Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Wigan Athletic

  • January 03, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Zach Clough marked his senior Bolton debut with the only goal, as Bolton moved into the fourth round of the FA Cup at the expense of Wigan Athletic.

Starting in place of Lee Chung-Yong, who had departed to represent South Korea in the Asian Cup, Clough produced a stunning display and deservedly took the plaudits, after netting 14 minutes from time to knock out the 2013 winners.

Wanderers goalkeeper Adam Bogdan made a number of superb saves with the game goalless, most notably to deny Adam Forshaw's point-blank header early in the second period, as Neil Lennon's side bounced back from defeat at Huddersfield Town to make a winning start to the New Year.

There were three changes to the four changes to the Bolton side that started in that loss at the John Smith's Stadium, as Bogdan, Clough, David Wheater and Emile Heskey took the places of Chung-Yong, Andy Lonergan, Matt Mills and Eidur Gudjohnsen - of which just two made the substitutes' bench.

With Mills missing through injury and club captain Jay Spearing on the bench, it was Neil Danns who took responsibility of the skipper's armband.

The home side started brightly, with Liam Feeney being denied a clear run on goal inside the opening minute, before he provided a dangerous cross that Ali Al-Habsi clawed away from the oncoming head of Heskey.

After he was thwarted with his previous attempt, Feeney did run clear on goal on 10 minutes but failed to find a way past Al-Habsi, who made a block with his body.

The ball was in the Wigan net moments later, as Liam Trotter fired home from close range, but he was denied a first goal of the season after the offside flag had been raised against Clough.

Wheater rose highest to head a Tim Ream corner wide of the target on 20 minutes, before the latter fired high over the crossbar after being presented with a rare shooting opportunity of his own.

Al-Habsi got down well to push away a goalbound header from Trotter on the half-hour, moments before an attempted scorpion kick only resulted in bringing laughter from the crowd - with the goalkeeper untroubled.

Heskey came close to bundling home a cross from Feeney in the final moments of the half, which drew to a close with the two sides failing to find a breakthrough.

After a disappointing opening 45 minutes for the visitors, manager Malky Mackay reacted by making one change at the start of the second period - with Shaun Maloney taking the place of the ineffective Marc-Antoine Fortune.

Despite that change, it was Wanderers who began the half stronger and they came close to breaking the deadlock four minutes after the restart, as a deflected strike from Clough bounced agonisingly wide of Al-Habsi's right-hand post.

Wigan's first real chance of the game arrived three minutes later, but Forshaw was denied what looked like a certain goal as Bogdan stuck up a hand to push his goalbound header behind for a corner.

Clough, who was proving to be a constant nuisance to the Latics defence, twice came close as the game approached the hour, before Danns, Heskey and Pratley were all denied by a combination of the visiting defence and their goalkeeper.

Craig Davies marked his return from injury by replacing Heskey in the 62nd minute, as he came on to make his 50th appearance in Wanderers colours.

His first involvement in the game almost resulted in a goal, as a ball across the face of the six-yard box was somehow turned away with Feeney set to steal in at the far post.

Davies brought a smart reaction save out of Al-Habsi, with a deflected cross that almost bounced away from the former Bolton goalkeeper, but the Oman international was beaten with 76 minutes on the clock as Clough got the goal his debut performance had deserved.

Clough raced on to a through-ball from Trotter and with Al-Habsi ready to pounce at his feet, the 19-year-old chipped the ball over him and into the back of the Latics net.

Wigan looked for an immediate response, which almost arrived as James McClean forced Bogdan into a low save at his near post, before Maloney's attempt to salvage a replay was tipped away when the Bolton 'keeper pushed over the top in the final minute - as Wanderers booked their place in round four for the sixth season in-a-row.

Lennon's side return to action next Saturday, when he puts his unbeaten Macron Stadium record on the line against Neil Redfearn's Leeds United.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Vela, Wheater, Dervite, Ream, Trotter, Danns, Pratley, Feeney, Heskey (C Davies 62), Clough (Gudjohnsen 88)
Subs Not Used: Spearing, Lonergan, Wilkinson, Threlkeld, Kamara
Booked: Vela
Goals: Clough 76

Wigan Athletic: Al-Habsi, Tavernier (Boyce 64), Perch, Ramis, Kiernan, Taylor, McCann, Watson (Cowie 53), Forshaw, Fortune (Maloney 46), McClean
Subs Not Used: Nicholls, Waghorn, Chow, Cosgrove

Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance: 16,788

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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