Wigan Athletic 0 PNE 0
It was an unchanged North End 18 for the third game in a row who emerged in front of a sea of yellow faces on the away end, to mark the fourth anniversary of Simon Grayson’s appointment as manager.
But it was the home side who created the first opening of the game, deadline day signing Omar Bogle allowed space for a shot from the left hand edge of the penalty area, but Chris Maxwell was equal to it – saving in front of the Wigan fans, after Latics skipper Stephen Warnock had chosen to switch the teams round on his home ground so that North End wouldn’t play towards their sell out away end in the second half.
After the early scare North End grew into the game and Irish winger Daryl Horgan dragged a shot just wide of the left hand post after build-up play involving Callum Robinson, Aiden McGeady and Alan Browne.
But the best chance of the half came after nine minutes as a free kick from McGeady on the left found its way into the feet on Callum Robinson in the box and a foul by Omar Bogle brought a penalty, with Chris Kavanagh – who controversially didn’t give one for Jermaine Beckford against Newcastle back in October – having no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Top scorer Jordan Hugill stepped up, but his tame effort low to the right was saved by Matt Gilks in the Wigan goal. The ball came back out to the No.25, but the second attempt was also straight into the chest of the former Rangers keeper.
After the penalty the rest of the first half was a bit of a battle, the closest the next 35 minutes came to a chance was when former Chesterfield midfielder Sam Morsy fired goalwards from the edge of the box, the ball deflecting off Tom Clarke behind for a corner.
A Greg Cunningham tackle with 14 minutes left was the first real action of the second half, the Irish No.3 making a superb last ditch lunge to take the ball off the toes of Omar Bogle who was through on goal.
North End brought on Beckford, Makienok and Barkhuizen looking to try and force the winner, but they could not create that clear cut opening against a stubborn Latics defence and had to settle for a point.
Wigan Athletic line-up: Gilks, Buxton, Power (Hanson, 77), Morsy, Grigg, Connolly, Bogle, MacDonald (Perkins, 85), Tunnicliffe, Warnock (c), Burn. Subs not used: Roberts, Obertan, Hanson, Laurent, Mandron, Weir.
PNE line-up: Maxwell, Browning, Cunningham, Pearson, Clarke (c), Huntington, Horgan (Barkhuizen, 82), Browne, Robinson (Beckford, 63), Hugill (Makienok, 63), McGeady. Subs not used: Lindegaard, Johnson, May, Boyle.
Attendance: 15,117 (4,765 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr C Kavanagh