Lowly Crewe earn draw to derail Latics promotion push.

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Wigan’s drive towards the automatic promotion spots came to a halt yesterday afternoon with a draw against relegation threatened Crewe at Gresty Road.

Wigan made two changes from the side which comfortably beat Chesterfield last Saturday with recalls to the starting line up for Wildschut and McCann with Vuckic dropping to the bench and James failing to make the eighteen with welcome returns to the bench for Grigg and Flores.

The game started brightly and Crewe were the first side to show when Jaaskelainen had to save smartly from Copper with less than a minute on the clock. Crewe continued to dominate possession and once again Jaaskelainen had to move quickly to save a shot from Colclough.

Wigan weathered the pressure and hit back in excellent fashion when good work from Max Power found Wabara racing down the right and his shot from outside the box rocketed into the top right hand corner leaving Garratt with no chance , sending the sold out Wigan travelling faithful of over 2,000 fans wild with delight.

Wigan continued to pass the ball with aplomb looking to create chances for Hiwula and from one such attack the young striker hit a powerful shot which forced a fine save from Garnett. Garnett was constantly in the thick of the action and then had to save at short range from Jacobs. Wigan continued to ramp up the pressure, Garnett this time saving from Wildschut and then Wigan’s pressure forced two corners in quick succession.

Wigan’s attacking play this season has been focussed around the skills of Jacobs and Power but the former’s game was brought to an abrupt end when Jacobs was stretchered off the pitch to be replaced by Vuckic.

All possession was with Wigan but a swift counter attack saw Colclough release Inman and the young Australian midfielder made no mistake giving Crewe an equaliser that was very much undeserved based on the respective first half performances of the two teams. Shortly before half time Crewe were unlucky not to take the lead when young winger Colclough switched from provider, his powerful shot coming back off the bar with Jaaskelainen well beaten, Pearce scrambling the ball away for a corner.

The second half started with no further changes to the line ups of both teams and within two minutes Perkins earned the first yellow card of the afternoon with a foul on dangerman Colclough.

First real chance of the second half came to Widlschut whose run and shot left Garrett stranded but the shot from outside the box hit the post and stayed out . Wigan continued to dominate possession over the next ten minutes but displayed little for the effort other than yellow cards for both Power and McCann

This stagnant period was ended by the mercurial Dutchman Wildschut whose pace was causing constant problems for the home side and his shot was well saved by Garett who, in less than a minute later had to save well again this time from Vuckic

Crewe gradually clawed their way back into the game and once again Cooper tested Jaaskelainen from distance but the big Fin saved well.

Wigan manager Gary Caldwell mindful that a point against the bottom team would not be enough opted to witch to a more attacking line up, withdrawing Hiwula and Vuckic. This resulted in a slew of corners for the Latics but all that the away side had to show for it was a header over the bar from Wildschut .

Wigan pushed for a winner but the best they offered was a shot from Power which went narrowly wide and a long range shot from Davies which was comfortably saved by Garett in the Crewe goal.

The full time whistle saw Wigan depart from a match which they will feel that was two points lost and is not good enough if they aspire to automatic promotion

Team Line Up
Jaaskelainen, Wabara, Morgan (c), Pearce, Daniels, McCann, Perkins, Power, Wildschut, Jacobs, Hiwula.

Subs Used
Vuckic for Jacobs 30 mins, Grigg for Hiwula 73 mins, Davies for Vuckic 73 mins

Att……… 6,010

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