Fulham registered a first Premier League since Christmas as they kept Wigan at bay in a soporific stalemate at the JJB Stadium.
Paul Jewell’s looked the only likely scorers as the visitors didn’t even muster a shot on target to test John Filan in the Wigan goal. Henri Camara, who won the corresponding fixture at Craven Cottage earlier in the season, missed an open goal with the home side’s best chance as Caleb Folan was cruelly stretchered off placing his planned Irish international debut in serious jeopardy.
Wigan were on the front foot from the outset with Folan almost sneaking in behind Carlos Bocanegra to reach David Unsworth’s cross and Emile Heksey heading straight at Antti Niemi. Denny Landzaat drove wide from the edge of the box after the away defence had struggled to clear their lines, but Wigan’s momentum was disrupted when Folan had to be carried off after injuring his ankle.
Fulham’s only serious opener of the afternoon arrived midway through the first half when Papa Bouba Diop drilled high over Filan’s goal from distance. Coleman seemed to settle for a point, much to the consternation of the travelling support, with Collins John only introduced with eight minutes left, and Clint Dempsey and Wayne Routledge left sitting on the bench. Camara somehow squandered the game’s clearest opening when he got it all wrong from just two yards out, sending a simple finish past the post after Antonio Valencia had rolled a cutback across goal.
WIGAN ATHLETIC (4-4-2): Filan; Taylor, De Zeeuw, Jackson, Unsworth; Valencia, Landzaat (Scharner 78), Skoko, Kilbane; Heskey, Folan (Camara 31). Subs (not used): Nash, Aghahowa, Cotterill.
FULHAM (4-5-1): Niemi; Rosenior, Queudrue, Pearce, Bocanegra; Smertin, Diop, Brown, Davies, Radzinski (John 82); McBride (Helguson 67). Subs (not used): Lastuvka, Routledge, Dempsey.
REFEREE: Steve Tanner (Somerset).