Wigan and Bradford fought out an entertaining draw in front of a large crowd yesterday afternoon in a game which was a contrast of styles, with Bradford’s more direct style contrasting with Wigan’s more cultured passing football
Once again Wigan manager Gary Caldwell named an unchanged line up , the only change being a return to the bench for fit again Jason Pearce replacing Jordy Hiwula.
The game started off full of incidents when Perkins made a clearance close to the ball went to Wildschut whose powerful trademark run caused consternation for the home defence and anguish for the Wigan fans as his shot hit the side netting shot on the right side just inside the Bradford half.
Wigan continued to be dominant in possession with the two P’s, Power and Perkins at the forefront of all Wigan’s good play looking to release Wildschut and Jacobs on the flanks. Very little in the way of clear cut chances were created by the Latics however in the early stages and it was Bradford who went closest when McArdle shot wide of the post. This effort stung Wigan into action and Jacobs forced the keeper into a smart save, the loose ball going for a corner. The keeper was then forced to palm a James shot over the bar and then Power fizzed a shot over the bar.
Back came Bradford using target man Hanson as their target and from one header from the powerful forward, McCann had to react quickly to clear the ball.
Grigg worked hard all afternoon for little reward although shortly before half time the forward did have the ball in the net but was disallowed for offside. The second half started at a frenetic pace and Jaaskelainen had to tip a shot by McMahon over the bar. Wigan drew first blood however when substitute Love broke down the right and his cross field ball found Jacobs who blasted the ball into the back of the net.
Wigan’s achilles heel this season has been defending from set pieces and so it proved again when a McMahon corner was met unchallenged by Hanson who’s bullet header flew into the net for the equaliser.
Bradford lodge a claim for a penalty following an alleged foul on Cole which went unrewarded and then James, Holt and Love all shot narrowly wide of the goal but the full time whistle brought to an end a fine week for Wigan which saw them accrue seven points out of a possible nine and with Sheffield United and Bury both losing, Wigan moved into the play off places.
Latics Line Up
Jaaskelainen, James, Perkins, Daniels (Love ), Power, McCann, Grigg (Holt ), Jacobs, Morgan , Barnett, Wildschut (Davies )
Man of the Match ………………Max Power
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