UNDER-21S

Barclays Premier Reserves League
21 February 2012, Robin Park

WIGAN 0

UNITED 0

21/02/2012 16:00, Report by Adam Marshall
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Res: Wigan 0 United 0

United had to settle for a point that takes Warren Joyce's side back to the top of the table but this goalless draw on Shrove Tuesday was as flat as the proverbial pancake.

If only the same could be said of the Robin Park surface that cut up badly and, combined with the swirling wind, the conditions were largely to blame for a scrappy encounter.

Wigan were well drilled and defended with vigour with neither side really doing enough to justify claiming all three points. Will Keane, usually so effective at the other end of the pitch, had to clear off his own line but there were few chances in a drab first half. After Tom Thorpe replaced the injured Reece Brown, a couple of shots at least hinted of more to come from the visitors.

Ryan Tunnicliffe, getting a run-out despite still being on loan at Peterborough, saw a textbook volley blocked a long way from goal and Davide Petrucci lashed well off target from long range. Warren Joyce's team at least tried to play neater football after half time with Jesse Lingard and Petrucci trying to influence proceedings. But the bright Ritchie De Laet curled wide and another Petrucci effort deflected over the top.

Sam Johnstone parried out a Steven Boothman drive and was relieved to see Jonathan Rugg slam the rebound into the side-netting from a difficult angle before United's best opening fell to Will Keane. Lingard combined well with De Laet and fed the prolific striker but Jamie McCormack's timely challenge diverted the shot wide for a corner.

Tunnicliffe's low drive finally worked Lee Nicholls in the Wigan goal and Johnstone made the save of the match at the other end to fingertip a Jesjua Angoy drive to safety in spectacular fashion. Nicholls blocked a Will Keane attempt with his legs in stoppage time but this isn't a match that will linger long in the memory.

The Reds regain leadership of the Barclays Premier Reserve League North on goal difference ahead of Sunderland, with two games still in hand on the Wearsiders.

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