Wigan Athletic 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • March 16, 2008 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/436a1

Bolton are now looking over their shoulders in the relegation fight after they fell to 1-0 defeat at Wigan.

Despite having Jason Koumas sent off after just 5 minutes, Emile Heskey's 34th minute strike was enough to give the Latics all three points.

The game had started on a quiet note but referee Steve Tanner helped spring it into life with five minutes on the clock, dismissing Koumas for a late studs-showing tackle on Gary Cahill.

But it was the ten men who had the better of the first half. Heskey, without a goal since August, was left to wonder how he headed wide from six yards with the goal at his mercy.

Wilson Palacios was next to try his luck for the Latics, but his 20-yard screamer whistled just wide of Ali Al Habsi's goal.

Bolton were still offering nothing of the attacking sort and were punished for their lackluster performance ten minutes before the break.

Just moments after Ivan Campo had headed off the line, Mario Melchiot's long throw was met by Heskey who volleyed first time from six yards past Al Habsi to give the home side the lead.

The visitors were then forced into life and El-Hadji Diouf thought he had equalised only for his effort to be ruled out by Tanner for an apparant handball by the Senegalese international.

Diouf was lucky to stay on the field moments later, after forcing his way past Paul Scharner he went to ground inside the penalty area, with television replays showing a dive.

Tamir Cohen had to be replaced moments before the inverval after a clash of heads on the edge of the Wigan area. He was attended to by physios of both teams before being helped from the field.

Grzegorz Rasiak came on to replace the Israeli and almost scored with his first touch. Diouf's cross from the right was met with a diving header from Rasiak but Chris Kirkland pulled off a good save in goal.

Diouf, who was on thin ice, didn't appear for the second half, with manager Gary Megson bringing Joey O'Brien off the bench.

After being booed off the field at half time, Bolton came out a better looking side after the break, possibly with Megson's words still ringing in their ears.

Kevin Nolan thought he had scored just a minute into the second period, but Kirkland made a point-blank save to deny the Wanderers skipper an equaliser.

Scharner, who scored an own goal the last time the sides met, put the ball past his own goalkeeper only to be saved by a goalline clearance from Emmerson Boyce.

With 67 minutes on the clock, referee Tanner left the Bolton players and fans in fury after turning down strong penalty appeals.

Matt Taylor's corner was met by Kevin Davies, his header appeared to be goalbound but was blocked on the line by the hand of Michael Brown. No penalty was given and play continued.

Nolan was certain a penalty should have been awarded and chased the referee half the length of the pitch to make his point known to him.

Television replays have since shown Brown was lucky to stay on the pitch as he blatently stopped the ball with his hand.

Nolan later had the ball in the net, but was given offside by the linesman and the goal was disallowed.

Once again, television replays showed the officials got the decision wrong and Bolton should have been on level terms.

With time running out, Ricardo Gardner had a great chance to equalise. Almost a carbon copy of the Wigan goal, Campo's long throw was met by the head of the Jamaican, but he failed to connect properly and put his effort over the bar.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added, and Nolan almost got the goal his side were looking for, only to see his header cleared off the line by Edman.

There was still time for more controversy however. With almost the last action of the game, another long throw from Campo was put into the box, hitting Scharner on the hand, only for Tanner to award Wigan a free-kick for a foul.

The Latics tried to run the clock down by keeping the ball in the corner, and Steve Tanner called for time with the Wanderers fans once again booing their side off the field.

The result leaves Bolton in 18th position, with a trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday where they face league leaders Manchester United.

Wigan Athletic: Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Scharner, Edman, Valencia, Palacios (Taylor 89), Brown, Koumas, Heskey, King (Kilbane 58)
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Sibierski, Bramble
Booked: Palacios, Taylor
Sent Off: Koumas
Goals: Heskey 34

Bolton Wanderers: Al Habsi, Steinsson, A O'Brien, Cahill (McCann 69), Gardner, Nolan, Campo, Cohen (Rasiak 42), Diouf (J O'Brien 46), Davies, Taylor
Subs Not Used: Walker, Meite
Booked: Diouf, Gardner

Attendance: 17,055
Referee: Steve Tanner

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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