Wigan 0 Tranmere 0

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 04 March 2003

Wigan edged a point closer to the first division despite a goalless draw in a thrilling local derby at the JJB Stadium.

With just one defeat in 30 games the Division Two title is looming large on the horizon but Wigan boss Paul Jewell is still taking nothing for granted.

Jewell said: "I am disappointed to drop two points but it's another game gone and we are still in a great position.

"I can't fault the players for effort and maybe we lacked a bit of quality in the penalty area, but it's difficult to find space when there are 20 players crowded into the box." Wigan dominated proceedings and forced a staggering 17 corners in their quest for victory.

They came close in the first half when Nathan Ellington flashed a 35-yard drive over the bar and then Andy Liddell saw a 20 yard free kick rebound off the crossbar.

Tranmere defended with numbers and relied on the break and their tactics almost paid off on the hour when Wigan keeper John Filan produced a superb save to deny Jason Price.

The Australian's save ensured that the Wigan keeper kept his 19th clean sheet of the season - a club record - and apart from that one chance Tranmere seldom troubled a stubborn-looking Wigan defence.

The home side upped the pressure after the break and visitors' keeper John Achterberg somehow held a close-range effort from Jason De Vos on the line as the Wigan fans in the 9000 crowd rose to celebrate a goal.

It was a happy return to the JJB for former Wigan boss Ray Mathias, now in charge of Tranmere and he said: "I am delighted with the result.

"We faced a great deal of pressure, especially in the second half, but we stuck at our task and I can't remember our keeper having too many saves to make and I think a draw was a fair result."

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