Wigan Athletic 0 Reading 0

Last updated : 26 April 2008 By Footymad Previewer
Two nervous looking sides had to settle for a point apiece from a tense but disappointing game at the JJB Stadium and both still face a nail-biting finish to the season in their fight for Premier League survival.

A win would have guaranteed safety for Wigan Athletic, but they had to survive some anxious moments in the second half when Chris Kirkland pulled off a crucial save from Michael Duberry.

But Marcus Hahnemann was also on top form in the Reading goal as the Latics searched desperately for that elusive goal and piled on the pressure in the final ten minutes.

Wigan made just one change with Wales midfielder Jason Koumas taking over from Ryan Taylor and strikers Marcus Bent and Emile Heskey both shaking off injuries.

Reading rang the changes again and among those back were striker Leroy Lita, fresh from his loan spell at Charlton, plus Nicky Shorey and Stephen Hunt.

Wigan came up with the first threat when Koumas fired in a corner and Bent's header hit the post and Wilson Palacios hammered one over the bar.

Kirkland almost had an embarrassing moment dealing with a Shorey free-kick but escaped with giving away a corner.

Twice Kevin Doyle found himself within shooting range but on both occasions he blazed well over the bar.

The Latics suffered a blow when skipper Mario Melchiot was forced off with a groin injury and replaced by Taylor.

A great ball from Heskey looked tailor-made for Bent but keeper Hahnemann was quick to spot the danger and raced out to deny the Wigan striker a shooting opportunity.

Latics had the first real chance of the game just after the re-start when Michael Brown almost cashed in on a mistake by Ivar Ingimarsson. The midfielder - still without a goal since his arrival at Wigan - hit it well with his left foot, but keeper Hahnemann just got a fingertip to it to push it over the bar.

The Royals went agonisingly close when Lita got the better of Emmerson Boyce and raced into the box. His cross flew across the face of goal but there was no-one there to take advantage.

Harper and then Heskey each had a shot on target without troubling either keeper, but Hahnemann did well to keep out a spinning, deflected effort from Brown after Antoine Sibierski replaced Bent.

And in the dying seconds Wigan almost won it on the break when Marlon King raced clear, but Hahnemann beat out the shot at the near post.