Bolton Wanderers 0-4 Wigan Athletic

  • August 19, 2023 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's perfect start to the season came to an end as braces from Charlie Wyke and Stephen Humphrys gave Wigan Athletic a 4-0 victory at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Wanderers started the day top of League One with a maximum return of nine points, while Latics were bottom - albeit because of an eight-point deduction - but that wouldn't have been evident to any onlooking neutrals.

The visitors opened the scoring inside 12 minutes as Wyke headed in from a Tom Pearce corner, before Humphrys twice took advantage of poor defending and goalkeeping to send Latics in at the break with a 3-0 advantage.

Wyke grabbed his second with 15 minutes to play, with Baxter again questioned between the sticks, giving the visiting supporters cause for celebration at the final whistle, with the majority of the home support already emptied.

After handing rests to both Josh Sheehan and Aaron Morley for the midweek win over Fleetwood Town, Ian Evatt recalled the midfield duo for the derby clash, whilst also bringing Dan Nlundulu into the attack in place of the suspended Dion Charles. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, meanwhile, was amongst the substitutes, after overcoming the hamstring injury he suffered in pre-season.

With the action underway, it was Wigan who had the upper hand in the early stages, firing a couple of warning shots as Wanderers conceded free-kicks deep in their own territory.

It therefore came as little surprise to see the deadlock broken from a set-play, with Pearce's corner allowed to bounce inside the six-yard box and Wyke pouncing to send a free header beyond Baxter.

Bolton responded immediately as Gethin Jones fed Victor Adeboyejo from the right-hand side, but his strike was comfortable for Sam Tickle in the visiting goal.

Wigan would double their lead on 24 minutes as Callum Lang's strike from the edge of the box was parried by Baxter, allowing Humphrys to fire home the rebound to make it 2-0.

The hosts had been disappointing up until the half-hour, when they suddenly began to grow back into the game - culminating in numerous opportunities to reduce the deficit.

First, Morley and Josh Dacres-Cogley combined to tee up Nlundulu, whose shot on the turn was saved at his near post by Tickle, shortly before he forced the goalkeeper into another save after receiving another pass from the wing-back.

On the opposite flank, Randell Williams crossed for Adeboyejo in the final minute of the regulation 45, only for Tickle to make another stop to keep out a header.

Five minutes of time was added at the end of the half, during which Wigan made it 3-0.

Lang broke the offside trap, causing Baxter to come racing out of his goal, and just when the chance to shoot seemed to have gone, Humphrys came bursting in to send the ball back from where it came and fiding the bottom corner.

Carlos Mendes Gomes was thrown into the action at the start of the second-half, with Morley withdrawn from the midfield, and Bolton began brighter following the restart, with Dacres-Cogley sending a shot inches wide of the post from just outside the area.

Dacres-Cogley was becoming Wanderers' most dangerous asset as the game progressed, with a looping header just before the hour being scrambled to safety from beneath the Latics crossbar.

The Whites were seemingly struggling for inspiration from that point on and it wasn't until the clock ticked into the final 20 minutes that another chance arrived, with Nlundulu and Adeboyejo linking as the latter's effort was crowded out by a defender.

A deflected free-kick from Pearce bounced just wide of Baxter's goal on 73 minutes, but the ball was in the net again two minutes later as Wyke ran through on goal. His shot appeared to have been saved by Baxter, but the ball looped up off the goalkeeper's glove before bouncing over the line for 4-0.

Bodvarsson and Cameron Jerome were given late cameos in attack, but it was Wigan who continued to look the more likely scorers of a fifth - with a wayward cross from Babajide Adeeko forcing worried Baxter into a parry.

Bolton would have one final sight of goal as Jerome bundled a follow-up from a goalbound Kyle Dempsey strike over the top, on an afternoon where simply nothing went right for the home side.

By the time the final whistle was blown - after eight minutes of stoppage time - there was very likely to have been more Latics supporters in the ground than Wanderers, giving them reason to celebrate with their heroic players.

For Bolton, they must wait seven days before an always-difficult trip to Burton Albion, where a response will be required to please a very expectant following.

Bolton Wanderers: Baxter, Iredale (Forrester 87), Santos, Jones (Jerome 77), Williams, Morley (Mendes Gomes 45), Sheehan (Maghoma 60), Dacres-Cogley, Dempsey, Adeboyejo (Bodvarsson 76), Nlundulu
Subs Not Used: Thomason, Ashworth
Booked: Iredale, Jones

Wigan Athletic: Tickle, Clare (Balagizi 79), Hughes, Watts, Pearce, Smith, Adeeko, Humphrys (Morrison 67), Lang, McManaman (Smith 67), Wyke (Magennis 77)
Subs Not Used: Amos, Jones, Sze
Booked: Humphrys, Watts, Adeeko
Goals: Wyke 12,75, Humphrys 24,45+4

Referee: Tom Reeves
Attendance: 24,116

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Bolton Wanderers 18 39
2 Portsmouth 18 39
3 Oxford United 18 36
4 Stevenage 20 36
5 Peterborough United 19 35
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2022/23 Player of the Year?
25.9% Conor Bradley
22.3% James Trafford
20.09% Dion Charles
10.05% Kyle Dempsey
6.82% Aaron Morley
6.45% Ricardo Almeida Santos
3.5% George Johnston
3.32% Eoin Toal
1.01% Kieran Lee
0.55% Gethin Jones