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Club News

First-half report

9 March 2013

Deadlock at Prenton Park

Relegation-threatened Latics and promotion-chasing Tranmere Rovers fought out a goalless opening period in their npower League One match at Prenton Park.

It was a dour half of few scoring chances and a case of each side largely cancelling out the other.

Tranmere had the first goal attempt of the match, but Connor Brown made a brilliant block as Abdulai Bell-Baggie fired in a low shot.

Ian Goodison and Brown were booked in quick succession in the opening 11 minutes when a warning word from referee Tim Robinson would have been sufficient.

Latics' keeper Dean Bouzanis was called into action to brilliantly claw out a goalbound header from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro following a corner from Max Power.

James Tarkowski became the third player to be cautioned in the opening 18 minutes by the match official.

Latics had their first clear-cut chance midway through the half when Matt Smith (pictured) headed a long ball down into the path of James Wesolowski who shot narrowly wide from outside the penalty area. 

Smith's speculative shot from 30 yards appeared to be running harmlessly towards Owain Fon Williams until it hit a divot on the bare Prenton Park pitch and troubled the Tranmere keeper as it veered sharply away from him.

Latics came close to taking the lead in controversial circumstances after referee Robinson collided with Danny Holmes in the box as he attempted a defensive clearance.

Jordan Obita picked up the loose ball and crossed from the left of the box and Lee Barnard's near-post header forced a diving save from Fon Williams.

Latics had a shout for a penalty turned down after striker Akpa Akpro clearly looked to handle as he was back defending a corner.

Half-time: Tranmere 0, Latics 0.

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