Latics gained their first away point of the season last night at the John Smiths Stadium when, despite creating numerous chances, they were held to a goalless draw by Huddersfield.
Pre-match there was speculation that Emyr Huws could well miss out due to picking up an injury in Saturdays defeat away at Blackburn, but the Wales international recovered sufficiently to take his place in an unchanged starting line-up.
For the first fifteen minutes or so the Latics couldn’t string two passes together, both sides looked quite poor as the match struggled to find any rhythm and possession seemed to be the last thing on the player’s minds, but the game settled down and Rösler’s men grew in stature and started to put their hosts under pressure.
Andy Delort stung Alex Smithies hands in the Huddersfield goal with a 35 yard pile driver, then Callum McManaman found himself free in the area he twisted and turned trying to get past Smithies but was eventually crowded out by rushing back defenders who cleared their lines, from the resultant corner James Perch met the ball at the far post with a powerful downward header that Smithies did really well to get down low and turn the ball off the line.
In the first half Callum McManaman found himself getting booked for what the referee deemed to be a dive in the area, in fairness to McManaman it looked more of a penalty than the one that was awarded at Blackburn last Saturday, he was definitely tugged back and also there was a clumsy challenge that caught his leg. Maybe the ref had seen a video of last Saturday and decided that Macca goes down a little too easily.
The second half saw the Latics enjoying the majority of possession. A fantastic 40 yard pass from Ivan Ramis set James Perch away down the Latics right, his initial cross was cleared by the Huddersfield defence, but Perch managed to latch on to the ball again and square to an in rushing Emyr Huws, a right footed first time effort from the 20 year old midfielder was parried by Smithies and the danger cleared.
The last clear chance saw Delort rob a Huddersfield player of the ball, race clear but shoot over the bar from 20 yards out.
All in all a frustrating evening for the Latics, thirteen attempts on goal with just four on target once again highlighting our lack of quality at the business end of the pitch, a lack of creativity in the team with Shaun Maloney sat on the bench is a bit of an enigma, more of a cutting edge is required if we are to start challenging for the upper half of the table.
Huddersfield – Smithies, Hudson, Butterfield, Coady, Ward (Scannell 46), Stead, Robinson, Wells, Smith, Lynch, Peltier
Unused subs – Murphy, Wallace, Dixon, Majewski, Bunn, Lolley
Latics – Carson, Boyce, Ramis, Kiernan, Taylor (Tavernier 72), Cowie, Perch, Kvist, Huws, McManaman (McClean 61), Delort (Riera 76)
Unussed subs – Al Habsi, Barnett, Maloney, Forshaw