Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Wigan Athletic

  • December 28, 2008 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton ended the year in defeat as they lost 1-0 at home to local rivals Wigan Athletic.

An Amr Zaki penalty just before the break was enough to give Steve Bruce's side all three points in a dull affair at the Reebok Stadium.

Danny Shittu hit the bar in the final minute as Bolton searched for an equaliser, but it never came and their poor record against the Latics continued.

Wigan were forced into a change before the game, as goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was injured in the warm up, meaning Farnworth born Mike Pollitt started the game in goal.

The game started off with a string of fouls and Wanderers skipper Kevin Nolan found himself in the book with just five minutes on the clock for a poor challenge on Wilson Palacios.

Bolton's first chance of the game fell to record signing Johan Elmander, but the Sweden international shot over the bar following good approach play from Ricardo Gardner and Matt Taylor.

Wigan immediately hit back and could have broken the deadlock within a minute, but Zaki's shot was well blocked by Andy O'Brien and the danger was cleared.

Moments later, Bolton fans were screaming for a penalty after Paul Scharner's challenge on Kevin Davies, but television replays showed the defender cleanly won the ball, and the Wanderers forward showed no signs of an appeal.

Nolan fired over before Emile Heskey had the chance to open the scoring at the other end, but his shot was blocked by Jussi Jaaskelainen after a misjudgement from Shittu.

In his attempts to get that shot in on goal, Heskey appeared to pick up a muscle strain and was replaced by Henri Camara just five minutes later.

The Senegal international almost had an immediate impact, capitalising on a Nolan error, but his curling effort was tipped round the post by Jaaskelainen.

Jaaskelainen was again alert to deny Lee Cattermole from a Ryan Taylor corner, but the Finn was beaten just three minutes later.

Referee Phil Dowd awarded a penalty after O'Brien's clumsy challenge on Camara, allowing Zaki to step up and convert the penalty to give the visitors the lead going into the break.

After the restart, Bolton thought they had pulled level, but Shittu's header from a Taylor corner was headed away by Palacios, with television replays showing the ball appearing to cross the line.

Bolton continued to press for an equaliser and almost grabbed it just before the hour.

First, Elmander's close-range effort was blocked by Pollitt, before Davies hit the outside of the post just seconds later.

Taylor shot straight at Pollitt after a good cross from Gretar Steinsson, before one last chance went begging for Gary Megson's side.

Shittu reacted quickest to Nolan's dinked ball in to the area, but after beating Pollitt to the ball, his header hit the top of the bar and went behind.

After receiving treatment following a collision with Shittu, Pollitt kicked the ball back in to play and referee Dowd blew for time.

The defeat leaves Bolton 11th in the Premier League table, just three points above the relegation zone going into the New Year.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Shittu, A O'Brien, Samuel (Riga 65), Taylor, Nolan (Muamba 64), McCann, Gardner (Obadeyi 87), Elmander, Davies
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Smolarek, Fojut, Basham
Booked: Nolan, Steinsson

Wigan Athletic: Pollitt, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Cattermole, Palacios, Taylor (Kilbane 86), Heskey (Camara 33), Zaki
Subs Not Used: Kingson, Koumas, Boyce, De Ridder
Booked: Cattermole, Palacios, Taylor
Goals: Zaki 44(pen)

Attendance: 23,726
Referee: Phil Dowd

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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