Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Wigan Athletic

  • March 29, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton and Wigan Athletic played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday, in a game either side could have won.

Wanderers took the lead just after the half-hour, as Lukas Jutkiewicz capitalised on a mistake from Ali Al Habsi to put the hosts ahead. Dougie Freedman's side had that lead until two minutes from time, when on-loan Manchester United forward Nick Powell smashed home from close range.

Then, in the final minute of stoppage time, Wigan were awarded a penalty when Callum McManaman went down under a challenge from Alex Baptiste. Jordi Gomez stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, but Adam Bogdan sprung to his right to turn the ball away and ensure the game ended all square.

Bolton made three changes to the side that beat Blackpool on Tuesday night, with Lee Chung-Yong, Liam Trotter and Robert Hall taking the places of Mark Davies, Neil Danns and Joe Mason - who all missed out on the matchday squad.

Former Wanderers goalkeeper Al Habsi was in the Latics team and was forced into the first save of the afternoon, as he pounced on a strike from Hall at the second attempt with just two minutes on the clock.

The Oman international was involved again shortly afterwards, this time turning away a thumping volley from Jutkiewicz.

Wigan's first chance arrived on the quarter-hour, but Marc-Antoine Fortune was denied at the last possible moment by a sliding challenge from David Wheater.

The visitors forced a series of corners in the minutes that followed and they came close when a deflected strike from James McClean flashed narrowly wide of Bogdan's left-hand post in the 17th minute.

Chung-Yong and Jutkiewicz then came close for Wanderers, before the latter put the hosts ahead just after the half-hour mark. An inswinging free-kick from Hall caused havoc in the Wigan box and Jutkiewicz managed to prod the ball past Al Habsi, who had made a meal of coming to claim the ball inside his six-yard box.

Hall came close to doubling the advantage five minutes later, but his volley on the turn just cleared the crossbar and went into the stands.

Martyn Waghorn had the final shot of the opening 45 minutes, but he shot tamely at Bogdan after the ball had fallen kindly to him from a deflected Gomez strike.

Wigan introduced McManaman at the start of the second period, as he replaced the ineffective McClean; Wanderers lined up exactly as they ended the first-half, despite Jutkiewicz clearly struggling with a knock he picked up just before the break.

Back to the action, Jutkiewicz combined well with Chung-Yong moments after the restart. The former then laid the ball off to Hall, whose shot was tipped over the bar by Al Habsi.

Chung-Yong was back in the action from the resulting corner, with his goalbound volley headed clear by Emmerson Boyce.

Boyce almost pulled Latics level at the other end, only to be denied by the knees of Bogdan, before controversy struck at the Reebok - with Wigan fortunate to keep 11 players on the pitch.

Trotter had managed to get in behind Leon Barnett and with only Al Habsi left to beat, he went down just outside the penalty area. Referee Darren Drysdale immediately awarded a free-kick, but only produced a yellow card to the Wigan defender - much to the disbelief of the home supporters and players.

The resulting free-kick resulted in Hall seeing an effort deflected behind, as Wigan got lucky after a rare lapse at the back.

A thunderbolt from Jay Spearing brought a smart save out of Al Habsi just after the hour, before the Latics goalkeeper pulled off two more superb stops in the 60 seconds that followed. First he clawed away a header from Wheater, before diving to his left to turn away a spectacular volley from Tim Ream.

At the other end, Fortune had a header tipped away by a full-stretch Bogdan before a sliding challenge from Zat Knight prevented an almost certain goal from McManaman.

Ream came close again with 20 minutes to play, before a series of substitutions from both teams slowed the game down. One of those to enter, Andre Moritz, had a shot blocked with seven minutes to go, before Wigan capitalised on some slack defending to draw level with two minutes of normal time remaining.

A low ball across the face of the Wanderers area fell straight at the feet of Powell, who reacted smartly to smash a left-footed strike into the roof of the net - right in front of the travelling support.

Powell was denied a late winner by Bogdan, before a foul by Baptiste on McManaman inside the Bolton box provided the Latics with the opportunity to win the game in the last of five added minutes.

Gomez stepped up to take the penalty, but Bogdan dived to his right to push away the spot-kick before the referee blew for full-time.

Wanderers will ultimately be disappointed not to have won the game, but can also find themselves fortunate not to have been beaten thanks to the heroics of their goalkeeper.

Bolton return to action next weekend, when they face Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Hutton, Knight, Wheater, Ream, Chung-Yong, Kamara, Trotter (Baptiste 79), Spearing, Hall (Moritz 79), Jutkiewicz (Beckford 87)
Subs Not Used: Robinson, Lonergan, Threlkeld, Kellett
Booked: Kamara, Baptiste, Spearing
Goals: Jutkiewicz 31

Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Perch, Boyce, Barnett, Beausejour, Waghorn, Tunnicliffe (Collison 58), Gomez, McArthur (Powell 70), McClean (McManaman 46), Fortune
Subs Not Used: Nicholls, Ramis, Maynard, Kiernan
Booked: Waghorn, Barnett, Beausejour
Goals: Powell 88

Referee: Darren Drysdale
Attendance: 18,853

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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