Many Wigan and Bolton fans showed their solidarity by walking from the DW to the Reebok prior to the game to raise money for a brave little girl from Wigan called Emma Hoolin who is receiving treatment for a neuroblastoma cancer in America.
All goodwill disappeared come three o clock as a Wigan team with one change from the side which drew with Everton, the returning Alcaraz replacing Stam in the defence.
The game started at a furious pace with the home side using the pace of Petrov to try and stretch the Wigan defence but then as all afternoon the Wigan defence stood resolute.Wigan continued to play their calm , controlled passing game but at a noticeably higher tempo than in recent weeks and their pace and passing troubled the home team.
The first chance fell to Bolton when Caldwell ( who had just survived a penalty shout for handball) and McCarthy failed to call for a ball and with Al Habsi out of position the ball hit the Scottish captain and went behind for a corner.
Bolton in truth offered very little other than at set pieces and Wigan looked the most likely to score with Moses and Beausejour looking dangerous every time they were on the ball and the two Mc’s ; McArthur and McCarthy renewing their Hamilton partnership to great effect. Di Santo provided a willing outlet for their efforts and a couple of shots whizzed narrowly past Bogdan’s goal.
From one of these efforts Bogdan conceded a corner and Beausejour looked to take a short corner to Gomez, Bolton quickly closed this option down and it proved to be fruitful for Wigan as a superb cross allowed Caldwell to rise above Wheater unchallenged to head the ball into the goal for only Wigan’s second goal from a corner in fourteen months.
Wigan saw out the half comfortably and the muted boos for the home team as they trooped off suggested disquiet amongst the home ranks.
The second half started in the same vein with Moses looking particularly sharp switching wings and attacking with gusto and giving all the Bolton defence a torrid time. From one of these attacks Moses ghosted past the Bolton defence and pulled back the ball to McArthur whose tame shot was easily saved.
Bolton seemed to react to this and this sparked the best passage of play for the home side. From this save Bogdan punted the ball upfield, the ball seemingly hit a Bolton players without him realising it and the loose ball fell to Mark Davies who hit an unstoppable shot past Al Habsi and Bolton had an equaliser their play had not deserved.
In the past Wigan would have shut up shop and tried to settle for a point but with a point not enough for in the battle for survival, Wigan continued to attack with a freedom seldom seen this season and their efforts were rewarded when McArthur was afforded a simple tap in following a good break and half parried shot by Moses.
Bolton pushed forward in search of yet another equaliser and Al Habsi had to get down well to save from Miayachi.
Full time brought rapturous cheers from the massed ranks of travelling away fans and loud boos from the home fans as the superb team performance from Wigan reduced the gap at the bottom giving renewed cause for optimism.
Team and ratings
Al Habsi…..8 Another good performance
Boyce……..7 Steady and dependable as always
Caldwell….8 Led by example
Alcaraz……8 Best game forWiganthis season
McArthur…8.5 Excellent controlling performance
McCarthy…8 Back to his best
Beausejour…8 Looks like a good buy
Moses……..9 Man of the match.
Gomez…….6 Shameful dive trying to win a penalty
Di Santo….. 7Worked hard
Rodallega…6 Looked sharp
Jones ……… N/A
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