Macclesfield 0 Wigan Athletic 0

Adam Bogdan saving a penalty on his Wigan Athletic debut
Adam Bogdan saving a penalty on his Wigan Athletic debut

New-boy Adam Bogdan saved a penalty within three minutes of coming on for his debut, but it was more frustration for Wigan Athletic as they were held to a 0-0 draw at non-league Macclesfield.

Bogdan took over between the sticks from Jussi Jaaskelainen at the halfway mark, and was immediately thrust into the action after Dan Burn was penalised for a foul in the penalty area.

Macc striker Jack Sampson stepped up from 12 yards, but Bogdan was equal to his less-than-firmly-hit strike for a dramatic start to life as a Latic.

It wasn’t quite his first touch, having played a simple ball into touch moments earlier, but it was the perfect way to announce himself to the Wigan fans.

Both Bogdan and Jaaskelainen hardly touched the ball for the rest of the game, which was largely played out at the other end.

But the visitors couldn’t make the most of their overwhelming domination in terms of possession and territory to break the deadlock.

Nick Powell and Dan Burn headed over from good positions in the first half, while Michael Jacobs twice forced good saves from goalkeeper Ritchie Branagan in the second period.

Not even the second-half introduction off the bench of star striker Will Grigg couldn’t force the issue, with Alex Gilbey the stand-out player overall for Gary Caldwell’s men.

Powell, making the first start of his second spell with Latics, had a clear sight of goal inside two minutes.

Stephen Warnock engineered an overlap down the left off Yanic Wildschut, and his cross was instantly controlled by the ex-Manchester United man.

However, Powell’s snap-shot was well wide of the mark.

Powell was quickly taken down a peg or two with a particularly spicy challenge that took him to ground, one of several inside the opening quarter - Max Power, David Perkins and Michael Jacobs also in the wars - that had Gary Caldwell sounding his annoyance at the opposition bench.

Latics got back to their football and Wildschut had the next opportunity, but his right-foot shot was always swerving away from the target.

Midway through the half, Latics created the best chance so far by a mile, when Power’s corner was met by the head of Powell, who couldn’t direct his effort on target from 10 yards.

At the other end, Kingsley James had a speculative shot from distance that was always high and wide of the mark.

There was then a mad scramble in the Latics goalmouth, requiring a couple of decent blocks from visiting defenders, before Jaaskelainen was able to clear his lines.

Latics had another decent effort before the half-time whistle, but Burn couldn’t keep his free header down and it flew over.

The visitors made a couple of changes at the break, sending on striker Grigg and goalkeeper Bogdan for his debut.

And Bogdan immediately found himself the centre of attention when a Burn foul handed Macc a penalty within two minutes of the restart.

Sampson’s spot-kick was admittedly feeble, but credit Bogdan for guessing right and making the save.

Grigg was also quickly into the game, sending one left-foot shot just wide and lobbing inches over with another chance, after Gilbey’s initial shot had been saved.

Gilbey was proving the pick of the Latics side, and his superb pull-back allowed Jacobs a clear sight at goal with his let foot, only for goalkeeper Ritchie Branagan to make a fine block with his legs.

That was the signal for three more Wigan changes as Reece James, Sam Morsy and Ryan Colclough took over from Warnock, Wildschut and Perkins.

Jacobs again forced Branagan into a fine stop from distance, before Ryan Taylor had a free-kick from the edge of the area also well saved.

Jordan Flores, James Barrigan and ex-Macc man Danny Whitehead replaced Jacobs, Gilbey and Power in the closing stages, but it wasn’t enough to force a later winner.