Wigan Athletic 0 Middlesbrough 0

Wigan Athletic extended their unbeaten run to five matches - although that includes only one victory - as they held Championship promotion-chasers Middlesbrough to a goalless draw at the DW Stadium.

Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 12:21 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 2:02 pm
Sam Morsy is denied by Darren Randolph

Boro should have been ahead in the early stages, only for Britt Assombalonga to somehow miss an open goal from all of two yards.

Wigan’s best chance of the first half saw Sam Morsy take delivery of a wonderful chest-pass from Kal Naismith, but Boro goalkeeper Darren Randolph raced out to smother the ball.

Leon Clarke headed just wide at the start of the second period, off a great right-wing cross from Lee Evans.

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And Latics were almost made to pay when Boro striker Ashley Fletcher rounded Jamie Jones, only to find the side-netting from a tight angle.

The result leaves Paul Cook’s men three points clear of the relegation zone, although they play their game in hand on their rivals at Derby on Tuesday night.

On the back of a great run themselves, Boro flew out of the traps and ought to have taken a very early lead.

Latics were already indebted to Chey Dunkley, for pulling off a magnificent sliding challenge to deny Fletcher a sight at goal, when Assombalonga came up with a real contender for ‘miss of the season’.

Fletcher pulled the ball across for goal into the path of his colleague but, with Jones and Dunkley struggling to get there, the £15million man stabbed a weak shot back across and wide of the far post.

Buoyed by the amazing let-off. Latics almost nosed in front themselves when Reece James’ cross was chested expertly into the path of Morsy by Naismith.

However, Boro goalkeeper Randolph sensed the danger immediately and was on Morsy before he could pick his spot.

Lewis Wing and Mo Besic had decent shooting opportunities for Boro, the former being blocked by Dunkley and the latter being tipped round the post by Jones.

Latics were within inches of taking the lead at the beginning of the second stanza when Evans sent over a wonderful cross from which Clarke couldn’t quite hit the target.

But Boro came even closer when Fletcher rounded Jones, only to send himself too wide, with the ball ending up in the side-netting.

When Fletcher did find the net in the closing stages, the referee’s whistle had long-since gone after Cedric Kipre was barged off the ball in back play.

Latics sent on Joe Garner - the hero of last weekend’s last-gasp draw against Ipswich - for the last 10 minutes, to join fellow substitutes Michael Jacobs and Anthony Pilkington on the pitch.

But the home side were this time unable to fashion late drama, although they will be more than happy with a point given the quality of opposition.