Port Vale moved out of the Sky Bet League One drop zone thanks to a goalless draw at Wigan.

The home side came close to scoring with their first attack, as Matt Smith’s shot took a huge deflection off Thelo Aasgaard, completely wrong-footing Connor Ripley, only for the ball to sail inches past a post.

Former Wigan man Gavin Massey then had a great chance to mark his return to the DW Stadium with a goal, only to be thwarted by England Under-21 stopper Sam Tickle.

Smith’s deliveries were causing concern for Ripley, who had to act smartly to take the ball off Aasgaard’s feet, before tipping another cross round a post.

Martial Godo hit a post as Wigan pushed further, with substitute Charlie Kelman unable to force home the rebound.

But Vale finished the stronger and almost nicked it in the closing stages.

Tom Sang headed wide from an unmarked position, before Tickle parried out a deflected shot from James Plant, and did even better to divert the rebound from Baylee Dipepa past a post.

Burton manager Martin Paterson has confidence his side can avoid relegation from League One after taking encouragement from their performance in a 1-1 draw at Wigan.

The Brewers responded well to falling behind to a bizarre Sam Hughes own goal just before half-time and they levelled nine minutes into the second half through John Brayford.

Both sides hit the woodwork – Burton through Joe Hugill and Wigan through Thelo Aasgaard – as honours ended even, leaving Burton one point and one place above the drop zone.

“It was a great point for us, and you could argue we had enough chances to win the game in the second half,” Paterson said.

“It was a crazy goal we conceded, and we did well to react from that. We gave them a goal but we showed great character in the group.

“To come to Wigan and put in a performance like that, I’m looking forward to the next six games.

“We were the better team in the second half, we kept playing, we kept fighting, and I’m confident we will achieve the remit of staying in the division.

“The challenge now is to pick up the results that the performances deserve, because I actually think we deserved to win that game.”

Paterson also played a straight bat when asked about an incident directly after the full-time whistle, when he restrained Hughes, who appeared to be on his way into the away end to confront a Burton fan.

“I don’t want to comment on anything that happened,” he said.

“All I will say is that I make sure my players remain safe at all times.”

Wigan boss Shaun Maloney was not happy with the majority of his side’s performance.

“I liked the last 15-20 minutes,” said Maloney. “The first 70 minutes, I didn’t like.

“I didn’t like the performance, I didn’t like the feeling I got from my team, we just sort of drifted through the first three-quarters of the game.

“I said before the game that Burton were very well organised, they’re hard to break down, and they’re fighting for their lives.

“And there were a few things that happened that make me think we were probably lucky not to lose that game.
“They also hit the post, and every set-play caused us problems.

“I know we hit the bar and we had some good chances at the end but, for large parts of the game, I didn’t like how we played.”

Scott Smith’s first goal in senior football was enough to send Wigan into the top half of Sky Bet League One thanks to a 1-0 victory over play-off chasing Blackpool.

After a keenly contested opening 20 minutes, Wigan came closer to opening the scoring when Jordan Jones’ left-wing cross was headed just wide by Thelo Aasgaard.

But the home side did hit the front after 26 minutes, with Jones again crossing from the left and this time 23-year-old Smith popping up from right wing-back to force the ball over the line.

Blackpool’s immediate attempts at a leveller were foiled when George Byers’ shot was comfortably saved by Sam Tickle, who then made a brilliant stop to deny substitute Shayne Lavery – who had replaced the injured Jordan Rhodes.

The visitors showed they had not given up the fight early in the second half when Matt Pennington went right through the back of Stephen Humphrys, only to escape with a yellow card.

Indeed, Wigan boss Shaun Maloney was so angered he was shown a yellow card by referee James Linington.

Blackpool sent on Kyle Joseph in search of an equaliser, and the Wigan Academy graduate almost found a leveller when he nodded a deep cross just wide of the far post.

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield saw his faith in Franco Ravizzoli repaid in his side’s 1-0 victory over Wigan in what turned out to be a tale of two goalkeepers.

A mid-table clash in Sky Bet League One was decided by an own goal from Sam Tickle, who has been enjoying a successful first season as Latics’ first choice.

His opposite number, Ravizzoli, then made sure the Chairboys won for the third time in four games with three fine saves in stoppage time.

The Argentinian was preferred to Max Stryjek despite his availability after suspension, and Bloomfield said: “I feel like my words to the players are ‘if you’re in possession (of your place) and you perform well, then you deserve to stay in’.

“So I had an opportunity tonight to back up my words with my actions and I felt like it was the right thing to do.

“Franco was fantastic on Saturday at Reading, he really helped us get the victory and there was no way he deserved to be left out tonight.

“Maxie was fully respectful of that, he’s obviously been fantastic for us this season and last season as well, but as with anything in sport you respect when someone’s performed well.

“He’s backed him up well tonight and he’s really played his part, as have all the squad. I thought Franco was excellent.

“I have to be really pleased with the resilience – I think it was a very ‘Wycombe’ defensive display.”

The home side’s winner came after 19 minutes when Josh Scowen’s mishit low cross was fumbled into his own net by Tickle at his near post.

Wigan grew stronger the longer the match wore on but were frustrated three times at the death as Ravizzoli denied Thelo Aasgaard, Charlie Hughes and Jordan Jones.

Latics boss Shaun Maloney said: “Second half we did everything but score, I can’t fault the players in the second half.

“I’m sorry for the fans that I can’t give them at least something to head back with.

“I think they could see the players’ performance and the team’s performance, but the first half cost us.

“The second half was excellent, really good, that’s how I want a Wigan team to play.

“The first half was opposite: everything was slow, everything was comfortable.

“It was a big mistake from our goalkeeper but Sam’s been incredible this season. I’ve said this numerous times, so that’s just an incident that can happen.

“Our general play was really poor, I was really unhappy at half-time, but the players that came on were excellent.

“It’s difficult to sit there after the game with how we played second half and not win the game, but also understand it was the first half that cost us.”

An own goal by Wigan goalkeeper Sam Tickle decided a low-key encounter as Wycombe claimed a 1-0 win at Adams Park.

The game may not live long in the memory, but the Chairboys celebrated a third win in four games that moved them level on points with their visitors.

Wycombe were gifted the lead after 19 minutes when Josh Scowen’s mishit low cross from the right was fumbled into his own net by Tickle at his near post.

The Chairboys almost doubled their advantage in the second minute of the second half as Beryly Lubala headed a peach of a free-kick from Luke Leahy just wide.

Wigan improved and pressed hard for an equaliser, with Thelo Aasgaard and Charlie Kelman both sending presentable headed chances off-target.

The closest Latics came to snatching a point was in the first minute of stoppage time when Jordan Jones teed up Aasgaard, whose header was brilliantly saved by Franco Ravizzoli.

Fleetwood boss Charlie Adam was beaming with pride after a vital 4-2 victory over Lancashire rivals Wigan.

Bosun Lawal, on loan from Celtic, twice pulled Town level in the first half to cancel out goals from Stephen Humphrey and Thelo Aasgaard.

And further strikes from Gavin Kilkenny and Jayden Stockley, within seven second-half minutes, put the result beyond doubt to give Fleetwood’s survival hopes a welcome boost.

Adam said: “It’s the performance I’m happy with. We took the second-half performance from midweek at Port Vale to today. I thought the lads were magnificent, we dominated the ball and caused them real problems.

“We showed real character and that’s what we are going to need. At times the quality of play was really good.”

However, the 38-year-old was keen to remind everyone that consistency is key after the Cod Army’s first win in their last six games.

“Ultimately, it’s only three points and we don’t want to get too high on it, we go again next week,” Adam said.

“We are happy with the result but now it’s about getting that performance on a consistent basis. I want this club to expect to win football matches.

“Getting used to winning football matches is a good habit to have and this group of players are smelling that the performances are good and they are getting the results the performances deserve.”

A deflated Shaun Maloney defended his Wigan players despite their disappointing performance on the Fylde coast.

The Latics looked to be building momentum in the league after their midweek victory over Bolton but succumbed to the intensity of the hosts.

Maloney said: “Look, I can’t really criticise any of my players too much after what they gave me on Tuesday.

“But the levels were definitely lower today in some really key moments; when a tackle had to be made, when we had to defend our box, blocking shots, when we had to spring back.

“We spoke after the Bolton game, and some of our players, about a real desire and determination to win that game.

“Our levels didn’t live up to that game, although I can’t criticise the mentality.

“They gave me absolutely everything again today. It’s just in those key moments, our intensity wasn’t the same as it was in midweek.

“I was concerned before the game whether we could go again, that was my worry, that’s why I made the changes I did.

“I have to give Fleetwood lots of credit, they were better than us at the fundamental things and that’s why they won the game.”

Fleetwood gave their League One survival hopes a boost with a 4-2 victory against Wigan.

The relegation-battling Cod Army secured their first win in six matches for a vital three points at Highbury.

Neither side could take control in the early stages but Bosun Lawal fired in a thunderous volley to give Fleetwood the lead, before Stephen Humphry levelled the scores just three minutes later.

Thelo Aasgaard then fired the Latics into the lead in the 26th minute but Lawal notched his second goal of the game to ensure the match was even at the interval.

Fleetwood then took the game by the scruff of the neck after the break. Midfielder Gavin Kilkenny put the hosts in front with his first goal of the season, a deflected effort which bamboozled Wigan stopper Sam Tickle.

Striker Jayden Stockley hit the fourth after 61 minutes as he secured the points by heading home a Ryan Broom cross to the delight of the home supporters.

Fleetwood gave their League One survival hopes a boost with a 4-2 victory against Wigan.

The relegation-battling Cod Army secured their first win in six matches for a vital three points at Highbury.

Neither side could take control in the early stages but Bosun Lawal fired in a thunderous volley to give Fleetwood the lead, before Stephen Humphry levelled the scores just three minutes later.

Thelo Aasgaard then fired the Latics into the lead in the 26th minute but Lawal notched his second goal of the game to ensure the match was even at the interval.

Fleetwood then took the game by the scruff of the neck after the break. Midfielder Gavin Kilkenny put the hosts in front with his first goal of the season, a deflected effort which bamboozled Wigan stopper Sam Tickle.

Striker Jayden Stockley hit the fourth after 61 minutes as he secured the points by heading home a Ryan Broom cross to the delight of the home supporters.

Thelo Aasgaard’s brilliant strike just after the half-hour mark was enough to secure a valuable 1-0 Sky Bet League One victory for Wigan over Reading at the DW Stadium.

Wigan had threatened first when Martial Godo spun just inside the penalty area, but aimed his shot too close to goalkeeper David Button.

Wigan were indebted to Sean Clare for throwing himself into the path of a goalbound shot from Harvey Knibbs, who’s been teed up by Sam Smith.

But it was the home side who took the lead on 32 minutes, with Aasgaard bending a magnificent right-foot strike into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.

On-loan Fulham winger Godo was unable to run off his problem and was replaced by Stephen Humphrys.

Centre-back Liam Morrison, on loan from Bayern Munich replaced Wigan captain Josh Magennis early in the second half, and he immediately tested Button with a firm header from a corner.

It was almost 2-0 when Matt Smith led a two-on-two break and decided to chip the goalkeeper from 35 yards, with Button just about getting back and clawing the ball behind for a corner.

Reading almost levelled on the stroke of 90 minutes, only for Sam Tickle to parry Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan’s fierce drive, and then regain his feet quickly to push the ball away from the danger zone.

Shaun Maloney says it is time that Wigan enjoyed another good FA Cup run following their 2-0 first-round win at Exeter.

In a match almost identical to the 2-0 win for Latics in League One just two weeks ago, Wigan won it with second-half goals from Thelo Aasgaard and Steven Sessegnon, despite Exeter dominating for long spells.

“It was a very good team performance,” Maloney said. “We changed it tactically in the second half. I didn’t think there were massive issues in the game, I just wanted to get our attacking players in the game more and in the end, it was an excellent performance.

“First half was very even, there wasn’t too much in it but at the same time, I didn’t feel we were really cutting through them when we had the ball.

“I felt we were a danger on the counter attack but I wanted more of the ball in the second half and once it got to 2-0, I was really happy with the way we saw out the game.

“This game meant a lot to us and it was a big win for us. We have a history in the cup. Everyone talks about 2013 but the following season, we made it to the semi-finals, lost on penalties, 2018 as a League One club, we beat a Pep (Guardiola) Man City team. Hopefully it’s our turn to make some memories but it is just one round.”

It was frustration for Exeter manager Gary Caldwell, though. His side have now lost eight of their last nine games and scored in only three of those matches.

“It’s really frustrating,” Caldwell said. “I thought we were better today than we were two weeks ago in terms of how we wanted to play and the chances we created.

“We created great opportunities to score, a brilliant opportunity second half for James (Scott) but didn’t score and the longer the game went on, they were always going to be a threat on the counter and we gifted them a goal. Then the game became really difficult.

“It is clear what is happening, it is clear what we need to improve on and it is hard work on the training ground and support for the players that will do that.

“It’s frustrating because when you lose games, confidence does get affected – that is only natural in football and in life, but the players have to stand up in those moments and keep believing in what we are doing, what was working before and keep doing that to get back into the game.

“I do agree that confidence is low at the minute, but we have to work hard on the training pitch to build that back up.”

Charlton boss Michael Appleton admitted the 3-2 victory at Wigan – his side’s first away win of the Sky Bet League One season – was ‘job done’.

All the damage was done in the first half at the DW Stadium, with two goals from Alfie May and one from Corey Blackett-Taylor.

After substitute Tyreece Campbell came within a lick of paint of making it four shortly after the restart, the Wigan revival began.

Thelo Aasgaard hit the bar – team-mate Callum Lang had done the same in the first half – before the Norway junior international pulled one back with six minutes to go.

And a frantic finale was ensured when substitute Stephen Humphrys scored Wigan’s second goal in the last minute, only for Charlton to hold out.

“We got the job done, which was the most important thing and the first thing I said in the dressing room afterwards,” said Appleton.

“I’m not going to focus on the last 10 minutes. I’ll focus on what I’ve seen before.

“We were on the front foot. We were pressing really high. The players looked like they were enjoying working really hard and making contact with people.

“If you want to win on the road, you need that type of mentality. We knew the areas of the pitch we had to press really aggressively and we did that and got all the rewards for it.

“Even if they got the first goal, if we’d got three or four wins under our belt on the road, then I don’t think they get a second.

“It’s just that mentality of ‘oh no, surely this can’t happen’, which you could sense was dropping into one or two players.

“But, to be fair, there were a few players on the pitch who rallied round and got after some of our younger players and made sure they could see the game out.”

Wigan boss Shaun Maloney took ‘full responsibility’ for the result after making three changes to a side that had won three matches in the space of a week.

A triple change at the interval helped redress the balance, with Martial Godo coming on and laying on the goals for Aasgaard and Humphrys, but it was too little, too late.

“I spoke a few weeks ago in terms of us having a really great start to the season, and I spoke about complacency setting in,” he said. “And possibly I think that happened again.

“But I have to take full responsibility for that, I didn’t get the team right. You could see the way we played in the second half was very different.

“I didn’t get the team right, the changes I made – that I hoped would have a positive impact – didn’t contribute to a good performance by the team.

“Charlton were very good, they deserved their 3-0 lead at a minimum. But the second half was the complete opposite, and I’ll have to focus a lot on that heading into the weekend.

“As a club, from top to bottom, we have to understand that at no point can we take our foot off the gas, any of us, and that starts with me.”

Shaun Maloney hailed a “very professional performance” after Wigan secured a third 2-0 victory on the spin in Sky Bet League One against a Shrewsbury side who played for all but four minutes with 10 men.

Former Wigan defender Chey Dunkley was shown a straight red card for hauling down Thelo Aasgaard on the edge of the box.

And goals in either half from Stephen Humphrys and substitute Callum Lang secured a comfortable win for Latics, who also hit the woodwork twice.

“I thought it was a very professional performance,” said Maloney.

“Obviously it was very hard for Shrewsbury when you go down to 10 men that early.

“I thought we started the game very well, and then the game completely changes.

“I was just really happy with how professional we were, because the sending-off changed our outlook dramatically.

“Give Shrewsbury credit, actually, even with 10 men.

“It changes how we play, the spaces become bigger and we have to make them even bigger for them, which is probably the reason why we created so many chances.

“We had to change how we played in the second half, we had to become more aggressive.

“I was really pleased with the guys who came on in the second half, especially Callum McManaman who brought that mentality back just at a time when I thought the game was starting to drift.

“This kind of game can drift and become a lot harder, even when you have the man advantage.”

Shrewsbury boss Matt Taylor had no complaints over either the red card or the result.

“It was a very difficult afternoon for us,” he said. “But you’ve got to put it into context, when you have your captain sent off inside five minutes away from home – and quite rightly sent off.

“It’s a bad decision from Chey, he gets himself into a position where he can’t affect the run of the player going through.

“Going down to 10 men inside five minutes, you know there’s going to be some suffering, and there was.

“Having said that, for large parts of the game I thought we were excellent, considering we had 10 men.

“The players trusted each other, they moved the ball very well and we got into some excellent positions.

“You have to understand that when you play with 10 men, you will have to give space away because you can’t cover the whole pitch.

“Therefore they had plenty of opportunities from crosses and we haven’t stopped crosses well enough today in one-v-one situations.

“With the ball I was pleased, we varied the ball well and overall I’m disappointed because I felt this was a good opportunity to pick up some points.

“But we weren’t able to do that because we went down to 10 men so early.”

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