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Latics draw at the Cottage

1 - 1
Wigan Athletic

Craven Cottage


Attendance: 20,820


Wigan Athletic manager Steve Bruce will be pleased with the point at Fulham coming as only the second away point of the season for the Latics

Following a dull first half where chances for either side were few and far between the Latics looked a lot livelier in the second half.

Marcus Bent put the visitors in front on 70 minutes following a corner from Ryan Taylor that was cleared to the edge of the penalty area.

Former Fulham captain Michael Brown hooked the ball back into the area, Titus Bramble headed on and Marcus Bent stormed in to take the ball on his chest before crashing a shot high in to the net.

Fulham equalised 8 minutes later, the ineffective Kamara scuffing a shot which was so badly hit that it was heading for the half way line fell at the feet of Fulhams American forward Clint Dempsey who curled the ball into the bottom corner of Kirklands goal with the outside of his foot.

Latics had two more chances to win the game in the last few minutes

Firstly Valencia broke through to end up one on one with Niemi only to lose control and allow the Fulham keeper to smother the ball

Then in the last minute a clever free kick from Scharner found substitue Sibierski free at the far post but his header hit the bar and went over with Niemi well beaten

All in all the draw was a fair result and edges Latics a little closer to clawing their way out of the bottom three

Star Player

Titus Bramble made some superb blocks and as always put his body on the line for the team

Player Ratings

Kirkland 7

Two smart saves during the game, no chance with the goal

Boyce 7

Solid game from Mr Reliable

Bramble 8

Titus Bramble made some superb blocks and as always put his body on the line for the team

Scharner 7

Much better at centre half than in midfield, tied the Fulham attackers up all afternoon

Kilbane 7

Good game from Captain Kev

Valencia 7

Showed clas when on the ball, should have scored though when through with only keeper to beat

Landzaat 7

Tidied up well and supported forwards when able

Brown 7

Got stuck in as always, once again lucky not to get booked

Taylor 7

Delivered some quality balls into Fulhams box

Aghahowa 4

Awful again

Bent 7

Took his goal well and worked tirelessly all afternoon

Olembe 6

Not on long enough to make much of an impression

Sibierski 7

Showed some good touches and almost scored right at the death

Writer:Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday December 23 2007
Time: 3:07PM


WOuld have taken the point before the game, once in front though disappointed not to have got all 3
23/12/2007 15:11:00
Star Player was Bramble kept us in the hunt all game, made up for his error against City in this game Kirkland 7 - improvement on last games, looks to be getting confidence back Boyce 7 - Solid, made 1 cruical save and cut the play down all game Bramble 9 - He doesn't play we don't get any points, made up for his city error in this match Scharner 7 - Bruce was right he looks better at the back, his effort and work behind the scenes to close play down was something we haven't seen from him for a while Kilbane 6 - He is doing his best but is getting carved up, sooner we get a LB the better we will be Valencia 8 - Dominated whenever he got the ball, he often took 2 players on and often won out, his speed, agility and options are great, he should of scored the match winner however. Landzaat 6 - Hardly saw him during the game, wasn't noticable in defence or attack so means he didn't do anything wrong at the same time, he can be creative and needs to get more involved, did notice he sat back during the game alot he looks better when moving forward. He woke up in the last 15mins of the game Brown 6 - Typical performance, made 3 fouls and lucky not to have been given a yellow, is selfish with the ball and hack happy whenever he gets close to the edge of the box. Needs to pick his options better as he isn't a goal scorer Taylor 7 - tried hard all game, did a heap of work on the left in attack and defence, his crosses are top notch and nearly scored off them again. goals are going to come from this kid be it in assists but none the less they are going to come. Vital he stays on the park for an extended period for our chances Aghahowa 3 - Lazy, inept performance. Quicker he is shown the door the better our roster will be, isn't starter quality let alone the type of impact you want on your bench. Offside to often and never back tracks in defence. Needs to take a leaf out of Bents book. Bent 8 - Again brilliant, hardly touched the ball for 60mins but when he gets half a chance he is showing he can convert them. 7 goals for us and scored the 100th goal for Wigan in the EPL. He runs all game in attack and defence and is vital to our chances of avoiding the drop on current form, just needs more support and some ball Olembe 5 - Hardly spent any time on the park but like Landzaat didn't notice him Sibierski 7 - Imediate difference in team structure and confidence up front. When he came on Bent and Valencia had room to move. Sibs even did a controlled header from the edge of the box which hit the top corner of the woodwork which nearly won the game for us. Is quality just needs an injury free run. Heskey, Bent and Sibs in the team fit and ready and we have quality match day depth up front.
24/12/2007 00:24:00
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