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Latics v Wolves: Half-time Report

28 January 2014

Latics v Wolves: Stalemate at the Break

Latics went in level at the break, the visitors had looked the more likely to open the scoring, but a series of good saves from Mark Oxley and a helping of good luck from the woodwork had denied them.

Lee Johnson was forced into changing the team that finished the game against Peterborough United on Saturday, James Dayton coming for David Worrall. Kirk Millar taking the final spot on the bench.

Wolves started the game on the front foot Bakary Sako with a deep cross following a weak headed clearance from Saturday's last minute hero, Genserix Kusunga. Another one of the weekends stars, Gary Harkins almost finding Charlie MacDonald in reply.

On 6 minutes Scott Golbourne became the first player to be spoken to by referee Salisbury, his foul on Dayton being the latest in a series of strong challenges.

Dayton was the first to test either keeper, his shot a minute later punched clear by Aaron McCarey, after the winger had been found by a neat Korey Smith pass.

Smith was spoken to by referee Salisbury for a late challenge on Richard Stearman.

Mark Oxley was called into action on 12 minutes, the Latics keeper making a superb point blank stop to deny Nouha Dicko who had been found by a low cross from Sako. Oxley denied the same player a minute later as he drove a half volley goal wards following the first corner of the game. 

McCarey then showed he was also in the mood as he palmed away a decent effort from Jonson Clarke-Harris, following a neat build-up from Latics. Harkins having a shot blocked in the 6  yard box as Johnson's team started to press.

Wolves showed their counter attacking prowess on 20 minutes, a long ball forward from Kevin McDonald finding Sako who fired well wide.

Latics earned their first corner a minute later, and again the visitors were quick to counter, Dicko again failing to test Oxley.

Danny Batth was next to try his luck for the visitors, heading well wide from a deep free kick after Connor Brown was adjudged to have fouled Michael Jacobs, the Latics full back appearing to win the ball cleanly. The game was beginning to become a stop start affair with the whistle blown with almost every challenge, much to the frustration of both sets of supporters. 

A neat break down the Latics left ended with a Dayton effort flashing wide on 36 minutes. Wolves again breaking fast, Dicko crashing a shot against Oxley's crossbar. Jacobs then seeing his long range effort clearing the Latics goal as the visitors pressed.

Oxley had to be at his best on 41 minutes, leaping to tip a long range free kick from the busy Jacobs over the bar.

James Wesolowski became the first player into referee Salisbury's book, even though to most in Boundary Park, the Latics midfielder had clearly won the ball in a 50/50 challenge with Sako. 

In a frantic finish to the half, Latics applied pressure on the Wolves defence to earn two quick corners, James Tarkowski blasting an effort wide on the whistle.

HT: Latics 0 Wolves 0 

Latics Starting XI: Oxley, Brown, Grounds, Wesolowski, Kusunga, Tarkowski, Smith, MacDonald, Clarke-Harris, Dayton, Harkins.

Subs: Rachubka, Mellor, Winchester, Rodgers, Lockwood, Millar, Philliskirk.

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