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Wigan Athletic 0 v 0 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 27th March 2021 Kick-off 15:00
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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BeattiesBackPocket added 19:30 - Mar 27
ANYONE please help me out and tell me WHY you think anything evans has said is true? Five point plan? That started a couple of years back and we are declining further so not at all even slightly looking like working?? Where’s the structure he’s said about?? Because with so many players leaving and yet again for zero money (and you wonder why the debt gets bigger) we literally have to start all over again next season. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a club with a rich chairman let so many contracts run out since day one with leadbitter and Norris etc to now. No money back nothing from any investment so again tell me where we are improving?? This isn’t a dig I just want one person to tell me how we’re better off with him because the excuse always used to be ‘noone wants to buy us’ blah blah now what’s the excuse?

Kickingblock added 19:39 - Mar 27
I heard the manager post match and thought he sounded like he was close to tears.

algarvefan added 19:51 - Mar 27
I can't see we are improving, especially after a week working together, out players look slow, lethargic and unfit, their basic ball skills are poor. The only players for me with real credit were Norwood who battled alone and had no service, Nsiala who was great again, Holy who had little to do but did it well, Dobra who came in and livened things up.

Edwards again was awful, as was Sears, Dozzell (who needs dropping imo), Judge all hustle and no result.

Still we are only 2 points off a play off spot and put together a few wins and who knows, stranger things have happened, but very poor today.

blueboy1981 added 20:17 - Mar 27
Anyone making negative comments about PC already, needs to read up on the game they are watching !
The failing lies 100% with the players - far too many of them think they are too good for Division 3 - well next season they may just get a huge wake up call.
Most of them have 10 games to prove themselves - instead of loafing around in dreamland.
Some may find themselves without a Club - a dose of reality beckons for many.
And not a second too soon.
Man up wimps - and show some fight, effort, and desire to WIN.

brendenward35 added 20:27 - Mar 27
One thing I can't work out is why the hell did we hoof the ball constantly? All 4 players up top are short and Wigan won just about everything. So many kick Holy made went straight to their keep what a total waste. When Dobra came on Wigan had problems with him running at them with the ball on the ground. Bet the few games we've played well ball has been played on the ground. Hope he doesn't play Edwards next game as he is absolutely rubbish looked like he couldn't be bothered today. We'll most of the team couldn't be bothered today. Sad times can't wait to see PC start the clear out because a lot of those players don't deserve to wear the shirt.

StavangerBlue added 20:46 - Mar 27
The fact is the club is poorly run. The players are playing poor because they don't care and are just going through the motions. Some want to leave in the summer. After all, they can go and play for Barcelona and Real because, you know, they are awesome really. It's just football at Ipswich isn't their style. Some know they will get a new contract because ME will not put his hand in his pocket for new players, so the club will have to keep some of the current ones.

We will struggle next year, and then it will be "PC out!" and more bad feeling. The year after, we will be in League Two, etc., etc. ITFC is now a joke, simple.

My biggest fear is we are the new Stockport County, but how far do we have to fall until we bounce.

I've supported the club for 30 years and this is the worst period I can recall. It breaks my heart.

BlueArrow added 21:06 - Mar 27
Make a comment EVANS stop hiding

RobsonWark added 21:13 - Mar 27
Paul Cook, if he had any balls, should read all these comments out to the players before training on Monday morning!!

Michael101 added 21:23 - Mar 27
Robsonwalk. Monday morning ?? Should be 5am Sunday and make them run 20 miles on southwo!d beach.

RobsonWark added 21:23 - Mar 27
Oh Paul Cook...I wish we could play the remaining games of the season on paper rather than on the pitch. At least we would get a few wins!!

warktheline added 21:39 - Mar 27
Evans set the tone telling McCarthy winning wasn’t a must, and ‘surviving’ in Championship was more than adequate ! As Lambert rightly stated ‘the club is rotten to the core’! Truth hurts, say it once too many times, I’ll replace with another ‘yes’ man until he’s had enough and so it goes....replacing management steers blame away from me! Muppets!!!

RobsonWark added 21:55 - Mar 27
stiffy501 added 19:28 - Mar 27
"Also have to consider that all these out of contract players have agents probably already looking for new clubs for them so are they going to give 100% and risk an injury and poss jeopardize a contract elsewhere"

Are you for real? They are not going to give 100% and risk an injury? Why would any club want to sign those players no matter what their agents are doing! Non league beckons for those type of players! And good riddance!!

stiffy501 added 21:59 - Mar 27
RobsonWark Er we signed them lol

istanblue added 22:21 - Mar 27
So we couldn't beat a side who are languishing in the bottom 4 and are in administration.


slimjim added 22:37 - Mar 27
Help, I hope you are right and I hope PC can turn it around but as I said talk is cheap and Lambert could spin a good story well at the start of his reign anyway!! In fact most managers can it’s part of the job but PC needs to spend less time talking and focus on sorting out performances on the field. I am not convinced we can make the playoffs but who knows this is a sh1te league with very mediocre teams so we still have a chance...

runningout added 23:27 - Mar 27
Waste of time with over the top moaning. We all know club is weak. I can’t see clubs circling above for any of our players. Marcus Evans has been ill advised. He says moaning!!

shakytown added 06:46 - Mar 28
I live in a rugby mad province (Canterbury )of a rugby mad nation (new Zealand). I remember many years ago Alex Wylie took over as the coach and the first thing he did at the first training was told them all to put down the balls and that he was going to find out who was really fit. a few came through it with flying colours and some got a harsh lesson but we never lost again because we were not the fittest side. Thats what these clowns need a good hard ba...rd in charge who wont take any c..p.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 07:33 - Mar 28
Hmmm! It’s alright looking to be direct. Many times under Lambert, we were calling for that as we watched the whole team play in their own half in front the opposition. But we seem to have reverted to hoofball - Holy launches it upfield to an isolated Norwood, who is outmuscled every time by at least two defenders. That just doesn’t work. Lambert tried everything on the spectrum endless passing around (usually without getting anywhere) to hoof it up to Norwood (same result as above). I don’t know the solution, but it must lie somewhere between the two. We are Ipswich. Attractive passing football should be somewhere in our DNA, and that is what we purport to encourage in the youth set-up. At the same time, we obviously need to be much more clinical in front of goal. I hope PC can find the answer.

Kirbmeister added 08:34 - Mar 28
Steve ITFC. I’m sure PC will find the answer. He’ll get rid of most of these players and build his own team. He’s got to be given a couple of years though. This team are incapable of playing good football. I still don’t know why anyone even mentions the play offs. Why on earth do we want to be starting next season in the Championship. It’ll be a bloodbath.

Dissboyitfc added 08:37 - Mar 28
Found this quote from David McGoldrick,

He added: “I don’t think you realise it until you’re in that sort of situation. I maybe got a bit too comfortable at Ipswich, although I loved my time there.

"We were mid-table and there were no big expectations to win every game, like there is at Sheffield United at the moment.

That was March 2019, 2 years and 3 managers later, nothing has changed!

Change is long overdue! I hope Paul Cook instigates this change ASAP.

warktheline added 08:45 - Mar 28
@Dissboyitfc, that’s just one quote of many! Others have said similar.....this ‘half arsed’ attitude stems from the owner, end of!

bernie added 09:50 - Mar 28
Most of the players should be ashamed of themselves!! If this is coming down to players being out of contract at the end of the season then they should be embarrassed, but this happened last season as well so I don’t bloody know . Great club , great fans , and players are on great wages but never seem to put in a performance for the club or fans , hang your heads with shame !! So bloody frustrating, just keep letting us fans down you have no pride . I tell you another thing fans get on to chambers back but if he’s played in his right position then he’s not a bad player but admittedly coming to the end of his career but shows heart which most of the other players don’t show nought.

62WasBest added 10:22 - Mar 28
Not only is this Ipswich side likely to be considered the worst in its history but very little of the current club bears any resemblance to the traditions it inherited. If even the players have no pride, no heart and no football intelligence is there any point in persevering in supporting them?

Ebantiass added 10:57 - Mar 28
Cook has inherited Lamberts dross, get real and give the guy a little time. He will come good. Let him get rid of a lot of underperforming free loaders and bring in his type of person. Hope his assistent comes also.

Do people really think a side that has woefully under perfomed all season and the last will suddenly smash everyone in the league.

BettyBlue added 10:57 - Mar 28
What was Lambert doing for two years?

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