Wigan nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the Lancashire derby against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium.
Wigan trailed to Lukas Jutkiewicz’s 30th minute goal before a dramatic turn around came in the final few minutes as Nick Powell struck an 88th minute equaliser and in added time Jordi Gomez had his penalty saved by Wanderers keeper Adam Bogdan.
Bolton had been the better team for most of the game but they could not add to Jutkiewicz’s goal, mainly due to Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi who produced a catalogue of fine saves to deny the Wanderers attack.
Wanderers might have scored in the first minute when Richard Hall drew a fine save from Al Habsi.
Latics first serious attack came around 15 minutes into the game when Marc-Antoine Fortune’s effort on the turn was deflected for a corner with Bogdan beaten. Bogdan and Zat Knight then had a moment of uncertainty and the ball had to be scrambled to safety with James McClean closing in.
On 30 minutes Leon Barnett was incorrectly adjudged to have fouled Jutkiewicz and from the resulting free kick Bolton took the lead.
Hall curled the ball into the danger area and it just needed the slightest touch from Jutkiewicz to beat Al-Habsi.
Wigan might have been two behind at the interval but Liam Trotter wasted a good opportunity.
Uwe Rösler was clearly disappointed with Wigan’s first half performance and removed the ineffective James McClean for Callum McManaman at half time.
McManaman was soon producing a threat to the Wanderers’ back line with his characteristic jinking runs and neat interplay, but Latics could not create a clear opening.
There was a controversial moment on 52 minutes when Barnett was booked after pulling down Trotter on the edge of the Wigan area. Bolton fans called for a red card but after referee Drysdale consulted his assistant a yellow card was given.
Wigan were struggling with Bolton’s physical presence and the home team’s aerial bombardment continued with a series of corners.
It looked as though Wanderers would add a second goal but Al Habsi was in fine form. The former Bolton keeper had to push away an effort from Jay Spearing, before he tipped over David Wheater’s header and then saved Tim Ream’s drive.
With 20 minutes remaining Nick Powell replaced James McArthur and Rösler pushed four men into the forward line.
With only two minutes of normal time remaining Martyn Waghorn delivered a low cross into the box and substitute Powell showed great technique to volley high past a helpless Bolton keeper, much to the relief of the travelling Latics fans.
But the drama was not yet over as in added time substitute Alex Baptiste brought down McManaman in the area.
Gomez had the chance to give Wigan all three points but his spot kick was brilliantly saved by Bogdan. A point each was probably a fair result as Wigan had only really raised their game in the final minutes.
The result was a minor setback for Rösler’s team, but they are still on an incredible run having lost only three of their last 25 games in all competitions.