Ipswich Town 0 Wigan Athletic 0

James McClean

James McClean

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WIGAN Athletic played out a drab 0-0 draw at high-flying Ipswich Town on a cold and snowy afternoon.

In a game of little quality and few chances, it never looked likely that either side would find a crucial goal.

However, it was a point that was hard-earned against a side that boasts the best home record in the division

Malky Mackay opted not to start new signings Billy McKay and Jason Pearce who both sat on the bench alongside youngsters Sam Cosgrove and Jordan Flores.

With Chris McCann missing through injury, it was William Kvist, Emyr Huws and Don Cowie who occupied the middle of the park following the week’s midfield clear-out.

It wasn’t an afternoon for midfielders though with neither side showing much in possession in what was a mundane affair.

Latics only really mustered one chance in the first half when James Perch found Marc-Antoine Fortune who headed over.

The hosts also struggled to create much in terms of clear opportunities with Jay Tabb firing over before heading straight into the hands of Ali Al Habsi, who had taken Scott Carson’s place for his first start since Blackpool last April.

The biggest talking point of the first half came when William Kvist was booked for what looked like an absolutely perfect challenge on Kevin Bru.

Latics started to press a little more after the break, James Perch coming close with a header from Don Cowie’s corner.

Wigan followed up with another two corners as they finally started building pressure on the Ipswich goal but they couldn’t produce anything of note to actually test goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

The attacking threat soon subdued as both teams struggled with the conditions.

Ipswich came up with a couple of half chances with 20 minutes to go with James Perch on hand to clear a dangerous cross towards the back stick before Al Habsi had to stop Freddie Sears’ header.

Newboy McKay entered the fray for Martyn Waghorn with 12 minutes remaining as Wigan tried to pump up the pressure but to no avail.

The results leaves Latics firmly rooted in the bottom three. The gap between them and Brighton, who sit just outside the relegation zone, was shortened to seven points as they went down 1-0 at Blackpool.

That result does mean that the bottom-placed Seasiders moved to being just two points behind Wigan though.

Latics: Al Habsi; Perch, Barnett, Ridgewell, Taylor; Waghorn (for McKay 78), Kvist, Huws, Cowie; McClean, Fortune.

Subs: Carson, Boyce, Kiernan, Pearce, Flores, Cosgrove

Ipswich: Bialkowski; Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings; Anderson (for Bishop 45), Skuse, Tabb (for Parr 83), Bru; N Hunt (for Sears 65), McGoldrick.

Subs: Kenny, Parr, S Hunt, Clarke, Ambrose.