Latics left frustrated in the FA Cup first-round – Wigan Athletic 0 Solihull Moors 0

Leam Richardson

Leam Richardson will be expecting an improved performance in the replay

  • It was a frustrating afternoon for Wigan Athletic as they were held to a 0-0 draw by National League side Solihull Moors in the first-round of the FA Cup.
  • Latics created a plethora of chances but Solihull defended resolutely and goalkeeper Ryan Boot had an outstanding game.
  • Gwion Edwards forced two superb saves from Boot and when it appeared he had been finally beaten by Charlie Wyke the goal was disallowed for offside.
  • Moors went closest when Latics keeper Jamie Jones made a superb save to deny a Callum Howe header which seemed destined for the top corner.
  • The former FA Cup winners now face a difficult first-round replay at Solihull on Tuesday 16 November for a place in the second round.

Leam Richardson made four changes to the team which had defeated Fleetwood Town with Jamie Jones, Kell Watts, Tom Pearce and Edwards replacing Ben Amos, Jack Whatmough, Curtis Tilt and James McClean. 

Latics looked lively early on and Edwards almost gave them the lead in the second minute when he unleashed a powerful strike from the edge of the area which was heading for the top corner until Boot spectacularly tipped the ball over the crossbar.

The hosts were dominating possession and they created another opportunity when Will Keane set up Pearce but his left-footed strike was deflected over the crossbar.

In the 20th minute Kell Watts had to withdrawn due to injury and was replaced by Curtis Tilt.

Another chance came in the 25th minute when Tendayi Darikwa’s cross from the right was punched away by Boot with Charlie Wyke ready to pounce at the back post.

At the other end the visitors set-piece caused problems for Latics but Jones saved well to deny the opportunity.

Bayliss then tried his luck from distance but his effort was always rising and went behind for a Solihull goal-kick.

Latics then had a good chance in the 36th minute after Pearce’s cross from the left fell at the feet of Keane whose shot was deflected to Lang, but his strike was again well saved by Boot.

The hosts kept knocking at the door and Edwards struck a powerful effort towards the far corner, but Boot did well to push the ball away to safety.

Edwards continued to be Latics’ greatest threat and he laid the ball back to Wyke, but the striker’s effort was well blocked by Alex Gudger.

Tilt had to be withdrawn at half time due to injury and was replaced by Luke Robinson in a re-jigged back four.

Latics continued to press in the second half, but the visitors remained resolute with Boot in outstanding form, saving and claiming everything fired in his direction.

Pearce’s corner was headed towards goal by Jason Kerr, but Boot was once again in the right place at the right time.

When Latics did evade the Moors goalkeeper in the 50th minute from another corner, Wyke’s header  agonisingly came off the post and away to safety.

At the other end, the visitors nearly took the lead in the 53rd minute when Howe headed Jamey Osborne’s cross towards the top corner but Jones did superbly to tip the ball against the crossbar and over.

Boot was once again in splendid form in the 64th minute when Bayliss unleashed a strike from outside of the area, and the Moors goalkeeper produced another excellent save to deny the hosts.

Latics continued to push for the breakthrough right to the end but they lacked the cutting edge to make the difference. 

In the last minute of normal time Latics looked like they had finally broken the deadlock when substitute Stephen Humphrys drove forward and threaded a ball through to Wyke and the former Sunderland striker rounded Boot but he was frustratingly adjudged to be offside.

Latics had not been at their best and injuries to defenders Watts and Tilt had disrupted their play, but great credit should be given to the well-drilled National League side who had defended resolutely and may even have pulled off a shock result had not been for Jones’ superb save in the second half.

Manager Richardson gave credit to Solihull afterwards but he will be expecting an improved performance by Latics in the replay.

“Compliments to Solihull, I thought they came here very organised and very well drilled as expected.

“I never felt that there was a real flow to the game if I was being honest, with all the stop-starts and the two injuries early on to both of our centre halves, and patching up at the back.

“I thought we started both halves reasonably well but didn’t have that bounce of the ball. I thought if we possibly got one, we might take control of the game, but both goalkeepers made some very good saves.

“We showed the impetus to try and take the lead but you’ve got to give credit to the opposition. I thought the goalkeeper made some good saves, was in the right areas and came and collected balls into the box.

“Congratulations to Solihull, they’ve got a good result away and we’re both in the hat.

“They are doing well themselves. They’ve got a good management team, good players and I don’t think you can disrespect anybody in the competition. 

“We know how much the FA Cup means to our fans, and it’s up to us certainly make a good impact and give a good account of ourselves and that’s what we will do in the replay.”

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in FA Cup, Leam Richardson, Solihull Moors, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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