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Wigan Athletic 0-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 27th Mar 2021 17:01

Town boss Paul Cook’s return to his former club Wigan Athletic ended in a 0-0 draw. James Norwood came closest to a goal in the first half, while Funso Ojo and Callum Lang had the best opportunities for the Latics in the second with a draw a fair result.

Kane Vincent-Young made his first start in 17 months as manager Paul Cook made two changes to his Town side with Freddie Sears also returning to the team.

Vincent-Young, a late sub at Portsmouth last week, was at right-back with skipper Luke Chambers moving into the middle for James Wilson, who missed out with a knee injury.

Sears came into the XI for Keanan Bennetts, who dropped out of the 18 and played a left-sided attacking role with few defensive responsibilities. Alan Judge was on the left but tucked in with Gwion Edwards on the right and Alan Judge on the left.

Oli Hawkins was on the bench for the first time having recovered after undergoing knee surgery in January. Jon Nolan, who is out with a knee injury, sat with the subs in the stand.

Among the travelling staff for the first time and on the bench was U23s coach Kieron Dyer.

Wigan made three changes with former Blue Will Keane, Viv Solomon-Otabor and Thelo Aasgaard coming into the line-up, while Scott Wootton and Jamie Proctor missed out due to knocks, while whilst Dan Gardner dropped to the bench.

As at Portsmouth a week ago, Town wore last year’s burgundy and blue away shirt but with blue shorts with a yellow and burgundy trim but on this occasion with burgundy socks.

Prior to kick-off the two benches greeted one another warmly, Wigan boss Leam Richardson having been Cook’s assistant boss at Wigan, Chesterfield, Portsmouth and Accrington.

Neither side threatened in a frantic opening 10 minutes but on 13, having made an important clearing header from Solomon-Otabor’s cross from the left, Chambers blocked Lee Evans’s shot from the edge of the box before Sears was sent away down the left with the Blues urged to get forward quickly by manager Cook from the sidelines.

The former West Ham man played low into the box for Norwood, who tried to flick on to Edwards but the ball was bundled away from the Welshman with the difficult pitch playing a part.

Moments later, Aasgaard was booked for a foul on Judge after the Irishman had taken the ball away from the Wigan midfielder as he looked to shoot from the edge of the box.

In the 24th minute when Norwood chased a looping ball over the top and beat Wigan keeper Jamie Jones to it five yards outside the box.

The Town striker hooked it towards goal but sent it wide before Jones, the home side’s skipper, clattered into him. Referee Ross Joyce immediately indicated a corner, however, Jones hadn’t appeared to get even close to the ball and was lucky not to have seen a card.

Wigan were next to threaten in the 29th minute when Callum Lang played in Keane on the right and the former Town man struck a shot from a tight angle on the right, however, Nsiala slid in to block.

Three minutes later, Lang blazed over from distance for the Latics before the Blues began to put the Lancastrians under a spell of pressure, winning a couple of free-kicks in dangerous areas which were sent into the box and defended by the home side.

After a spell where Wigan were on top but without working a chance, in the final minute of the half, Edwards played in Vincent-Young on the right of the box from where the ex-Colchester man cut back to Sears, whose effort was deflected behind for a corner.

Chambers flicked the flag-kick on at the near post and the ball flew dangerously across goal but without a Town player being able to get a touch.

Wigan immediately broke and the Blues looked to be outnumbered, however, a potentially dangerous ball from the right was cut out by Vincent-Young and seconds later the half was brought to a close.

Despite not having had too many out-and-out chances, the Blues, looking to get the ball forward quickly to their front pair, had had the better of what had been a scrappy half with Norwood having come closest to a goal with keeper Jones very fortunate to have avoided some sort of sanction for his challenge.

In addition, the Blues won a number of corners and free-kicks in dangerous positions, which they ought to have made more of, while Sears’s late opportunity had been well worked down the right.

Wigan’s best chance had been Keane’s shot which was blocked with Tomas Holy not forced into a save.

Town swapped Vincent-Young, who had suffered a hamstring problem, for Luke Woolfenden at the break, the academy product making his first appearance since Cook took charge in his secondary role of right-back.

Vincent-Young had shown some glimpses of what made such an impression on fans when he came in last season, although while inevitably a little ring rusty.

The Latics started the second half on the front foot, an early header from a corner looping into Holy’s arms

Wigan should have taken the lead in the 53rd minute when Funso Ojo was played in on the right of the box by Keane but screwed his shot wide of the far post.

Within a minute, Norwood burst away from his man on the right of the area at the other end but sent his cross too far in front of Sears.

Having made little real headway since the break, the Blues swapped Sears and Judge for Kayden Jackson and Josh Harrop as the game reached the hour mark.

Three minutes later, following a half-cleared long throw, Ojo nodded George Johnston’s cross from the left through to Holy with the keeper grabbing it just ahead of Keane as the striker looked to add a final touch.

In the 64th minute Tendayi Darikwa was booked for a late lunge on Harrop as the sub exchanged passes with Bishop as the Blues worked their way forward.

The game started to become more open and on 68 Edwards broke away past a number of defenders on the right but his cross was eventually cleared. As Wigan counter-attacked Woolfenden hauled down Aasgaard and was booked.

Moments later, Wigan swapped Aasgaard for Dan Gardner, then on 70 Lang was yellow-carded for a foul on Ward.

Wigan broke from Town’s free-kick with Edwards failing to deal with a high ball forward and Holy had to come out of his goal to clear his lines.

Soon afterwards, Armando Dobra replaced Edwards. The Albanian U21 international almost immediately fell awkwardly on his shoulder on the edge of the Town box, as he sought to clear a Chambers block from a Lang shot, but after treatment was able to carry on.

In the 78th minute Dozzell and Dobra exchanged passes on the right after the former England U20 international’s free-kick had been blocked. Norwood reached the looping return ball before Dozzell and managed a shot from a very tight angle which was bundled away from goal.

Wigan weren’t far away from breaking the deadlock in the 82nd minute when Lang for once got away from Chambers but his stabbed effort at goal was stopped by Holy’s feet.

Two minutes later, Zach Clough took over from Solomon-Otabor for the home side, then on 87 Chambers was booked for a foul on Lang. In the penultimate scheduled minute, Keane was replaced by Joe Dodoo.

As the game moved into six minutes of injury time, Lang chased after a long ball over the top but Chambers got across to head it away, colliding with the striker as he did so. Wigan claimed a penalty, however, the Town captain looked to have won the ball cleanly.

Neither side was able to find a goal in the remaining minutes and both sides had to settle for a point.

A draw was probably a fair result from a keenly-contested but not particularly high quality affair.

As so often with Town games, chances were rare at both ends with the Blues unable to find a way through the Wigan backline and Town centre-halves Chambers and Nsiala resolute at the other end.

While Town shaded the first half, Wigan had the better of the second and came closest to finding a goal with Ojo’s shot across the face the only really significant opportunity for either side.

The draw ends a run of three successive away defeats but sees the Blues remain 11th - their position going into the match - although only two points off the play-offs ahead of Good Friday’s home game against Bristol Rovers.

Wigan: Jones (c), Darikwa, Johnston, Tilt, Robinson, Ojo, Evans, Aasgaard (Gardner 68), Lang, Solomon-Otabor (Clough 84), Keane (Dodoo 89). Unused: Evans, Whelan, Perry, Long.

Town: Holy, Vincent-Young (Woolfenden 46), Nsiala, Chambers (c), Ward, Dozzell, Bishop, Edwards (Dobra 71), Judge (Harrop 60), Sears (Jackson 60), Norwood. Unused: Cornell, Skuse, Hawkins. Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland).

Photo: PagePix

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jong75 added 17:02 - Mar 27
Have we given up trying to get promoted this season?

Pezzer added 17:03 - Mar 27
Let's be honest if you a playing a team at the bottom with a goal difference of -25 you can't really expect to score a goal....

bringonbrazil added 17:04 - Mar 27
No effort. No passion. No desire. Drop the whole team and play the U18’s for a game. Nothing to lose now. Get rid and work with those who may care a little.

TimmyH added 17:05 - Mar 27
Dross! not one clear cut chance created against a struggling Wigan side. midfield particularly poor for me, Dozzell, Judge and Edwards continually doing not much. Numerous dead ball situations which Andre took and achieved nothing, notice he never gets dropped or substituted!

Forget the play-offs and so much for that hard week of training...

Tractorboy58 added 17:05 - Mar 27
These players are stealing a living...and I hope that Paul Cook is as good as everyone says he is. I cannot think of more than a handful of this lot worth keeping. It is the lack of guts and effort which really annoys me..average players going through the motions !

cat added 17:05 - Mar 27
No quality, no creativity so nothing new.
I’m all for P.C and I’ll judge him after he’s had a chance to overhaul the squad, but if he persists with the same old heads then we’ll go nowhere.
We need experienced mature players to bring out the best in the youngsters and change the loser mentality at the club. Unfortunately that won’t be until next season but at least we don’t have to watch this shower live.

Beattiesballbag added 17:06 - Mar 27
Dobra does more & better in every department than any of the other players on that pitch.

midastouch added 17:06 - Mar 27

Bluearmy_81 added 17:06 - Mar 27
We are a poorly performing club in a poor, poor league. The quality compared to the championship is shocking. How low this club has sunk. We can't score against a team like Wigan who are 4th bottom in division 3. Until Evans goes we will continue to sink, if that hasn't sunk it yet it never will.
Join Evans out of ITFC on facebook

RobITFC added 17:07 - Mar 27
Absolute garbage, no urgency , no pace , no enthusiasm and after watching the training video am not surprised. These players are a pathetic excuse for the "professional footballer2 a disgrace they could not train 2 days running!!!! If they cannot raise their game for a new manager then time they were out of work in the summer!

BangaloreBlues added 17:07 - Mar 27
This has become a monumental joke.

DifferentGravy added 17:07 - Mar 27
Not sure what that weeks worth of training did. Edwards was awful. Only players with any credit were Toto who played well, Bish in moments, Norwood who battle on his own for 60 mins and KVY who made some lovely overlaps.

Hoofing the ball, laborious and just poorly executed set pieces. Players on the pitch who have barely seen action.

We needed to win that game.....and we looked more like losing it

BromleyBloo added 17:07 - Mar 27
Well it was an okay match to watch , although far from exciting. At times we controlled, but without doing anything significant and, as usual, so few, if any real, scoring chances, for either side...........

So we didn’t lose, but nothing much else to report. Defence seemed pretty solid, albeit against minimum threat, but no real stand outs and it would be difficult to be asked who was MOM. Just nobody even threatening to do something telling or create a moment that might create or change anything?!?

We need to do so much better, impose ourselves on such sides and actually create some threat if we want to be in with any real chance - otherwise the season will just die.......................again

COYB and Evans out ASAP!!!

marco5113 added 17:08 - Mar 27
Once again this formation does not produce goals. There is a reluctance to play 442 but as with previous manager they won’t try it. Surely two up front to get the win and risk conceding is better than not scoring and just fading away with 0-0 draws. Will be too late soon, afraid to concede but not brave enough to go for wins which we need.

Cloddyseedbed added 17:08 - Mar 27
Any players with contracts up, good. Your gone. Others with contracts, terminate them. They don't give a f**k. Embarrassed to be a fan right now. New team next year please. Total clearout. Made up of players who give their all for the club and supporters. No funds will be made available to the manager and he'll be gone in 18 months or less. New owner too please.

midastouch added 17:08 - Mar 27
That was a proper yawn fest! It was about as much fun as toothache!

bluebury25 added 17:08 - Mar 27
Let most out of contact go. Spend the money saved on wages on a few better players.

unknown100 added 17:08 - Mar 27
The problem was they didn’t hoof it aimlessly forward to a loan striker with no one within 30 yards of him enough

BlueArrow added 17:08 - Mar 27
Same s--t different day

barrystedmunds added 17:09 - Mar 27
If anyone was in any doubt, we are awful!

sospier added 17:09 - Mar 27
Extremely disappointing performance from a very blow average side.I cannot say any of this team is worthy of a place next season on this performance.If PL could not do anything and it looks as though PC cannot then it proves this squad is very poor.a enough said.

bluesi added 17:09 - Mar 27
Absolute joke!! Again fell for the old we'll perform well & pay a tenner for a good performance! ! A absolute joke of a performance . The players should fell really embarrassed of them selves. Real poor performance, just the normal for the season . Really feel let down & fed up ....

Blueballs83 added 17:10 - Mar 27
Awful and embarrassing performance! From that showing, I wouldn’t care if none of those players were here next season!! We need to start again with our team! Those players a nothing but below average league 1 players and thank god most of their contracts are up!

ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:11 - Mar 27
Not worthy of a match report. Dull all round.
We lack quality all over the pitch. Chambers and Toto were best of bad bunch and KVY until he went off. Our midfield is shocking. No strength, no guile. I’d like to see McGavin given a chance.

Blue_Meanie added 17:11 - Mar 27
Least shots- 8 in division along with Northampton, fifth bottom and Accrington who lost 7-0.

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