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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 April, 2004, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Wigan 0-0 Sunderland
Sunderland's Kevin Kyle outjumps Jason De Vos of Wigan Athletic
The draw ensured West Brom's promotion
Wigan and Sunderland consolidated their places in the Nationwide First Division play-offs after a goalless draw.

The draw also ensured West Brom, who play Bradford later on Saturday, won promotion to the Premiership.

After an even first-half, Wigan began to dominate and should have taken the lead late on through Nathan Ellington.

Jason Roberts broke down the right and his shot was deflected off Mart Poom into the path of Ellington, who somehow hooked the ball high over the bar.

Sunderland midfielder Jeff Whitley fashioned the best chance of the opening exchanges, but his shot was well saved by goalkeeper John Filan.

Wigan slowly gained a foothold in the contest and Gary Teale's shot, after Poom had fended off Roberts' close-range effort, fizzed inches wide of the target.

Roberts spurned a golden chance after 56 minutes.

A hopeful ball into the Sunderland penalty area found the imposing striker who chested the ball over the onrushing Poom but could not beat Gary Breen who scurried back to clear his lines with admirable composure.

Sunderland refused to buckle under Wigan pressure and Filan had to be alert to save John Oster's well-flighted 25 free-kick low to his left.

Sunderland substitute Darren Williams - who replaced the ineffectual Tommy Smith - carved out a neat one-two with Oster, but could not produce the end product after scuffing the ball straight at Filan.

Ellington's disappointing individual display was exacerbated after Roberts bustled past Phil Babb and Joachim Bjorklund before unleashing a thumping strike across the face of goal.

Poom saved well, but could only deflect the ball to Ellington who somehow missed the target four yards from goal.

The Estonia international goalkeeper also had to be on his toes five minute from time to tip Teale's fierce drive over the crossbar to deny Wigan victory.


Wigan: Filan, Eaden, Breckin, De Vos, Baines, Teale, Jarrett, Bullard, Mahon, Ellington, Jason Roberts. Subs: Walsh, Mitchell, McCulloch, Farrelly, Liddell.

Sunderland: Poom, Wright, Breen, Bjorklund, Babb, Oster, McAteer, Whitley, Tommy Smith, Kyle, Stewart. Subs: Thornton, Williams, Byfield, Robinson, Myhre.

Referee: P Crossley (Kent).





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