Latics hold misfiring Tykes – Barnsley 0 Wigan Athletic 0

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Warren Joyce got his first point in charge

Wigan Athletic secured their first point under new manager Warren Joyce with a backs to the wall defensive display against a Barnsley team who are struggling to find the net.

It was an improved defensive performance by Latics after the abysmal showing against Reading but they offered little going forward.

The Tykes had much the better of the chances with Sam Winnall, Marley Watkins, Adam Hamill and Conor Hourihane all going close.

Latics’ best opportunity came when Yanic Wildschut’s driving run took him past several defenders but he shot tamely at Barnsley keeper Adam Davies.

Latics remain in the relegation zone and Barnsley slip to 15th in the Championship table.

Warren Joyce made three changes to the starting line-up from Latics defeat to Reading with Craig Morgan, Nick Powell and Wildschut replacing Dan Burn, Jordi Gomez and Adam Le Fondre.

Latics had the first opportunity on four minutes when David Perkins tried a shot from the edge of the area but it was easily saved by Davies.

The Tykes then went close when Sam Winnall headed narrowly over from Andy Yiadom’s cross.

The home team continued to press and Marley Watkins close range effort was well saved by Adam Bogdan at the near post.

Max Power tried an effort from distance on the half hour mark but Latics were struggling to make any headway.

To compound Latics difficulties Nick Powell had to be withdrawn due to injury. Manager Joyce demonstrated his intentions by replacing Powell with midfielder Luke Garbutt rather than a striker such as Will Grigg or Adam Le Fondre.

Just before the interval the home team might have gone ahead but Winnall’s header was ruled out for offside.

The second half continued with Barnsley having more of the possession and looking the more likely to take the lead.

James Bree and Andy Yiadom both tried shots from outside the box but neither effort troubled Bogdan.

However, the keeper had to be replaced on 59 minutes when he seemed to pull a muscle when making a clearance. The experienced Jussi Jaaskelainen came on for his first League appearance of the season.

Latics forced a rare corner soon afterwards and Garbutt’s cross found the unmarked Craig Morgan in the area but the defender headed narrowly wide of the target.

The visitors then had their best move of the game as Michael Jacobs played through Wildschut but his final shot did not trouble Davies.

Latics forced a couple of corners in quick succession but as the game moved into the final 20 minutes it was Barnsley in the ascendancy as the visitors retreated further into defence in the hope that they might secure a point.

Craig Davies replaced the tiring Wildschut as the lone striker on 82 minutes, but he was unable to make any impact.

Armstrong headed over the crossbar from a good central position from Winnall’s cross and then Hourihane’s free-kick from 25-yards similarly cleared the crossbar.

Substitute Adam Hamill then tried his luck but his effort was high and wide.

As the game moved into five minutes of added time Hourihane had an opportunity to win it for the home side but his shot from the edge of the box went straight at Jaaskelainen.

Wigan had defended resolutely but they had also ridden their luck and if Barnsley had been more clinical in front of goal they would surely have taken all three points.

Latics manager Warren Joyce will be relieved to have got his first point, but it is clear that he has many challenges ahead and he must quickly find a more attacking formula if the club are to climb out of the bottom three.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Barnsley, Championship, Warren Joyce, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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