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Club News

First-half report

1 September 2012

Latics finish opening half on top

It was very much a case of Latics growing into their npower League One match at Portsmouth.

After a slow start, they gradually began to impose themselves and finished the opening half strongly.

Latics survived a nervous opening as Pompey had three decent chances in the opening five minutes.

Keeper Alex Cisak (pictured) fumbled a shot from Izale McLeod and then pulled off a terrific block to deny Jordan Obita who beat the offside trap and burst through on goal.

Pompey also had a lukewarm shout for a penalty turned down following a challenge by Cliff Byrne on Obita.

Latics had their first goal attempt in the ninth minute, but Lee Croft shot narrowly wide from outside the penalty area.

Jean-Yves M'voto then saw a free header from a Croft corner clear the crossbar by some distance as Latics became more of a threat.

Cisak was forced into another athletic save to claw away a looping header from Pompey captain Brian Howard.

Latics were forced to make a substitution midway through the opening period when striker Jordan Slew came off with a recurrence of a recent back strain and he was replaced by Matt Smith.

Liam Walker forced two saves from Cisak while McLeod headed straight at the keeper from a good position in front of goal.

Pompey had another great chance when Darel Russell's header flashed into the side netting from a Jack Compton cross.

By far Latics' best spell of the game came in the final five minutes.

Cristian Montano's drive was deflected just inches wide of the far upright.

From the resulting corner, M'voto's header was parried by Pompey keeper Mikkel Andersen and in the resulting melee Latics had two other goalbound shots blocked.

Pompey had another appeal for a penalty rejected in stoppage time following a challenge by Connor Brown on McLeod.

Half-time: Portsmouth 0, Latics 0.

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