Brentford v Latics
It was an indication as to how well Latics did in their npower League One match at Brentford that home keeper Simon Moore was named their man of the match.
Once again you are talking about fine lines and Latics are currently on the wrong side of that line as they found to their cost at Griffin Park when they lost to a first-half goal from Adam Forshaw.
Latics were unlucky to lose and, on the balance of play, they deserved a share of the spoils from an evenly contested and entertaining encounter.
Paul Dickov certainly took positives from the game as he said: "We have to take a lot of heart from the performance as they (Brentford) were on their heels at the end.
"And with a bit of luck we would have nicked a point which is the least I thought we deserved. Their keeper made an unbelievable save at the end from Matt Smith and, on another day, it would have gone in.
"I have told the players to stay positive because, if we continue to play like that, we will soon start to pick up points. We have got to believe we are doing the right thing.”
Latics’ manager was left to rue another individual mistake saying they gave away the ball in a “silly” area and were punished for it.
He continued: "You cannot legislate sometimes for decision making on the pitch. Jean (Yves M’voto) had all the time in the world to pass it, but sliced it straight to one of their players.
"Sometimes you get away for it, but we aren’t at the moment we are not getting the breaks."
Robbie Simpson won a recall to the starting line replacing Smith, the one change from the side which kicked off against Scunthorpe in midweek.
Latics carved out the first chance of the afternoon as Lee Croft released Matt Derbyshire who forced a decent save from Moore.
But it was Latics who were stung by the Bees who took the lead in the 17th minute following M’voto’s poor clearance.
Brentford produced an incisive passing move to open up Latics’ defence as Forshaw slotted the ball low to the left of keeper Dean Bouzanis.
Latics came close to equalising late in the half through Cristian Montano.
The winger’s stinging shot brought a terrific save from Moore diving low to his left. The resulting corner was cleared but only as far as the Colombian.
This time Montano fired in another low shot which Cliff Byrne, sliding in, just failed to convert from yards out.
Clayton Donaldson had a great chance to double the lead early in the second half, but Jonathan Grounds made a vital block.
There was another escape when Bouzanis picked up a back pass. The free kick was touched to Harry Forrester who shot from inside the penalty area was blocked on the line. It was hard to see in the melee who saved the day.
The dangerous Forrester also brought a decent save from Bouzanis.
Latics, who had introduced Jose Baxter 10 minutes into the second half, later made a second switch as Smith replaced centre-back Byrne as they went three at the back in pursuit of an equaliser.
Smith’s initially made an impact in an unusual place for Latics.....in defence as he popped up on the line to head Farid El Alagui’s effort to safety with Bouzanis beaten.
Then in the dying minutes, Smith was desperately unlucky not to equalise at the opposite end. He could not have connected better with Croft’s corner, but his header was brilliantly saved by Moore low to his left.
There was one last chance deep into stoppage time when Grounds’ shot was diverted off Simpson but the ball flew straight to Moore. Had it gone either side, it would certainly have been a goal.
Yet again it a case of fine lines and small margins.
Brentford (4-4-2): Moore; Logan, Craig, Dean, Bidwell; Adeyemi, Forshaw (Diagouraga 67), Douglas, Forrester; Donaldson (Fredericks 71), El Alagui. Subs (not used): Gounet, O’Connor, Saunders, Hayes.
Latics (4-4-2): Bouzanis; Wabara, Byrne (Smith 71), M’voto, Grounds; Croft, Wesolowski (Baxter 55), Furman, Montano; Simpson, Derbyshire. Subs (not used): Cisak, Brown, Tarkowski, M’Changama, Winchester.
The goal: Forshaw (17) for Brentford.
The bookings: Forrester (90+3) for Brentford. Bouzanis (61), Grounds (74) for Latics.
Referee: Mr F Graham.
Attendance: 5,251 (253 visitors)