English Premiership

Wigan held by Portsmouth

2010-04-14 23:21
Roberto Martinez (AFP)

Wigan - Wigan remain in the relegation dogfight after being held to a 0-0 draw by already-relegated FA Cup finalists Portsmouth at the DW Stadium on Wednesday.

Roberto Martinez's side are five points clear of the Premier League's bottom three but still have tough fixtures to play and may live to regret failing to defeat under-strength Pompey.

Just four days after securing a second FA Cup final appearance in three years, Pompey boss Avram Grant made eight changes to the team that beat Tottenham in the semi-final on Sunday and was only able to name four substitutes.

The potential of having to make additional payments to certain first-team players for reaching a certain number of appearances meant Grant gave Premier League debuts to youngsters Joel Ward and Matt Ritchie.

With Pompey's relegation to the Championship already confirmed, there was also little reason for Grant to risk his senior stars ahead of the Cup final clash with Chelsea next month.

Ritchie was in the thick of the action early on as he headed wide from Tommy Smith's cross when he should at least have hit the target.

Latics midfielder Paul Scharner wasted an even better chance from Charles N'Zogbia's free-kick as he headed wide from close range.

Jason Scotland should have put Wigan ahead in the 32nd minute when he met Diame's cross at the near post but the striker somehow shot straight at Ashdown from four yards.

Ashdown then did just enough to keep out Scotland's drive from the edge of the penalty area after former Wigan midfielder Michael Brown's poor back-pass played in the Trinidad and Tobago international.

Wigan midfielder Scharner had the ball in the net just before half-time but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Scharner carelessly side-footed over from Maynor Figueroa's cut-back soon after half-time and Latics boss Roberto Martinez responded by substituting the Austrian, to the delight of home fans who cheered the decision as he disappeared down the tunnel.

Another chance went begging when Scotland's glancing header from N'Zogbia's cross flashed across the face of goal.

Ashdown produced his best save of the night with nine minutes remaining when he tipped James McCarthy's drive around a post.

The hosts continued to push for a much-needed winner but Hugo Rodallega fired over late on.

Read more on:    portsmouth  |  wigan  |  english premier league
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