Wigan Athletic 1-3 Bolton Wanderers – Match Review

A massive weight was lifted off Owen Coyle’s shoulders after Bolton won for the first time since the opening day of the season beating Wigan 3-1 at the DW Stadium.

The Trotters have lost six on the trot and started the game at the foot of the table with chairman Phil Gartside telling Coyle he has four games to save his job. However Gartside has been sympathetic to man residing in the Reebok dugout having seen his side play both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in their opening seven games. The 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea a fortnight ago caused some grumbles in the stands and a win against the Latics was imperative. Coyle’s men responded superbly with summer signings Nigel Reo-Coker, David N’Gog and Chris Eagles all opening their account for the club. Mohammed Diame had brought the home side level in the first period before another collapse saw them succumb to a fifth defeat on the spin.

Roberto Martinez’s side have failed to build on a positive opening to the season and find themselves in familiar surrounds stuck in the bottom three. Individual mistakes cost them dear despite dominating for long periods of the game with the return of Hugo Rodallega providing a boost despite his inability to find the net. It was the visitors who started the better of the two sides and took the lead with only four minutes on the clock through Reo Coker. The former Aston Villa midfielder darted in front of Gary Caldwell and flung himself at Eagles’ whipped cross to turn the ball home. That sparked Martinez’s men into life and the dominated the game until Diame brought the contest level five minutes before half time. A patient build up saw the midfielder pick up possession just outside the penalty area before striking a wonderful effort into the top corner past Jussi Jaaskelainen.

They undid all their good work though as Bolton regained their lead two minutes into first half stoppage time with David N’Gog scoring for the first time since his move from Liverpool. Kevin Davies punished some sloppy play by Steve Gohouri nicking the ball off the defender before finding N’Gog in the box with the Frenchman shifting the ball onto his left and cooly finishing past Ali Al Habsi. Martinez made an instant change at half time bringing Rodallega on at half time and Colombian gave Wigan a much needed presence up front. His link up play with Franco Di Santo was threatening whilst Victor Moses’ pace down the flanks caused Bolton numerous problems down the flank. Despite that they just couldn’t find the elusive second equaliser and had Al Habsi to thank for giving them a fighting chance of claiming a point as he saved Davies late penalty. Dedryck Boyata, who had earlier missed a glorious headed chance, was pushed by Caldwell in the area causing referee Mike Dean to point to the spot.

Fortunately Al Habsi was able to keep Davies casual penalty out and give the hosts hope of snatching a point. But it wasn’t to be as Eagles struck Bolton’s third in injury time to give his side a much needed lift and move them out of the relegation zone and into 17th with Wigan remaining rooted two places below.