Huddersfield Town 0 v 0 Wigan Athletic

Huddersfield Town story posted by Phill Rodgerson on 19/04/2003
An enthralling draw saw Wigan clinch the Division 2 title whilst Town had to settle for the on-going relegation battle. Both sides battled valiantly for the point, and earned numerous chances but it was difficult for the neutral to tell which team were the champions. Despite poor home attendances Wigan fans still managed to fill the away end in the hope of seeing their team crush the lowly positioned Town, but it was the result at Crewe which was of more interest to them as Town unexpectedly matched their visitors on the field.Huddersfield Town 0 v 0 Wigan Athletic

Wigan started with the initiative, clearly buoyed by their impressive away backing, with two half-chances for Neil Roberts. Both inside the first two minutes, one scuffed with his foot and the other a weak header at Phil Senior?s goal after being given no room to manoeuvre by Jason Gavin.

However, Town were keen to show that they?d be no pushovers as Danny Schofield twisted and turned his way around two Latics defenders. Having shown them a clean set of heels he lifted the ball into the area for Stead. Unfortunately for the young striker he was unable to shift his body over the ball and it was cleared by the Wigan defence. Having been quickly won back, though, Jon Worthington blasted a shot just over the bar from about 20 yards out.

Gary Teale, who always looked to use his speed to beat defenders, showed us a glimpse of his ability on 7 minutes when he sprinted past Thomas Heary with ease. His ball into the area came to no fruition, however, as two of his team mates were judged to be offside.

Teale was once again threatening the Town goal on 28 minutes after a poor ball from Thomas Heary found the winger. The winger placed a brilliant ball into the box for Neil Roberts, but fortunately for Town his volley was hit downwards and fizzled out before reaching the safe hands of Phil Senior.

Adie Moses was booked on 32 minutes and Wigan?s Jason De Voe was booked on 36 minutes, both for similar fouls.

Town created two slight chances just before the half-time break. After a defensive error Nat Brown pounced on the opportunity, but the young winger didn?t hit it quite as he would like, leaving him still to find a senior goal. Just a moment later some fantastic link-up play between Booth and Stead found space for Smithy. However, the potential player of the year overhit his intended pass.

Wigan were the first out of the blocks again for the second half as once again Teale was causing numerous problems down the right wing. His perfectly floated ball into the area found Lee McCulloch free with a header. With the Wigan fans already on their feet in anticipation, the striker could only see his chance go the wrong side of Senior?s post.

Having rode their luck a bit, Town looked to take the game to their opponents. A corner from Schofield on 52 minutes found Nat Brown towering over ?keeper John Filan who let the ball bobble loose from his grip. With Filan grounded it was a great chance for Moses to shoot us into the lead but he spurned his chance very high and very wide of the target.

Just two minutes later and Filan was making up for his prior mistake. Martin Smith turned swiftly on the edge of the box to dispatch his shot goalwards. Having taken a deflection along the way it took a magnificent leap from Filan to palm the powerful shot just wide of the post.

McCulloch managed to fizz a shot just over Town?s bar a couple of minutes later but it was Town who continued to keep the upper hand. Some great pressure in the box resulted in young midfielder Jon Worthington finding room just wide of the box. He played the ball tantalisingly low across the ?keepers six yard box but no Town players had gambled on such a ball and it went to waste.

Smith showed some great pace and skill to take on the Wigan defence just a minute later. But the striker, having seemed out of sorts for most of the match, accidentally knocked the ball away from under his own feet with his running right foot. Maybe with a bit more luck Smithy would?ve taken his chance but it just didn?t seem his day.

Chris Holland and Danny Schofield both went into Mr. Curson?s book on 66 and 68 minutes respectively.

On the 70th minute, arguably the best chance of the game fell to Wigan. First half substitute Peter Kennedy launched a fantastic half-volley at Phil Senior?s goal. With his small stature beaten, he was lucky to see it rebound off the cross-bar. It then fell at the feet of the dangerous winger Gary Teale and it looked like he would round off a magnificent performance with a great goal. Once again, lady luck was on Town?s side, as Teales shot rebounded off the post and wide to keep the scores level.

Nat Brown?s throw-in looked like it was ripped straight from the training ground. A routine flick-on from Booth found Stead unmarked in the middle with a great header at goal. Unfortunately for the striker, his shot had little power and was cockily caught with just one hand by the Wigan ?keeper.

Wigan almost snatched the game away, with their spectators already celebrating a championship victory, on 80 minutes. Having made what looked like an offside run the Wigan midfielder continued his advance into the box whilst the Town players protested. Having looked to have lifted the ball over Senior it seemed almost inevitable that a goal would result. But Senior managed to dive at full stretch back towards goal and claw it away from ?double J? Jason Jarrett who must have thought he?d won the game for his team.

Town had the last say in the game when Schofield?s corner found Booth in the box. The Town stalwart could only see his header go just over the bar, keeping the scores level.

A great battle by Town, and a well-deserved point. Smithy looked a little off form and that may have attributed to the lack of firepower up front for the Terriers. Wigan may count themselves as being a little unlucky having hit the woodwork a few times and seen a miraculous save from Phil Senior but based on possession it seemed a fair result for both teams.

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