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Club News

First-half report

2 February 2013

Barnard's dream debut

Lee Barnard made a goalscoring debut for Latics in their npower League One match at Walsall.

Loan-signing Barnard gave Latics the lead only for the Saddlers to equalise late in the opening half through James Baxendale.

There was almost a dream start for the Latics' new strike pairing as Chris Iwelumo's brilliant third-minute back heel released Barnard who burst through on goal only to blaze over.

The pair linked again when Barnard latched on to Iwelumo's headed flick, but spooned his shot which was easily caught by keeper Ian McLoughlin.

It was a case of third time lucky for Barnard who broke the deadlock in the 20th minute through a superb far-post header from Lee Croft's right-wing cross.

Walsall hit back as Will Grigg had two goal attempts, a header which was well saved by Dean Bouzanis while an angled shot flew wide.

Latics had shouts for a penalty waved aside after Iwelumo appeared to be pulled back in the penalty area.

Walsall came close to equalising when Jamie Paterson's free kick dipped just over.

Another chance fell to Barnard who shot over while Iwelumo headed straight at keeper McLoughlin. 

Walsall equalised against the run of play when Baxendale burst past Jean-Yves M'voto and rounded Bouzanis before scoring from the tightest of angles.

Latics were fortunate not fall behind one minute later when an angled shot from Febien Brandy hit the inside of the far post and luckily rebounded to Bouzanis.

Half-time: Walsall 1, Latics 1.

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