Brentford 0 Wigan Athletic 0

Gary Caldwell
Gary Caldwell

Wigan Athletic extended their unbeaten sequence to two matches with a battling goalless draw on the road at in-form Brentford.

Latics were almost behind to Brentford’s first chance, when David Perkins unwisely decided to duck under a long free-kick from Romaine Sawyers, and was relieved to see Adam Bogdan pull off a fine save to deny the waiting Lasse Vibe.

The home side went on to dominate most of the opening half, but found the Latics rearguard very difficult to break down.

And Latics almost broke through on the stroke of half-time when Nathan Byrne cut the ball back to Max Power, whose shot found the side-netting instead of the back of the net.

Wigan were indebted to Stephen Warnock in the second half for a series of timely blocks and clearances that kept the home side at bay.

The pick of them came when he got back to nod a John Egan header off the line and against the bar with Bogdan beaten.

Jake Buxton also cleared off the line when Bogdan couldn’t hold a drilled effort from Lewis Macleod, and Latics began to fancy their chances in the final quarter.

With substitute Yanic Wildschut causing all sorts of problems with his pace, it was the Brentford’s defence’s turn to look ill at ease.

Fellow replacement Nick Powell had the final chance deep in stoppage-time, when he was hacked down on the edge of the area.

His free-kick zipped over the wall, but was clawed away by Daniel Bentley to ensure honours ended even.

Given the way Brentford flew out of the blocks, there would have been long odds on the game ending goalless.

Latics were on the back foot right from the off, although they were almost the architects of their own downfall when Perkins casually left alone a deep free-kick from Sawyers, seemingly not realising Vibe was stood right behind him.

Vibe looked a certain scorer, only for Bogdan to rescue Latics with a superb stop from point-blank range.

The way Perkins turned and had a right go at team-mate Byrne in the aftermath suggested he’d had the call to leave it, with Latics lucky to escape with their goal intact.

Scott Hogan had been earmarked as the Bees dangerman in the lead-up, but his first sight of goal brought about a superb block from Jake Buxton, who underlined his third position in the division for such challenges.

Will Grigg then thought he’d got his first sight of goal, only for the flag to go up as he produced a good save from Bentley.

A nothing challenge from Perkins in midfield brought about a complete over-reaction from Alan McCormack, who was still mouthing off to his opponent and referee Andy Woolmer as play restarted.

Brentford were almost in midway through the half as a cleverly-weighted through ball caused temporary confusion between Bogdan and his defence.

Fortunately Dan Burn took responsibility and wisely steered the ball out for a throw-in before Hogan could take advantage.

Vibe pulled another shot well wide before Michael Jacobs tried his luck from distance for Latics, with Bentley equal to it.

McCormack was in trouble again just after the half-hour mark, picking up a booking for a foul on Shaun MacDonald, and again failing to hide his displeasure by finger-pointing at the Latics man.

As half-time approached, Latics would have been the happier to go in goalless, but the visitors almost took the lead moments before the whistle when Byrne’s pull-back was fired just wide by Power.

Brentford started the second period the way they’d started the first, and Latics had to really hang in there for 15 minutes to keep them out.

Skipper Warnock got his head in the way of a goalbound snap-shot from Vibe, before he headed off the line and on to the bar moments later from Egan’s bullet header.

That was the signal for Latics to send on Wildschut and Powell for Jordi Gomez and Byrne, but the home side continued to press and Warnock again came up with an immense block to deny Egan.

Wildschut was quickly into the game, a couple of rampaging runs from deep inside his own half threatened the home goal and at least gave the Brentford right-had side something defensively to think about.

MacDonald did well to throw himself in the way of a Vibe effort, but Latics were increasingly looking a threat on the counter, with Powell, Wildschut and Power feeding Jacobs, whose cross was only just in front of the incoming Grigg.

At the other end, a McCormack cross was met by Sawyers coming in like a train at the far post, but the ex-Walsall man couldn’t keep his header down.

The Bees were happy to leave gaps at the back, and Wildschut and Grigg were close to taking advantage heading into the final quarter, only for the last defender to twice deny them.

Grigg gave way to Adam Le Fondre for the last 13 minutes, and the new man almost made an immediate impact for the second game in a row, narrowly failing to get on the end of a teasing Jacobs cross.

In an end-to-end finale, Buxton had to hack off the Latics line after Bogdan couldn’t hold a fierce shot from Lewis Macleod.

But the last chance fell to Latics, after Powell was cynically pulled down as he closed in on the penalty area.

Unfortunately for the visitors, the free-kick from the ex-Manchester United man was pushed away by Bentley - but at least Latics had their first away point of the campaign.