Latics held but retain top spot – Wigan Athletic 0 Rotherham United

James Vaughan

James Vaughan might have won it for Latics at the end

The League One leaders Wigan Athletic were held at home by play-off contenders Rotherham United on Saturday but still retain top spot in the table.

The free-scoring Latics had bagged nine goals in their previous two games but on this occasion they had an off-day in front of goal against a resolute Rotherham team.

The Millers made a brisk start and could have gone ahead early on when both Michael Smith and Ryan Williams wasted good opportunities.

Latics best chance of the first half came when Will Grigg forced a good save from keeper Marek Rodak at close range and then fired the rebound just wide.

Grigg then headed narrowly wide of the target as Latics gradually grew into the game.

Unfortunately Latics lost the creativity of Nick Powell at half-time due to injury and he was replaced by Gary Roberts.

Latics were having the lion’s share of possession but they weren’t creating too many goalscoring opportunities and Williams rising drive from outside the box nearly found the top corner for the visitors.

As the game moved towards the final whistle both Michael Jacobs and substitute James Vaughan had good opportunities to break the deadlock but it was not to be and the points had to be shared.

Latics retain top spot on goal difference from second placed Blackburn, and are five points ahead of third placed Shrewsbury, whilst Rotherham remain in fourth place.

Paul Cook retained the same starting eleven that had so convincingly defeated Rochdale 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Rotherham were quickest out of the blocks and created a couple of very good early chances.

Chey Dunkley had to be at his best to block a goalbound effort from Michael Smith and then Ryan Williams forced a very good save from Christian Walton at his near post.

After the early Rotherham pressure Latics started to assert themselves and Grigg went close on two occasions. First when he forced a good reaction save from Rodak at close range and then when he headed narrowly wide from Nathan Byrne’s pinpoint cross from the right-hand side.

The teams largely cancelled each other out in a rather uninspiring second-half but the Millers went close when Williams fired over the angle of crossbar and post and Latics had two late opportunities through Jacobs and Vaughan.

First Byrne’s free-kick from the right-hand side was headed back by Vaughan into the path of Jacobs who shot over the crossbar from eight-yards out.

In added time, they might have sealed the three points when Vaughan headed high over the crossbar from a very good position from Jacobs’ knock back. But Latics’ frustration was somewhat alleviated when news of Blackburn conceding a 94th minute equaliser at Bristol Rovers came through.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in James Vaughan, League One, Rotherham United, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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