogdan, then Wildschut produced a powerful run at the Bees defence, but his final effort was blocked by Harlee Dean.
In the dying seconds Powell was felled on the edge of the area by Egan, and from the resulting free kick his powerful shot was punched to safety by Bentley.
Overall a draw was a fair result as Latics had defended admirably and created some good opportunities on the counter attack. Brentford had proved that they are a very good attacking team, and few teams are likely to come away from Griffin Park with a clean sheet this season.