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Club News

First-half report

9 April 2013

Baxter inspires bright start by Latics

Latics clearly edged the goalless opening half of their npower League One Lancashire derby at Preston North End.

They had the better of the chances with Jose Baxter (pictured) twice coming within a whisker of giving Latics the lead.

There was a new formation for Latics as manager Lee Johnson switched from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-1-1. 

Robbie Simpson operated just behind Lee Barnard while Baxter was wide left as Bobby Reid partnered James Wesolowski as the holding midfield pair. Korey Smith dropped back from midfield to right back.

Latics had the first chance of the night in the eighth minute when Simpson skied a shot over from six yards following a free kick from Baxter.

Korey Smith then made a break forward setting up Croft whose shot forced an easy diving save from keeper Declan Rudd.

Preston's first clear-cut chance came in the 32nd minute when an angled shot from Stuart Beavon was cleared off the line by Cliff Byrne.

Baxter cut in from the left and fired a blistering shot from the edge of the box which rippled the side netting as many Latics' fans at the opposite end of Deepdale thought it had found the net,

Latics had to make an enforced substitution seven minutes before the break when James Tarkowski replaced Byrne who appeared to be carrying an injury.

Baxter went close again three minutes before the break when he curled a free kick over the defensive wall forcing Rudd into a fine, flying save.

Preston were continuing to concede fouls just outside the box and from another Baxter fired a shot into the defensive wall.

Half-time: Preston North End 0, Latics 0.

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