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Match Reports

Report | Stalemate in Wigan earns away point

Honours even at the DW Stadium as the Royals go unbeaten in three...

24 November 2018

The Royals earned a gutsy away point and kept a clean sheet at the DW Stadium this

  • Meite effort glances the post while Jaakkola saves from Windass and Kipre in goalless first half.
  • Meite robs Burn but is denied by Walton from close range in second half.
  • Royals end the game with three Academy graduates on the pitch after Danny Loader made his first league appearance

Paul Clement made four changes to the side that picked up a point against Ipswich Town before the international break, adding Chris Gunter, John Swift, Garath McCleary and Sone Aluko to his starting eleven.

Academy graduate Danny Loader was named on the bench to take the Academy tally to three, while 17-year-old Conor Lawless was also in the travelling squad but not chosen to play a part at the DW Stadium.

The first chance of note fell Reading's way. A pass was threaded into McCleary in midfield and he turned and ran at the Wigan defence. His found the space to drive a low shot towards goal and Meite stole in to force Christian Walton into an instinctive save - only for the offside flag to go up against the Ivorian international.

At the other end a teasing cross from the right was cleared behind by Gunter. The corner swung into the box via a deflection and bounced kindly off the body of Blackett and into the arms of Jaakkola.

Wigan looked most dangerous with aerial balls into the box from both flanks and Kipre came close to breaking the deadlock when he anticipated a flick on from Powell to head just wide from eight yards out.

With 20 minutes gone, Rinomhota made a nice run down the middle and toed the ball to McCleary. He continued his run into the box but McCleary opted to feed Meite whose shot was blocked before Walton could be tested in the Wigan goal.

But Jaakkola did need to take action to prevent a dipping and swerving Powell strike from finding the back of the net - the Finn tipping the effort over his crossbar. The resultant corner was taken short and headed home at the near post, but the offside flag was raised to Royals fans' relief.

The woodwork came to the home side's rescue soon after though. A nice passing move ended with McCleary cutting a low cross back for Meite who turned the ball against the bottom of the left post and behind for a goal kick.

Half an hour on the clock and Aluko won a free kick on the right which, when delivered by Swift was headed just over his own crossbar by Reece James.

The towering figures of Burn and Kipre combined to good aerial effect once more to force some good handling from Jaakkola - the Royals stopper gathered in Kipre's bundled effort at the second attempt.

And Nathan Byrne should perhaps have done better when he dived onto a Powell flick on to head wide of the right post.

Wigan were coming closer and should have made it 1-0 when Naismith's low cross found Windass unmarked in the box, but the striker's left-footed effort on the turn was pushed wide by a fine Jaakkola save.

Half-time | Wigan 0-0 Reading

Five minutes into the second half and Roberts got down the left well to receive a crossfield pass, cut inaside and force a save from Jaakkola with his legs. The ball ricocheted out to Windass who couldn't turn it on target.

Swift won a set piece on the hour but couldn't force Walton into a save, directing his 25 yard effort over the crossbar.

Then Meite chased a direct ball from Swift and managed to steal the ball from the toes of Burn inside the six yard box. The keeper, who hadn't come off his line to clear the danger, parried Meite's first time stabbed effort behind for a corner.

Danny Loader was brought on for Aluko - the Academy graduate making his first league appearance for the Royals. But going into the last 20 minutes, the game remained in deadlock.

Gibson rifled a speculative but sweetly-struck effort wide at the end of a Latics counter attack. And Sims and McNulty entered the fray as time began to tick away.

Sims and Loader nearly combined to good effect on the edge of the Wigan box, but the Latics cleared their lines just before Loader could get a sight of goal.

Reading were finishing the game the stronger, but three minutes from time the Royals had to scrap the ball clear from a corner which caused panic in the Reading area for a moment.

At the other end, McNulty and Sims battled to allow Loader a shot from just outside the box. It took a deflection and flew well wide of the target though.

Five minutes of injury time and both teams looked for a winner. But it didn't come and the points were shared at the DW Stadium.

Full-time | Wigan 0-0 Reading

Wigan Athletic: Walton, Byrne, Burn, Gibson (Connolly 84), Morsy (c), Windass, James, Roberts (Grigg 71), Naismith, Kipre, Powell (Garner 64).
Subs: Jones, Vaughan, McManaman, Evans.
Yellow: Roberts, Powell, Garner

Reading: Jaakkola, Gunter, Blackett, O'Shea, Moore (c), Rinomhota, Kelly, Swift, Aluko (Loader 67), McCleary (Sims 74), Meite (McNulty 78).
Subs: Walker, Yiadom, Ilori, Bacuna.
Yellow: Gunter 

Att: 9,211 (423 away)

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