Wigan Athletic 3-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 15, 2013 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/d1151

Uwe Rosler's first home game in charge of Wigan Athletic ended in victory, as the Latics beat Bolton 3-2 at the DW Stadium.

After losing at Maribor in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night, Wigan were looking to get themselves back on track and went ahead in the 11th minute as Ben Watson fired home from the penalty spot.

An acrobatic second from Nick Powell doubled their advantage after 24 minutes, but Wanderers struck back after the break courtesy of Neil Danns' 49th minute header and a 64th minute penalty from Andre Moritz.

The visitors were well on top at this stage, but were punished for some slack defending as Callum McManaman handed the hosts all three points by striking home at the midway stage of the second half.

After beating Doncaster Rovers 3-0 last weekend, Dougie Freedman made one change to that side - as Danns came in at the expense of Chris Eagles, who was named on the bench. Another player on the bench was Mark Davies, who was returning after ten months out with a cruciate ligament injury.

The early possession fell the way of the hosts and that led to the first opportunity, but Grant Holt scuffed a shot wide after doing well to get beyond Kevin McNaughton.

Then, with the game approaching the 10 minute mark, controversy struck. The referee awarded the Latics a corner after a header from Holt hit Matt Mills. However, under pressure from the home players, Kevin Friend changed his mind and awarded a penalty after consulting his assistant. The decision appeared to be correct, as the ball struck Mills on the arm, but the nature of the award didn't go down well with travelling players, management and supporters.

Once the on-field drama had settled down, Watson stepped up to take the penalty and found the top corner of Andy Lonergan's goal to put the hosts ahead.

McManaman was enjoying plenty of success against Alex Baptiste down the Wigan right, but the end product failed to match his build up play. A half-chance resulted in Powell dragging a shot wide on 20 minutes, whereas Bolton's attacking forays were limited to poor free-kicks upfield.

With 24 minutes on the clock, Bolton were punished for more poor defending as Wigan doubled their lead. Wanderers failed to clear their lines following a Latics corner and after the ball had been hooked back into the box, Powell's overhead kick looped up and over Lonergan before finding the corner of the net.

Lonergan did save from Powell with the game approaching the half-hour, while Scott Carson pulled off a good low save to deny Joe Mason a certain goal at the other end.

Baptiste had a shot blocked shortly afterwards, before a goalbound header from Moritz was cleared off the line following a good run from Lee Chung-Yong.

Trying to follow in the footsteps of Powell, Mills came agonisingly close to seeing an acrobatic attempt fly into the top corner, in the final minute of the first half, but it was Wigan's half as they took a 2-0 lead into the break.

The second half saw Danns pushed forward in support of Mason and that tactical alteration paid off in the early stages after the restart. After Moritz had seen a free-kick turned behind for a corner, Wanderers continued to push forward in search of a goal and it came just four minutes into the second period.

Just like Bolton in the first half, Wigan failed to clear their lines from a corner and once Moritz played the ball back into the box, an unmarked Danns headed home from close range to bring Wanderers back into the game.

That goal prompted the Latics boss into a double substitution, as Bolton looked a completely different threat to how they did in the opening 45 minutes.

Danns and Moritz both saw shots saved by Carson as the game approached the hour, while Danns also saw a looping header clip the top of the crossbar after he beat the Wigan goalkeeper to a Moritz cross.

Bolton's pressure eventually took its toll on the hosts, as Wanderers levelled just after the hour. Friend pointed to the penalty spot after Chung-Yong appeared to be kicked in the face, prompting a furious reaction from the Latics players. After tempers had calmed down, Moritz stepped up to take the spot-kick and beat Carson to bring the game level.

Parity lasted just four minutes, though, as Bolton were caught napping at the back and Wigan retook the lead. McManaman was left unmarked at the back post and after a corner found its way through to him, the former England youth international fired low and hard across goal and into the bottom corner of the net.

That knocked the stuffing out of Freedman's side, although they did come close on two occasions - as Mills and Mason both missed the target by a matter of inches, but only after Powell had headed just wide at the other end.

Jermaine Beckford and Mark Davies were introduced in the latter stages, as Bolton pressed for an equaliser.

Carson was forced into a parrying save from a swerving Moritz strike, before Beckford scuffed a shot straight at the Latics goalkeeper after doing well to turn and get his strike away inside the box.

As much as they tried, Wanderers couldn't find a way through and were made to pay for a poor first-half performance - as they were beaten 3-2. Freedman's side return to action next Saturday, when they host Charlton Athletic at the Reebok Stadium.

Wigan Athletic: Carson, Boyce, Ramis, Barnett, Beausejour (Crainey 52), Watson (Perch 73), McCann, McArthur, Powell, McManaman, Holt (McClean 53)
Subs Not Used: Nicholls, Gomez, Keane, Fortune
Booked: Boyce, Powell
Goals: Watson 11(pen), Powell 24, McManaman 68

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, McNaughton, Mills, Ream, Baptiste, Spearing, Pratley (Beckford 79), Danns (M Davies 83), Moritz, Chung-Yong (Hall 89), Mason
Subs Not Used: Eagles, Knight, Lee-Barrett, Kamara
Booked: Chung-Yong
Goals: Danns 49, Moritz 64(pen)

Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 19,226

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Pos Team Pld Pts
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21 Rotherham United 28 25
22 Reading 28 23
23 Bolton Wanderers 27 22
24 Ipswich Town 28 18
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