Wigan made the long trip to London for the Sunday derby of the Latics against Charlton with Owen Coyle once again rotating the squad with recalls for Perch, Rogne, McClean and McArthur with Chris McCann awarded another start following his good performance in midweek at home to Rubin Kazan in the Europa League. Coyle was forced into another change when ever present Scott Carson was injured in the warm up meaning a first start of the season for young reserve keeper Lee Nicholls with Stephen Crainey being drafted onto the bench with no other keepers within the travelling party.
Charlton buoyed by a good away win last week at Blackburn started the brighter and Nicholls had to be sharp to block a shot from Pritchard. Nicholls had to be alert again when a powerful header from Kermongant Wigan’s best chances in the early stages of the first half came from a through ball from McClean to Holt who was pulled up for being offside and from two corners which were comfortably cleared without troubling the keeper.
Charlton continued to dominate the play and Wigan had a lucky escape when Wilson fed Pritchard but his shot went wide when it seemed easier to score.
Charlton’s pressure yielded a couple of corners and from the second one of these, defender Wood rose above the Wigan defence but his goal bound header was to the relief of the travelling away fans was palmed away by Nicholls.
The half time whistle brought to a close a half in which the only clear cut chances fell to the home side with Wigan failing to muster one shot on target thereby extending their pitiful run of failing to score in an away league game since the opening match at Barnsley by other 45 minutes .Owen Coyle would need to deliver an inspirational team talk if Wigan were to break this terrible record.
Charlton started the second half on the front foot and within two minutes Stephens had fired a shot which went narrowly wide
Wigan were stung into action and from a Ben Watson corner McCann headers hit the bar with the keeper beaten, Charlton managed to scramble the ball away. Wigan continued to come forwards and Barnett had a powerful shot well saved by Hamer.
As the game wore on it became more open with both sides driving forwards looking for the opening goal which would probably clinch a victory. For Wigan the best chance fell to fan favourite Espinoza a second half substitute for Watson following good work by McCann but he dragged his shot wide. For Charlton Stewart had a shot which was blocked by the hard working Wigan defence.
Wigan continued to press in the latter stages and another substitute Fortune saw his powerful shot well saved down by the post.
Full time whistle brought to an end an entertaining if goalless game and Wigan will no doubt be please to have broken the run of away defeats although the away goal drought continues
Team Line up 4-4-1-1
Nicholls Rogne, Barnett, Perch, McArthur, McCann, Watson, McClean, Powell, Holt.
McManaman for McClean, Espinoza for Watson, Fortune for Holt.
Man of Match Leon Barnett
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