Wigan struggled to dominate a spirited Peterborough side at the DW Stadium yesterday who full deserved their point with a spirited committed display against their high flying opponents whose disjointed display could in part have been caused by the need to replace three injured players within the first forty five minutes.
Wigan made two changes to the starting line up from the goalless draw against Millwall with Wildschut and Daniels replacing the suspended Morsy and benched McCann.
Peterborough belying their league position started the better of the two sides and dominated possession in the first ten minutes, whenever Wigan received the ball they were quickly closed down and their opponents used the long ball to good effect releasing Maddison and former Wigan loanee Coulthirst whose paced troubled the re-organised Wigan defence for whom Wabara playing in the uncommon position of left back looked particularly uncomfortable .
Clear cut chances were at a premium in the first half but Taylor for the Posh will wonder how he managed to scoop the ball over the bar when the loose ball fell to him following a good save by Jaaskelainen from Smith. The Wigan keeper was injured in the move and after lengthy treatment was led from the field to be replaced by Nicholls for his first start of the season.
Wigan’s passing was disjointed, too many passes went astray but they did have a couple of chances in the first half, both long range shots which the Posh keeper could only parry the shots from Power and Morgan but sadly for Wigan no one was following up the on the loose balls and Peterborough managed to clear. There were also further shots from McAleny, Wildschut and Power from distance but all went wide of the goal.
Wigan were subject to further disruption just before half time when McAleny who had been injured in an over zealous tackle, one of many that went unpunished in a patchy performance by the officials was forced to limp off to be replaced by McCann.
Half time saw Pearce, who was limping late in the first half being replaced by Barnett , sparking yet another re-organisation in the defence and robbing Wigan of any further options from the bench.
The first real chance in the second half fell to Wigan’s young winger Colclough who burst down the right and cut inside but with Grigg well placed, Colclough opted to shoot and his shot was comfortably saved by Moore. Colclough then went down in the area when challenged by two defenders in a Posh sandwich but it would have been a very soft penalty if awarded.
Wigan continued to dominate proceedings and with Power and Wildschut not at their best it was left to Perkins to drive the team forwards which included a rare shot on goal from the diminutive midfielder.
Wildschut then did what he does best, out pacing the labouring Peterborough defence down the left Wigan but again with the perceptive Grigg well placed he opted to shoot form a narrow angle the ball going across the goal.
Wigan finally did score when Power fed Grigg just outside the area, the striker turned and burst forwards out pacing the defence and calmly slotted the ball over the advancing keeper.
Peterborough didn’t fold and pushed forwards in search of an equaliser and their efforts were rewarded when Morgan conceded a soft free kick outside the penalty area. Maddision who had just been booked for an act of petulance, an act which earned him jeers of derision from the Latics’ faithful stepped up to take the free kick and an amazingly powerful swerving shot left Nicholls grasping at thin air, the ball ending up in the back of the net via the far post and Peterborough had their deserved equaliser.
Wigan reacted positively but despite all their efforts the referee blew the whistle to end a draw where once again Wigan had been thwarted by a lower team who had done their homework and gained a point of the Latics by working hard and closing down their more talented opponents.
Team Line Up and Player Ratings
Jaaskelainen …….6, a fine save prior to being injured, withdrawn
Pearce………………5, struggled with the pace of Maddison, withdrawn
Morgan……………..6, held the defence together
Wabara……………..5, played out of position and struggled
Power………………..6, an off day by his standards
Perkins………………8, drove the team forwards and broke up many a Posh move
Wildschut…………..5, below standard, took the wrong option several times
Colclough……….5,had chances but blew them
McAleny………….5, a subdued first half, withdrawn
Grigg…………….. 8.5, MOM, led the line superbly, took his goal well
Nicholls for Jaaskelainen…..6, looked comfortable until the goal
McCann for McAleny…………6, a midfield role more suited to the Irishman
Barnett…….5, kicked it long and hard
Entertainment Rating…….6/10 once again Wigan undone by an industrious side that pressed them back
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