Latics still in trouble as Pompey frustrate hosts

WIGAN missed a golden opportunity to ease their relegation worries as they were held to a goalless draw by an already-relegated and understrength Portsmouth.

Pompey’s Jamie Ashdown was by far the busier goalkeeper but his display was certainly not in the brilliant category as the Latics squandered a number of chances.

And although the draw lifted Wigan up a place to 16th they are only five points above the bottom three with the visit of Arsenal to come at the weekend.

But the glaring pre-match statistic for Wigan, apart from the one which highlighted only three Barclays Premier League victories since the turn of the year, was that they had failed to score more than once in their last 13 matches.

Their first-half performance encapsulated that form perfectly as, after allowing their visitors a couple of openings, they proceeded to squander several chances.

Paul Scharner headed Charles N’Zogbia’s free-kick wide under pressure from Ricardo Rocha, oneof only three survivors from Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final, and James McCarthy forced Ashdown into a save with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.

When Wigan did finally get the ball in the net Scharner was flagged offside from N’Zogbia’s deflected shot.

Ten minutes after the restart Scharner side-footed over from Maynor Figueroa’s cut-back, which proved to be his last contribution.

Another chance went begging when Scotland’s glancing header from N’Zogbia’s cross flashed across the face of goal before Ashdown raced off his line to block a Moreno shot, producing his best save of the night with nine minutes remaining when he tipped McCarthy’s drive around his right-hand post.

WIGAN: Kirkland, Melchiot, Gohouri, Bramble, Figueroa, Diame, Scharner (Moreno 56), McCarthy, N’Zogbia, Scotland (Moses 88), Rodallega.

PORTSMOUTH: Ashdown, Vanden Borre, Rocha (Sowah 46), Wilson, Ward, Diop, Basinas, Brown, Smith, Utaka, Ritchie (Piquionne 79).

Ref: Mike Dean.

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