Derby 0-0 Wigan: Latics end Rams' home winning run with draw
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 31/12/16 7:23pm
Wigan sealed a hard-earned 0-0 draw at Derby to deny the in-form Rams a sixth straight home victory, on Saturday.
Derby were strong favourites to beat the relegation strugglers but Wigan had the better chances and could have won with better finishing.
Will Grigg hit the post and was denied by Scott Carson in the first half, while Derby's best moment came when a Tom Ince effort was superbly denied in the second half.
Derby had not conceded at home in almost 11 hours since Danny Graham scored a 73rd-minute winner for Blackburn on September 24, but that record was nearly ended in the 11th minute.
Wigan's first attack of the game led to a corner from Jordi Gomez which Grigg volleyed against a post and Dan Burn's follow-up was cleared by Darren Bent.
It clearly lifted Wigan, who had lost their last five games, and they went close again in the 14th minute when former Derby defender Stephen Warnock swung the ball in and Carson had to dive to his right to keep out a header from another ex-Ram Michael Jacobs.
The game certainly was not going with the form book and Wigan had another opening in the 25th minute when Yanic Wildschut got in on the left but his low cross was behind Grigg.
Carson denied Wigan again in the 30th minute when Grigg intercepted a Will Hughes pass and ran clear, but his shot was parried by the 'keeper and Derby responded when Johnny Russell fired over from just inside the area.
Derby ended the half on the front foot, forcing several corners, but Wigan had another chance on the break when Wildschut got free on the left but his pass lacked conviction.
There was no lack of belief from Gomez in the 48th minute when he surged forward and unleashed a dipping shot which had Carson stretching before it just cleared the bar.
Derby made a double substitution in the 59th minute with Craig Bryson and Abdoul Camara replacing Jacob Butterfield and Russell, but it was Ince who almost scored in the 65th minute with a 25-yard free kick that Jussi Jaaskelainen saved brilliantly.
Wigan were coming under pressure as Bent and Will Hughes both had shots blocked before Bent was replaced by Matej Vydra in the 73rd minute as Derby looked for a way to breakthrough.
It almost came in the 82nd minute when Ince found Hughes in the area but his low shot rolled just wide of the far post and Wigan survived four minutes of stoppage time to claim an unlikely but well earned point.
Derby boss Steve McClaren:
"We haven't scored enough goals and we are going to get more games like this where we need to break teams down, so we need individuals and that little bit of magic.
"We need more matchwinners and I believe we have them but the halfway report is are we scoring enough goals? No, we're not.
"I was disappointed (Chris Martin) wasn't here when I came and I've said all along if there's a possibility of bringing him back in January can we do that?"
Wigan boss Warren Joyce:
"They've got no fear or inferiority complex to come and play at Derby or Aston Villa a few weeks ago or Newcastle at home, when I thought we gave a good account of ourselves in those games.
"We have to be more ruthless to finish off chances and make it easier to manage games. We're disappointed we've not won but pleased with the performance and the discipline, the intelligence we showed tactically."