Latics in top of the table stalemate – Wigan Athletic 0 Shrewsbury Town 0

Max Power2

Max Power hit the crossbar

Match report by Matt Dawber.

The League One toppers were held to a 0-0 draw by second placed Shrewsbury Town in the Boxing Day clash at the DW Stadium.

Latics controlled most of the game and had opportunities to take the three points but were denied twice by the woodwork.

A very well-organised Shrewsbury side made it difficult for Wigan to play their trademark possession football.

Unsurprisingly, following the record-breaking 7-0 win at Oxford United, Paul Cook named an unchanged line-up for the top of the table clash.

The first chance of the game fell to the Shrews when Alex Rodman delivered a ball into the area for Abu Ogogo, but the midfielder could only head over the bar.

In the 23rd minute, Will Grigg had Wigan’s first clear opportunity to score when Nathan Byrne delivered a left-footed cross into the box after some twisting and turning.

Grigg executed a looping header which dropped onto the top of the crossbar which left the keeper just watching.

With Latics firmly in control, in the 27th minute, Byrne again played Grigg through down the right. Grigg did well to shrug Sadler off and got a shot away from a tight angle for Henderson to turn around the post.

From the resulting corner, Massey played a lovely ball back out to Evans who crossed into the box and, just as the ball looked to land on Dan Burn’s head, Henderson did well to parry away.

With pressure growing, in the 34th minute, Lee Evans dragged a left-footed effort wide from outside of the area after a lovely feinted shot to evade the defender.

In the 36th minute, Lee Evans delivered a near-post free kick which Dan Burn guided towards goal with his left foot, only for Henderson to save.

Just before the interval, Powell worked his way into the box after some link-up play with Michael Jacobs, but his left-footed effort was easily saved by Henderson.

The second half was more competitive, with the Shrews coming out more positively and attacking straight after the kick-off.

The first chance of the half fell to Alex Rodman, who was played through on goal, only to blast his effort from a narrow angle into the travelling supporters’ stand.

In the 58th minute, the first yellow card of the game was shown to Omar Beckles after a foul on Gavin Massey. Taking the resulting free kick, Powell’s effort struck the wall, looped and landed on the roof of the net.

After a mistake in possession by Evans, Shrewsbury came to within an inch of scoring when they broke away and Jon Nolan took a shot from outside of the area which deflected just wide after hitting Reece James.

In the 79th minute, Sam Morsy played a lovely ball into the box for Powell, who had got in behind the defence, but he could not stretch to make sufficient contact with the ball.

In the 84th minute, Powell was replaced by the in-form Max Power who nearly became an immediate hero after he hit the crossbar with a sweetly-struck volley with his left foot.

With Latics still controlling most of proceedings, Ivan Toney had a fantastic chance to seal the three points in the 86th minute but his left-footed effort failed to hit the target.

A late push gave hope for the Latics to further distance themselves at the top of the table, but the resolute and well-organised Shrewsbury town side did enough to share the spoils.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
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