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Match Reports

Wigan Athletic v Brentford

18 October 2014

No goals at DW Stadium

Brentford picked up a point away from home with a 0-0 draw against Wigan Athletic.

The Bees had the better of the first half and dominated most of it, apart from a spell of Wigan pressure in the middle, but were unable to score.

The home side came out strongly after half time and pressed Brentford back but with excellent defensive work the visitors held firm.

The Bees then went looking for a winner late on but, with two defences in fine form, the points were shared.

Brentford started the game on the front foot, keen to attack and take the game to their hosts.

Alan Judge and Alex Pritchard played in offensive midfield roles, sitting on Wigan’s two deep-lying players and the teams effectively matched up in the centre of the park.

Jota and Moses Odubajo were also high up the pitch, pressing the hosts back in the early stages.

Odubajo had the first sight of goal, a low shot that Wigan goalkeeper Scott Carson got down well to push away.

Brentford went close again soon after, Jota getting on to a Jonathan Douglas pass and narrowly failing to lift the ball over Carson – who had slipped – and in from the left channel.

Alan McCormack had a shot blocked moments later as Brentford continued to press forward.

Wigan were slightly more direct than The Bees, looking to play long diagonal balls and release their wide players, particularly James McClean on their left.

Don Cowie almost put them ahead with a shot from 18 yards that took a deflection and flew just past the post and, from the resulting corner; Leon Barnett headed wide when completely unmarked ten yards out.

A McClean cross hit Jake Bidwell and bounced just wide before James Tavernier and Adam Forshaw both had shots blocked for the hosts.

Pritchard tried to wriggle his way free and shoot but saw his effort blocked while at the other end, McClean released Shaun Maloney in the left channel, the Scottish international fired in a shot but David Button got down well to palm it wide.

Wigan had probably been slightly the better side in the middle section of the first half but had largely played in front of The Bees, unable to penetrate the Brentford backline.

The Bees then came back in to it as half time approached and had the best chance of the first period.

It came when Forshaw slipped in midfield and Douglas stepped on to the ball, he lifted a pass over the top and Andre Gray got in behind the defence, he lifted the ball over Carson but could only watch it land on the roof of the net, inches over the bar.

Gray then volleyed wide from a tight angle after the ball had ricochet around the edge of the penalty area before a deflected Odubajo shot was held by Carson, but only at the expense of a corner that came to nothing.

Wigan almost snuck in front seconds before half time when Callum McManaman fired in a cross from the left, Oriol Riera looked set to convert at the far post but Bidwell made a tackle to clear the danger.

The home side had pressed high up the pitch in the first half, trying to stop Brentford playing out.

But when The Bees were able to pick their way through the lines, which was often in the opening 45, they looked likely to create chances.

Wigan’s pressing may even have gone up a level in the early stages of the second half.

Brentford were pushed back and spent much of the first 15 minutes after half time on the back foot.

The home side were not, however, able to create any chances and the only action of note in the period of Wigan pressure was a melee in the Brentford box that saw Tony Craig, James Tarkowski and Wigan’s Ivan Ramis all booked by referee Tony Hartington.

Brentford had a storm to weather but they did so and started to get on the front foo themselves.

Tarkowski was unable to turn the ball home when a corner dropped loose and Carson tipped a shot from Pritchard over the bar when the hosts couldn’t clear.

Carson made a good low save from a Jota effort after the Spanish attacking midfield player had cut inside and Douglas fired in to the side netting after good work by Judge soon after.

Pritchard then fired over the bar after picking up a lay-off from substitute Nick Proschwitz and Toumani Diagouraga fired in to the side netting after a burst from midfield.

Button’s first real action of the second half came when he palmed away a Maloney free kick and he made a simpler save from an Andy Delort shot soon after.

McClean had a good chance to win it late on but headed a James Tavernier cross wide at the far post while Judge fired over the bar at the other end as the score sheet remained blank and the spoils were shared.

Wigan Athletic: Carson; Tavernier, Barnett, Ramis, Taylor; Cowie (sub Kvist 78 mins), Forshaw; McManaman (sub Fortune 63 mins), Maloney, McClean; Riera (sub Delort 63 mins)

Subs (not used): Al Habsi, Perch, Kiernan, Waghorn

Booking: McClean (27 mins), Ramis (62 mins)

Brentford: Button; McCormack, Tarkowski, Craig, Bidwell; Douglas; Odubajo (sub Diagouraga 65 mins), Pritchard, Judge, Jota; Gray (sub Proschwitz 72 mins)

Subs (not used): Bonham, Dean, Tébar, Toral, Betinho

Bookings:  Judge (37 mins) (second of season), Craig (62 mins) (third of season), Tarkowski (62 mins) (fifth of season) (suspended for one match – Sheffield Wednesday, October 21), Douglas (76 mins) (third of season), McCormack (84 mins) (third of season)

Attendance: 12,061 (1,149 Bees fans)

By Chris Wickham

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