Derby day stalemate – Bolton Wanderers 1 Wigan Athletic 1

Will Grigg5

Will Grigg on target from the penalty spot

Latics were held to a 1-1 draw in a hard-fought derby with Bolton Wanderers at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Wanderers went ahead against the run of play in the 7th minute when Pawell Olkowski’s deep cross found Will Buckley at the back post and the winger produced an accomplished finish past Christian Walton.

Latics drew level on 25 minutes through Will Grigg’s penalty after the striker had been brought down by Jack Hobbs in the area.

The visitors had chances to take all three points in the second-half when Reece James had a corner cleared off the line and Josh Windass and Callum McManaman went close.

Wanderers had a penalty appeal turned down late on when the ball hit Samy Morsy at close range.

Latics remain in 15th in the Championship table while Wanderers stay in the relegation zone in 22nd spot.

Manager Paul Cook made two changes from the midweek win over Blackburn Rovers as Windass and Grigg replaced Nick Powell and James Vaughan.

Latics started on the front foot and could have gone ahead after six minutes when Windass pulled the ball back for Lee Evans but he blazed his shot high over the crossbar.

The miss was doubly disappointing as a minute later Bolton went ahead as Buckley finished well at the back post from Olkowski’s deep cross.

Latics got back in the game on 25 minutes when Grigg was brought down by Hobbs in the area and then stepped up to convert the penalty.

All level at the interval but Latics were on top at the beginning of the second-half with Gary Roberts firing across goal.

The visitors started to assert their passing game while the hosts relied on set-piece situations to try to create a threat.

Windass had a glorious opportunity to put Latics in front when he turned his defender in the area but he fired into the side netting with the goal at his mercy.

Reece James’ in-swinging corner then looked to have given the visitors the advantage but Christian Doidge somehow managed to hook the ball over his own crossbar from on the goalline.

Soon afterwards James’ shot deflected into the path of McManaman but the winger couldn’t quite get a shot off at close range.

As the game moved towards the final whistle Wanderers had appeals for a penalty when the ball hit Samy Morsy in the face at close range but referee Simon Hooper waved away appeals.

Overall Latics had had the better chances to win the game but they failed to be clinical when the opportunities arose. They have at least stemmed the tide of poor away results with the point at Bolton and are now undefeated in three games.

After 20 games played newly promoted Latics are only nine points off a play-off spot and the signs appear promising.

Latics’ prospects certainly look more positive than the bleak outlook at local rivals Bolton where the club continues to go from one financial crisis to another, the players and staff go unpaid, the team has not won in ten and is mired in the bottom three.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Bolton Wanderers, Championship, Wigan Athletic, Will Buckley, Will Grigg and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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