Bolton Wanderers 0-4 Wigan Athletic

  • October 16, 2021 | By Chris Mann
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On and off the field, it was an afternoon to forget for Bolton as they were beaten 4-0 by Wigan Athletic.

Latics took the lead within six minutes at the University of Bolton Stadium as James McClean pounced on Amadou Bakayoko's mistake before pulling back for Will Keane to slot into an empty net.

McClean doubled the visitors' lead five minutes after the break, firing in from distance just moments after Antoni Sarcevic had struck the crossbar at the other end, before Callum Lang drilled in a third with 25 minutes to play.

Referee Charles Breakspear had to halt the play on a number of occasions as missiles were thrown onto the pitch by home fans, while advertising boards were removed by visiting supporters located within the upper tier and dropped onto those based below.

To compound a miserable afternoon for the Trotters, McClean added a fourth with nine minutes to play as Wigan claimed their biggest-ever away win in Bolton.

After seeing a three-game winning run come to an end with defeat at Sheffield Wednesday last time out, Ian Evatt made four changes as Liam Gordon, Harry Brockbank, Josh Sheehan and Bakayoko came into the team.

Declan John, Kieran Lee and Gethin Jones all dropped out through injury, while Elias Kachunga was named amongst the substitutes.

With play underway, Wigan quickly found themselves on the front foot as Charlie Wyke played in McClean, whose goalbound effort was blocked superbly by Ricardo Santos.

They were ahead soon after though, as Bakayoko found himself in unfamiliar territory at right-back. Defending a diagonal ball, his header back to Joel Dixon was intercepted by Wyke, whose pass to McClean was cut back for Keane to slot into an empty net.

Bolton's first chance arrived with 13 minutes played as Sheehan and Sarcevic combined at a short corner, from which Oladapo Afolayan found a yard of space before rolling a shot into the gloves of Ben Amos.

Afolayan had another sight of goal three minutes later, this time collecting possession from Gordon before seeing the same result - firing straight at the Wigan goalkeeper.

Latics twice came close to doubling their lead as the clock ticked towards the 20-minute mark, with Lang seeing an effort well held by Dixon, moments before a deflected attempt from McClean forced a smart save out of the Wanderers stopper.

Lang looped a volley over the top as the visitors maintained their attacking pressure, while Wyke was next to be denied by Dixon as his deflected shot caused momentary panic.

Jordan Cousins flashed an attempt narrowly past the post soon after the half-hour, before McClean pounced on miscommunication between Bakayoko and Brockbank but couldn't keep his strike down.

Afolayan struck wide in the latter stages of the half, while Lang dragged a shot wide at the other end as Wigan took their one-goal advantage into the break.

To the surprise of some, there were no substitutions as the players returned for the second period.

Within three minutes of the restart, Bolton came agonisingly close to getting back on level terms as George Johnston's diagonal was headed down by Bakayoko and a stunning volley from Sarcevic came crashing back off Amos' crossbar.

Then, just as the hosts began to build, they were hit with a suckerpunch as McClean was afforded too much time 25 yards from goal and drilled in an unstoppable drive to make it 2-0 to Wigan.

Eoin Doyle and Tendayi Darikwa came close to altering the scoreline at either end, while Sarcevic headed well wide just before the hour as he got on the end of a cross from Afolayan.

Bolton's afternoon then began to fall apart as Lang raced away from Gordon on 65 minutes before seeing his powerful low drive get the better of Dixon before nestling into the bottom corner.

Unsavoury scenes would follow, with a small number of Bolton spectators throwing missiles onto the pitch, while visiting supporters based in the upper tier removed several advertising hoardings before dropping them into the stand below.

Referee Breakspear looked set to usher players from the field of play, before discussions with authorities on the touchline saw a public order message read aloud to warn against further disturbances.

The atmosphere then fell flat as Wigan added a fourth on 81 minutes, with McClean grabbing his second to spark a mass exodus of supporters in the home ends.

Despite lengthy stoppages, only two minutes were added at the end of the regulation 90 as Bolton were put out of their misery on an afternoon where further consequences will surely follow.

Wanderers must gather their focus and recover quickly ahead of Tuesday, when they make the long journey to current league leaders Plymouth Argyle.

Bolton Wanderers: Dixon, Gordon, Johnston, Santos, Brockbank (Isgrove 55), Sheehan (Thomason 73), Williams, Afolayan, Sarcevic, Bakayoko (Kachunga 61), Doyle
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Delfouneso, Aimson, Baptiste
Booked: Johnston, Santos, Thomason

Wigan Athletic: Amos, Power, Whatmough, Watts, Darikwa, Naylor, Cousins (Pearce 50), Lang, Keane, McClean (Massey 84), Wyke (Humphrys 88)
Subs Not Used: Jamie Jones, Edwards, Jordan Jones, Tilt
Booked: Cousins, Lang, Pearce, Massey
Goals: Keane 6, McClean 50,81, Lang 65

Referee: Charles Breakspear
Attendance: 20,892

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 >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston