Wigan Athletic 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 02, 2022 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/14b12

Ian Evatt's 100th game in charge of Bolton ended all-square as Jon Dadi Bodvarsson's late header rescued a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic.

Trailing to a 7th-minute opener from James McClean, Wanderers were second best for much of the opening 45 minutes although Latics were fortunate to retain all 11 players as McClean somehow escaped a second yellow card in added time for a challenge on Oladapo Afolayan.

The Trotters were much improved after the break but struggled to create any clear-cut chances, until Bodvarsson struck seven minutes from time by heading in Will Aimson's delivery from the right-hand side.

After two weeks without a game due to the international break, Evatt made two changes to the Bolton side that started the win at Crewe Alexandra as Gethin Jones and Elias Kachunga came in for the benched Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and missing Declan John.

With the action underway, it took Latics just five minutes to put the ball in the Wanderers net as Will Keane bundled home from a Tendayi Darikwa cross, but referee Samuel Barrott had already blown his whistle for a foul by Callum Lang in the build-up.

Not deterred by that, the hosts did break the deadlock just two minutes later as McClean was picked out at a short corner and his cross beat everybody before nestling in the far corner to make it 1-0.

McClean was presented with an opportunity to double the advantage on 10 minutes, pouncing on a mistake in the Trotters midfield but he sliced his effort wide of James Trafford's target when he should have done much better.

The Irishman continued to dominate the headlines, this time getting himself in the book for a cynical challenge on Afolayan, from which Aaron Morley's resulting free-kick was comfortably gathered by goalkeeper Ben Amos after Kachunga had looped the cross up into the air.

Lang pulled a shot wide of goal as Wigan pressed forward shortly before the half-hour, before Bolton finally found their stride but without really seeing any sight of the home goal.

They then felt they should have been a man to the good as Afolayan went down under another challenge from McClean, with the visiting players and supporters appeaing for a second booking, but after a discussion between referee Barrott and his assistant, the decision was made to just award a free-kick.

That incensed the Trotters faithful, including management on the touchline, as Bolton went in at the break trailing, while McClean was surprisingly not withdrawn as the players returned for the commencement of the second-half.

A slow start to the second period resulted in Evatt wasting little time in making his first change of the afternoon, as Kachunga was replaced by Bodvarsson with 55 minutes on the clock.

Bolton suddenly provided a glimpse of their capabilities, with Afolayan's cross from the right only partially cleared to George Johnston, whose first-time volley from just outside the area was comfortably gathered by Ben Amos.

Two more substitutions were to follow midway through the half as Dion Charles and MJ Williams were replaced by Amadou Bakayoko and Kyle Dempsey.

Wanderers continued to enjoy the lion's share of the possession yet still found it difficult to break down a resolute Latics defence, with their next sight of goal coming 11 minutes from time as Afolayan's header from Johnston's cross was directed wide of the target.

Persistence paid off on 83 minutes, though, as Aimson collected a quickly-taken throw-in and crossed to the near post, where Bodvarsson stole a yard on his marker to power a header into the far corner and send more than 4,000 travelling supporters into delight.

The visitors looked the more likely winners at this stage and had one final opportunity, with Sadlier being denied by Darikwa in added time, but there were to be no further goals as the two neighbouring clubs were made to settle for a 1-1 draw that almost certainly ends Bolton's slim chances of an end-of-season play-off place.

The picture will become clearer following the conclusion of Saturday's 3pm kick-offs, while Wanderers are next in action this coming Tuesday when they host Portsmouth at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Wigan Athletic: Amos, Kerr, Whatmough, Tilt (Watts 90+3), Darikwa, Power, Naylor, McClean, Lang (Edwards 89), Keane, Magennis (Humphrys 77)
Subs Not Used: Jones, Massey, Shinnie, Bennett
Booked: McClean
Goals: McClean 7

Bolton Wanderers: Trafford, Johnston, Santos, Aimson, Sadlier, Morley, Williams (Dempsey 65), Jones, Afolayan, Kachunga (Bodvarsson 55), Charles (Bakayoko 64)
Subs Not Used: Amaechi, Thomason, Baptiste, Gordon
Booked: Santos
Goals: Bodvarsson 83

Referee: Samuel Barrott
Attendance: 15,279

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 >>

Poll

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