Pre-season trips end with a draw at a wet Wigan
A week ago we had the choice of seeing us lose at Crewe or win at Port Vale before moving on to Fleetwood last Tuesday for another win and today at Wigan it looked as though we might grab another victory only for them to come back and deny us a first ever win there.
It’s not often we play at the ground I once referred to as the Concrete Jungle and the only thing that’s changed there since our last visit seems to be the seat colour changes behind both goals which now display the letters D and W, while outside the ground there is a statue of the former FA Cup Final broken leg victim of the same initials.
Not for the first time either, there was plenty of rain about. I’m sure it was similar on the last occasion we were there and there was one memorable Tuesday night match, in 2004/05 season I think, when we all got an absolute drenching after the game.
Wigan’s pricing for today’s game certainly seemed to keep the numbers down. I know people who just wouldn’t pay £15 with no concession prices and some of the supporters’ clubs reported a drop in passengers for the same reason.
For those of us there, we got the opportunity to see most of the first team squad although Nick Pope, Ben Gibson and Robbie Brady remain out with groin, ankle and rib injuries respectively, and we’ve just about given up asking about Steven Defour.
On the other side, Wigan were captained by Chey Dunkley. He once played a reserve team game for Burnley. On the night he was one of five trialists which included Chris Clements who played against us today for Cheltenham.
A more recognisable former Claret, Danny Fox, was named as a substitute while Paul Cook was on the touchline. Wigan also included a substitute by the name of David Jones who wasn’t called upon.
We started with a strong looking line up which saw a back four of Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, fit again Ben Mee and Charlie Taylor in front of Tom Heaton. Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork and Dwight McNeil were across the midfield with Jay Rodriguez and Ashley Barnes given an opportunity up front.
What a start we got. Two up in the opening ten minutes, two good goals and some blistering football to go with it.
Rodriguez got the first but it owed so much to Barnes and Guðmundsson. Barnes played a delightful ball through for Guðmundsson to run on to. He saw the goalkeeper coming out so squared the ball for Jay Rod who slid in to score with ease from close range.
Just a few minutes later and, after some neat play down the right, Guðmundsson played the ball forward for Barnes close to the edge of the penalty box. His lay off was just the ticket for McNeil whose left foot shot into the bottom corner from around 25 yards was an outstanding finish.
We were so much on top that a couple more goals wouldn’t have been a surprise, but Wigan did make their way back into the game. They forced Heaton into one save and then, on the half hour, got onto the scoresheet with a scrappy goal from our point of view.
Guðmundsson inexplicably tried to play a ball back from the left back position and only succeeded in finding a Wigan player who nutmegged Westwood and the subsequent low cross was turned in by Anthony Pilkington.
We had our chances to restore the two goal lead but failed to take them and we finally paid the price in the second half when they pulled a ball back from the left. Joe Gelhardt got the better of Cork far too easily and finished well.
By then the substitutions had started which, as is always the case, left the game very disjointed and turned it into what it is, a pre-season training game. So there were no further goals and we still await a first win at the concrete jungle.
The teams were;
Wigan: David Marshall, Antonee Robinson (Gary Roberts 70), Lewis Macleod (Danny Fox ht), Anthony Pilkington (Gavin Massey 59), Lee Evans (Jensen Weir 70), Josh Windass (Joe Gelhardt 59), Joe Garner (Callum Lang 59), Michael Jacobs (Kal Naismith 59), Leonardo Lopes (Nathan Byrne 56), Cédric Kipré, Chey Dunkley.
Burnley: Tom Heaton, Matt Lowton (Phil Bardsley 61), James Tarkowski, Ben Mee (Kevin Long 61), Charlie Taylor (Erik Pieters 71), Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, Ashley Westwood (Jeff Hendrick 71), Jack Cork, Dwight McNeil (Aaron Lennon 71), Jay Rodriguez (Matěj Vydra 80), Ashley Barnes (Chris Wood 61). Subs not used: Joe Hart, Oliver Younger.
Attendance: 3,376 (including 667 Clarets).Share this page :