Wigan take a point against Preston on their Championship return

North End had Ched Evans sent off in the closing stages.

By Press Association Published: 30 July 2022 - 4.12pm

Wigan picked up a point on their Sky Bet Championship return after being held to a goalless draw by a Preston side who had substitute Ched Evans sent off late on.

The Latics, last season’s League One champions, started well and asked several questions of their established second-tier opponents.

Preston could not clear a corner and, after a scramble, Jack Whatmough’s shot was diverted just wide of the near post.

James McClean then shot wide from distance and Josh Magennis volleyed over as North End struggled to get a foothold in the game.

Wigan were checked when Whatmough stayed down in the Preston half and, with referee Bobby Madley refusing to stop play, Max Power had to take a tactical booking.

Whatmough was able to continue but his uncharacteristic slip on halfway allowed Emil Riis to run in on goal.

The forward shot towards the far post but it flew wide of the target – and just in front of the inrushing Robbie Brady.

Whatmough’s miserable afternoon did not improve, and he hobbled off shortly afterwards to be replaced by Jason Kerr.

North End ended the half on top and were only denied an interval lead by a stunning double save from Ben Amos.

Troy Parrott raced clean through only for Amos to make a fantastic stop, with the rebound going to Riis.

He simply had to score, only for Amos to somehow flick the ball over the top at point-blank range.

From the resulting corner, a mad scramble saw the ball bundled over via Riis and the Latics crossbar.

The home side were more grateful to hear the whistle for half-time and came out rejuvenated for the second period.

A deep cross from Power was flicked back by Magennis and Kerr’s effort was only just diverted behind for a corner.

Wigan were half-claiming for a penalty when Will Keane appeared to be clipped in the area by the last Preston defender.

To his credit, the Ireland forward played on and saw his shot blocked, with his manager in the technical area visibly wondering what might have happened had he gone to ground.

The official then received pelters from the home fans for stopping the game for a non-head injury to Preston skipper Alan Browne, having not done so in the first half when Whatmough was felled.

Power, predictably, was incensed, as players of both sides waved a few handbags in the centre of the field.

Preston threatened when Parrott, on the shoulder of the last defender, got his shot away, only to see it roll wide of the far post.

But the visitors were left facing an anxious last 10 minutes when, eight minutes after entering the field, substitute Evans was sent off.

The striker went in very late on a grounded Curtis Tilt, who was lucky not to sustain a serious injury as he took two lots of studs in the chest.

Wigan almost won it at the death, only for skipper Tendayi Darikwa’s shot to be deflected over by a desperate defender.

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