The relegation fires burned brightly under the bottoms of both Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers as the two teams desperately needed wins to climb out of the drop zone. Jussi Jaaskelainen made his return to the Bolton lineup to provide a boost at the back while Darren Pratley was handed another start while Super Kevin Davies and David Ngog led the front line. Bolton came out attacking and controlling most of the first half. Hit the jump to see just how they got on.
It was a dream start for Bolton Wanderers as Chris Eagles came out firing on all cylinders. A brilliant run down the right side gave him space to cross the ball into the six yard box where a tightly marked Nigel Reo-Coker was waiting for him. NRC got on the end of it to put the ball in at the near post. There was a question about whether it was Reo-Coker's goal or if it was an own goal to Gary Caldwell. The 4th minute tally will go on NRC's stat sheet as Bolton led 1-0.
However, with this being the mighty Bolton Wanderers, we knew it couldn't last. Wigan leveled it in the 40th minute through Mohamed Diame's perfect effort. Diame found space about 30 yards and sent in a curling effort that carried quite a bit of pace into the corner of Jussi's far post. There wasn't a thing that the Finn could do as Wigan Athletic made it 1-1.
The Latics' respite didn't last long however as Super Kevin Davies showed just why the Bolton Fans love him so much. Davies went into a challenge against a Wigan defender and came out with the ball at his feet. He played it square to a waiting David Ngog in the box. Ngog took two touches toward center and deftly placed the ball into the side netting of Al-Habsi's far post. The former Bolton keeper managed a hand on it but it wasn't nearly enough. 2-1 to the Whites on David Ngog's first goal in a Bolton shirt.
Bolton did have plenty of chances to put the match to bed but it just wasn't meant to be then and there. A few easy stops for Ali Al Habsi after some easy hits at him from Chris Eagles and Martin Petrov as well as a missed penalty. Gary Caldwell pushed Dedryck Boyata in the back on a Bolton corner and it was an easy call for Mike Dean, the referee, to make. Kevin Davies could have been on the score sheet but his penalty was low, just off center, and had not much power behind it. All too easy for the Wigan keeper.
Bolton fans were barely able to breathe for the remainder of the 90 minutes let alone run to the bathroom and it only got more nervous as the fourth official had a total of five minutes on his stoppage time board. It was right at the death that Bolton fans could finally afford to breath again as Chris Eagles capped off his man of the match performance with a bit of great control and quality finish to make it 3-1. Eagles won the ball in the Wigan attacking third and it bounced kindly for Klasnic who played a clever back heel to the man in the number 7 shirt. Eagles ran with it in the box, found space, and shot low and across his body to put it past Al-Habsi and the match to bed.
Good night as the mighty Wanderers walked out winners from the DW stadium and climbed out of the relegation zone as well as ended their poorest run of form in some time. If results go their way in the next round of fixtures, Bolton can climb quite a bit in the table.
The match's first three goals:
Eagles finishes it late: