Latics fell to their third home defeat of the season after a frustrating game against fellow strugglers Shrewsbury.
Having already beaten the Shrews twice this season Latics failed in their hat-trick attempt against a very resilient outfit.
Lee Johnson made two changes to the team that played against Coventry on Sunday, bringing in David Mellor for the departing Matteo Lanzoni and James Dayton for Carl Winchester.
In a very scrappy opening 10 minutes Latics managed to put a couple of dangerous balls into the Shrewsbury box but nobody really tested Chris Weale in the Shrewsbury goal.
Striker Adam Rooney had a good chance for the Latics, meeting a Korey Smith corner after 12 minutes but his effort sailed comfortably over the crossbar.
In the 15th minute Jonathan Grounds put in a testing ball that striker Rooney was a whisker away from meeting. The Latics where looking lively and hungry for a victory.
After not really testing Latics’ keeper Mark Oxley the Shrews broke the deadlock after 22 minutes. A speculative ball was put into the box which wasn’t dealt with by Connor Brown and Jon Taylor took advantage finishing comfortably with a volley from 10 yards.
Korey Smith had a chance to level proceedings straight from the restart with a good effort and there was also a claim for handball.
You could feel the Latics crowd getting frustrated by now as their team where enjoying a lot of the possession but lacking a real cutting edge.
Due to sheer desire and endeavour the Latics conjured up an equaliser after 35 minutes. A corner was delivered by Korey Smith and the ball eventually fell to the feet of Jonathan Grounds who finished comfortably from 10 yards.
Latics had a another very good effort after 38 minutes as Michael Petrasso passed Joe Jacobsen and hit the ball sweetly at Shrews keeper Weale who saved well low to his right.
With the half coming to a close Korey Smith hit a fantastic 25 yard free kick that Weale managed to tip on to the crossbar. From the resulting corner Jonson Clarke-Harris came very close to converting from 6 yards but could only find the side netting. Latics finished the half very much on top.
After a very tight first half both teams came out for the second half with the same starting line-ups.
The first real chance of the half came after 50 minutes when Shrewsbury midfielder Adam Reach shot from 20 yards testing Latics keeper Mark Oxley. Shrewsbury where enjoying much more of the ball in the opening stages of the second half.
After managing to maintain some possession Latics’ first proper chance of the half fell to David Mellor who hit a rasping 20 yard drive that tested Shrews keeper Weale to the full.
The Shrews eventually took the lead again in the 62nd minute when Captain Luke Summerfield put Aaron Wildig through, scoring with his second attempt after initially hitting the post.
The Latics responded immediately when Clarke-Harris hit a ferocious free kick that was well saved by Weale. The match was sweetly poised as we reached the 70 minute mark and the game looked like it could go either way.
Lee Johnson made his first substitutions after 72 minutes replacing Adam Rooney with Kirk Millar and replacing James Dayton with Sidney Schmeltz. Johnson didn’t take much longer making his third and final substitution after 75 minutes replacing Genseric Kusunga with Anton Rodgers.
As we reached the final 10 minutes the match was still quite open and there was still a feeling the Latics could pick something up from the game.
Michael Petrasso managed to get behind the Shrews’ defence on two occasions but in both cases failed to pick out the killer pass.
The referee added an additional 6 minutes at the end of 90 but the Latics failed to capitalise on this compounding to a frustrating afternoon for all.
After the game Manager Lee Johnson shared this frustration,
“It’s a disappointing result. I felt that we didn’t get any luck. We need something to unlock the door at Boundary Park. When people see the highlights they will wonder how the Latics did not win.” He went on to add,
“I’m massively disappointed with both Shrewsbury goals as I felt both could have been easily avoided.”