Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Wigan Athletic

  • December 01, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Two controversial penalty decisions went against Bolton, as they were denied a first win in 10 games after a 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic.

Will Buckley had opened the scoring for Wanderers, firing home with just seven minutes on the clock, but the Latics equalised on 25 minutes as Will Grigg went down under a challenge from Jack Hobbs and converted from the penalty spot.

The decision to award the penalty sparked fury amongst the home supporters, who were left cursing referee Simon Hooper once again in the final minute of normal time when a volley from Mark Beevers appeared to strike an arm inside the Wigan box - with Hooper instead awarding a corner.

Plenty has changed since the last meeting between the two sides, with Josh Vela the only player to remain from the matchday squad of 18 that travelled to the DW Stadium in March 2015.

Staying with changes, there were three from the Wanderers side that was beaten at Sheffield Wednesday last time out - with Will Buckley, Craig Noone and Christian Doidge taking the places of Marc Wilson, Yanic Wildschut and Josh Magennis, all of whom were named amongst the substitutes.

There have been many feisty derbies played out over the years, but surely the hosts wouldn't have expected to see two players booked for separate incidents within the opening three minutes.

Joe Williams was first to be shown a yellow card, with a lunging challenge on Lee Evans perhaps lucky to see him remain on the field.

Noone was next to have his name taken by Hooper, this time for a late tackle on Kal Naismith on the touchline in front of the dugouts.

The first shooting chance arrived with five minutes on the clock, with Evans firing high over the crossbar after getting on the end of a cutback from Josh Windass.

Bolton have found themselves in the habit of conceding early goals in recent weeks, but they were the ones that broke the deadlock on this occasion - taking the lead with seven minutes played.

Pawel Olkowski was afforded too much time on the right-hand side, where his cross to the far post picked out an unmarked Buckley. After taking the ball down on his chest, he cut back inside before slamming beyond Christian Walton from close range.

Bolton could have doubled their lead midway through the half but Buckley's cross was just too far ahead of the advancing Doidge, moments before Wigan were given a penalty in controversial circumstances.

A long ball from the back allowed Grigg to get in ahead of Hobbs. After moving into the Wanderers box, the Wigan forward went to ground under a challenge from the defender and referee Hooper pointed to the spot - although initial instinct and television replays showed the tackle to have been clean.

The decision was made, however, and Latics got themselves back on level terms as Grigg sent Alnwick the wrong way from 12 yards to make it 1-1.

Bolton looked threatening going forward and came close to restoring their lead on 34 minutes, with a header from Beevers picking out Doidge, whose shot on the turn flashed narrowly wide of Walton's goal.

Wigan came close to going ahead with five minutes of the half to play, as Reece James' low cross evaded everybody inside the box before being cleared off the line by Andrew Taylor.

Gary Roberts had the first opportunity of the second period, drilling wide within three minutes of the restart for Wigan.

They had an even better chance to take the lead on the hour, with Windass cutting inside the challenge of Williams before firing into the side netting, moments before he shot straight into the arms of Alnwick as Wigan hit Bolton on the counter.

Both managers made substitutions as the game began to get a little stale in midfield, and it wasn't until the 81st minute that the next chance of note arrived.

This time it came from a Wigan corner, which was flicked on at the near post and seemingly set for the far corner, only for Doidge to track back and clear the ball from under his own crossbar with Evans lurking.

Wanderers then saw penalty appeals turned down in the final minute of normal time. A corner from Wildschut was only half-cleared, Josh Magennis kept the ball alive and Beevers hooked a volley towards goal, only to see his effort blocked by the arm of a Wigan defender.

Referee Hooper claimed the Latics man was covering his face when the ball was struck, much to the dismay of the home supporters who booed the Premier League official off the field at the full-time whistle.

Bolton move up one place to 22nd in the Championship table following the game, although their search for a win now moves into double figures. They shall try again when they return to action next Saturday - away at table-topping Norwich City.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Taylor, Beevers, Hobbs, Olkowski, Buckley (Magennis 68), Lowe, J Williams, Noone, Ameobi (Wildschut 77), Doidge
Subs Not Used: Matthews, Vela, Oztumer, Wilson, Wheater
Booked: J Williams, Noone, Olkowski
Goals: Buckley 7

Wigan Athletic: Walton, James, Kipre, Burn, Naismith, Byrne, Evans, Morsy, Roberts (McManaman 69), Windass (Garner 90+2), Grigg (Vaughan 69)
Subs Not Used: Jones, Gibson, Da Silva Lopes, Connolly
Booked: Morsy, Kipre
Goals: Grigg 25(pen)

Referee: Simon Hooper
Attendance: 15,237

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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