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Sky Bet Championship

The Valley (ATT 23,600) 27th October 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: Steve Martin

Charlton Charlton Athletic vs Wigan Athletic Wigan

Sky Bet Championship: Charlton and Wigan play out 0-0 draw at the Valley

Last Updated: 28/10/13 10:21pm

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Grant Holt: Couldn't break home side's defence

Grant Holt: Couldn't break home side's defence

Rookie goalkeeper Lee Nicholls was Wigan's hero as they battled to a 0-0 draw at Charlton in the Sky Bet Championship.

The 21-year-old was thrust into a league debut for the Latics after regular number one Scott Carson, who enjoyed a season on loan at the Valley six years ago, suffered an ankle injury during the warm-up - he later left the ground on crutches wearing a protective boot.

Nicholls' only previous appearance for the club came in August in the Capital One Cup, when Manchester City thumped five past him.

But he pulled off a string of fine saves to frustrate the Addicks in the first half, before Wigan went in search of a rare away win after the break only to be denied by the woodwork.

Nicholls showed no sign of nerves as he was tested early on, making a couple of sharp saves to deny Addicks midfielder Bradley Pritchard.

It should have been third time lucky for Pritchard on the half hour mark but he fluffed a golden opportunity to put the hosts ahead.

Cameron Stewart jinked his way to the byline and pulled the ball back for Pritchard, who had a free shot from the penalty spot but blazed it over the crossbar.

Things got worse for Charlton moments later when striker Yann Kermorgant suffered a recurrence of the ankle injury which had kept him out for the previous month and limped off.

And Nicholls pulled off a stunning save just before half-time when he clawed out Richard Wood's point-blank header from Dale Stephens' corner.

Wigan, still getting to grips with combining their Thursday night Europa League outings with a promotion bid, enjoyed plenty of early possession but too often their final ball was lacking.

Their only opportunity of note in the first half was a header from Grant Holt which he planted straight at Ben Hamer.

However, they improved vastly after the break, but not before Nicholls was beaten by a 20-yard rocket from Stephens which fortunately for the youngster flew inches wide of his right-hand post.

Charlton had a huge let-off moments later when Chris McCann met Ben Watson's corner with a powerful header which crashed off the underside of the crossbar and bounced to safety.

Hamer then saved low down from Leon Barnett and Emmerson Boyce volleyed narrowly wide from another Watson corner.

James McCarthy then blazed over from the edge of the box, Watson fired wastefully wide and Holt's goalbound shot was blocked by Wood, leaving Charlton more grateful for the point by the end.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 22 42
2 Ipswich Town 22 41
3 Brentford 22 40
4 Middlesbrough 22 39
5 Derby County 22 39
6 Watford 22 38
7 Norwich City 22 34
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 34
9 Nottingham Forest 22 31
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 31
11 Cardiff City 22 30
12 Charlton Athletic 22 30
13 Fulham 22 28
14 Sheffield Wednesday 22 28
15 Birmingham City 22 28
16 Bolton Wanderers 22 26
17 Reading 22 25
18 Leeds United 22 24
19 Rotherham United 22 24
20 Huddersfield Town 22 24
21 Millwall 22 23
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 22 19
23 Wigan Athletic 22 17
24 Blackpool 22 13

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