Middlesbrough 0 Wigan Athletic 0: Clean sheet, but there's not much else to cheer about

A goalless draw left Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka with little to smile about despite keeping a clean sheet at home for the first time in 10 years

Football. Middlesbrough v Wigan
Football. Middlesbrough v Wigan

Middlesbrough kept a fourth straight clean sheet at home for the first time in over a decade, but there was little else to cheer in a drab goalless draw with Wigan at the Riverside.

Boro had the best of the few chances on offer, but were again indebted to on-loan shot-stopper Shay Given for a precious point after the Irishman pulled off a superb one-handed save in the second half.

Wigan showed their teeth first, on seven minutes, as Ben Watson curled to the back post where Chris McCann’s effort was charged down.

They went close again on eight minutes as Nick Powell pulled it back to the edge of the box for McCann to stab in a shot that clipped George Friend and deflected wide.

Boro went close on 18 minutes as they won a free-kick 25 yards out but Emmanuel Ledesma’s well-struck waist-high effort brought a good save at the near post.

The hosts almost carved out the opener on 28 minutes as Grant Leadbitter pushed out to Friend on the left and he skipped past a challenge before sending Mustapha Carayol scything in to the edge of the box to send a low shot whistling wide.

 

Boro went close again on 33 minutes as a Ledesma corner was flicked on by Daniel Ayala for Carayol to try a diving header that was just turned wide off defender James Perch.

Just before the whistle Boro suffered a blow as Rhys Williams went down heavily after turning to chase and he had to be carried off on stretcher with what looked like a back injury.

After a scrappy start to the second half Boro missed a glorious chance to grab the opener. Carayol broke down the left on 64 minutes to send Ledesma into the box and he cut it back to Curtis Main but his shot was scooped over from eight yards out.

Then, after a spell of heavy pressure, Carayol cut inside to crack in a low shot that cannoned back off the shins of Perch.

Wigan broke forward and threatened as James McClean darted forward but fired over from 20 yards.

But Wigan could have snatched the lead on 76 minutes as a quick break found Stephen Crainey 20 yards out and he smashed in a stinging shot that took a slight deflection.

It could not fool Given, who made a superb one-handed reflex save.

Then they pressed again as Powell stole in front of defender Ben Gibson onto a Jean Beausejour cross to power a header over the bar.

A dramatic stoppage-time header from Chris Martin shattered Yeovil as Derby came from two goals down to snatch a memorable 3-2 win at the iPro Stadium.

Yeovil had led 2-0 at half-time through John Lundstram and Ishmael Miller but another goal from Chelsea’s on-loan striker Patrick Bamford and a Craig Bryson drive put Derby level before Martin glanced in a free-kick in the fourth minute of added time.

Burnley lost further ground on the Sky Bet Championship’s top two as they were unable to find a way past Brighton in a second straight Turf Moor draw.

It was a frustrating evening for the Clarets as while they maintained an unbeaten home run in the league which dates back to March, they also hit the post in either half in the 0-0 stalemate. Leaders Leicester won at Birmingham to give themselves an 11-point cushion over Burnley while second-placed QPR’s success against Bolton opened up a three-point gap for them.

Doncaster moved four points clear of the drop zone as Billy Sharp made a hero’s return in a vital 3-0 win over 10-man Charlton at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Goals from Abdoulaye Meite, Chris Brown (penalty) and man-of-the-match Mark Duffy saw Rovers run out easy winners over a poor Charlton side, whose spirit evaporated once Lawrie Wilson was sent off late in the first half.

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