Ipswich Town 0-0 Wigan Athletic - Half-Time
Saturday, 15th Dec 2018 15:57
The Blues and Wigan Athletic remain locked at 0-0 at half-time at Portman Road.
Town boss Paul Lambert named the same team which lost 2-0 at Stoke last weekend. Dean Gerken continued in goal behind centre-halves Matthew Pennington and skipper Luke Chambers with Jonas Knudsen and Jordan Spence the full-backs.
Trevoh Chalobah was the deeper midfielder with Flynn Downes and Jon Nolan ahead of him.
Up front, Jordan Roberts was in the middle with Jack Lankester on the right and Freddie Sears on the left.
For Wigan, ex-Blues loanee Callum Connolly and Will Grigg came into the team for the suspended Kai Naismith and James Vaughan, who dropped to the bench.
Former Blues winger Gary Roberts started with ex-Town striker Joe Garner on the bench and one-time defender Alex Bruce not in the 18.
In freezing and breezy conditions, Town started positively, taking the game to the Latics. An early corner came to nothing but the Blues kept the visitors pinned back in their half in the opening minutes.
On nine, Nolan crossed from the right and the ball reached Knudsen beyond the far post. The Danish international tried a shot but the ball deflected behind off a defender and keeper Christian Walton.
Wigan caused the Blues their first moment of danger on 14 when ex-Blue Roberts chipped a ball behind the Town backline for Will Grigg but too far in front of the Northern Irishman and Gerken claimed.
Roberts, who played for Town during Jim Magilton’s time as boss, sent over a dangerous cross from the left two minutes later but with no one in the box to add the final touch.
But the Blues continued to control the game and on 19 Lankester hit a freekick from the right towards goal which was headed away.
A minute later, Josh Windass, subject of a Town enquiry prior to joining the Latics from Rangers in the summer, was sent away into the right of the Town area but sent a low ball beyond Grigg.
There was a big scare for the Blues right on the half-hour mark when Windass and Grigg both somehow failed to get a touch on a cross from the right when they seemed certain to score.
The Latics subsequently had a short spell on top but without seriously threatening again before the Blues regained the ascendency, Lankester just failing to find Sears with a return pass after a swift Town counter-attack in the 36th minute.
A minute later, Sears was sent away on goal towards the right of the box by Roberts’s flick but the ex-West Ham man shot just over Walton’s bar when he might have taken it on a few strides further.
On 42, Town struggled to clear a Wigan corner from the left but the Latics were unable to get a clean sight at goal, Connolly hitting a shot which screwed well wide before Windass took it out of play on the right.
Neither side threatened again before referee Scott Duncan brought a not overly-enthralling half to an end.
The Blues had been on top for most of the period but only rarely creating chances, Sears’s shot over and Knudsen’s effort which was bundled behind the only opportunities of note.
Wigan had looked the more likely scorers when they had the ball in and around the Town are despite having seen less of the ball. If and when it comes, the game’s first goal will be key to the destination of the points.
Town: Gerken, Spence, Chambers (c), Pennington, Knudsen, Chalobah, Downes, Nolan, Lankester, Sears, Roberts. Subs: Bialkowski, Edwards, Jackson, Bishop, Nsiala, Dozzell, Kenlock.
Wigan: Walton, James, Kipre, Burn, Connolly, Morsy (c), Evans, Byrne, Windass, Roberts, Grigg. Subs: Jones, Gibson, Vaughan, Massey, McManaman, Dunkley, Garner. Referee: Scott Duncan (Northumberland).
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