Well, that was pretty bad.
The 90th minute curse struck once again on Saturday, as Wigan Athletic equalised deep into injury time to claim a more than deserved point against a mostly awful Bolton Wanderers side. Wigan dominated for the vast majority of the game and should have been four goals ahead before Bolton managed to take the lead; James Perch hit the cross-bar with Leon Clarke stuffing up the rebound, and then Ben Amos, one again, came to our rescue to make to sublime saves to deny Marc-Antoine Fortune's close range header and Jermaine Pennant's freekick.
Despite Wigan's overwhelming dominance, they showed why they're on the cusp of relegation by being unable to finish their chances and the Wigan fans, who were out singing the travelling Wanderers supporters, must have had a strong sense of de ja vue when they fell a goal behind.
On a rather rare Bolton attack the ball landed at young Tom Walker's feet, he spun on the ball and hit a shot which deflected, wrong footed Ali Al-Habsi, and trickled into the net. Sending Wanderers fans into delirium and the smoke bombs a smoking.
Wigan were not deterred by the setback and continued to attack, with Amos having to flick a shot onto the bar. Bolton had the chances to put the game to bed, Craig Davies being played through after some excellent work from Emile Heskey being the ultimate example, but we failed to make the most of them. We dropped deeper and deeper, constantly failed to keep the ball at the other end of the pitch, and when Martyn Waghorn's overhead kick went in off the cross-bar I don't think any Bolton fan was surprised.
The performance was atrocious, so a point is actually quite good, but the manner in which we earned the point is infuriating beyond belief.
Here's how I thought both sets of players did in the derby.
Ben Amos - 9
Once again, the on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper was our best player, as he saved us from certain defeat against Wigan. He made several stunning saves, along side his usual solid play, tipping over Jermaine Pennant's free kick, touching a goal bound shot onto the cross-bar, a stretching hand to deny Seyi Ojo and, most impressive of all, an instant reflex save to deny Fortune's header from point blank range. With every passing game he further confirms that we should sign him in the summer.
Matt Mills - 6
Mills is a really strange one for me, because he's often simultaneously very good and very bad. For ever dominant diving header, there was a weak bit of play where he let a player breeze past him. For every clever interception, there was an occasion in which he got dragged out of position. But his average game was defined by an inexcusable mistake, as he left Waghorn completely unmarked on the long throw in, which afforded him the time and space to score the equaliser.
Paddy McCarthy - 7
It was yet another solid game in the heart of defence from McCarthy, he comfortably coped with the majority of action coming his way. However, McCarthy's lack of ability on the ball proved to be a problem against Wigan. For large periods of the game we really struggled to get out of our own half, and McCarthy constantly surrendering possession with panicky clearances only served to pile on the pressure.
Tim Ream - 6.5
For the most part it was a solid Ream display, he kept the pacey Jermaine Pennant quiet for the vast majority and he seemed comfortable on the left hand side of the back three. However, he was pushed of the ball far too easily at times. On the first time it happened the resulting goal was given as off-side, but the second it directly led to their goal. Granted, he was definitely fouled in the build up to said goal, but he has to be stronger I feel.
Liam Feeney - 4
A really poor day in the office from Feeney, aside from one very good cross he swung into the box into the first half, he was pretty anonymous for the entire game. Playing as a right wing back meant he'd have to defend and attack in equal measure, but he did both to little effect. Going backwards he was weak in the challenge and had no positional awareness, which can be forgiven as he isn't a defender, but it did result in Josh Murphy having free reign on the left hand side. As I mentioned, up at the other end he was practically invisible and no impact on the game.
Liam Trotter - 5
Yes, he's had his injuries, but we're still yet to see the Liam Trotter which ended last season so strongly and earned a transfer to the club. Against Wigan he was slow and immobile, cumbersome on the ball and he gave away far too many silly fouls in dangerous places. An argument can be made that we needed him in the side to add physicality to another wise sleight midfield, but I really would have taken him off and brought Josh Vela on in the middle in his place. Trotter just doesn't have the pace, drive or passing ability to really warrant a place in the midfield, or if he does, he's yet to display it. But credit where it's due, it was his powerful header that set up Walker's goal.
Barry Bannan - 6
Whilst Bannan worked tremendously hard in the midfield and was very good defensively, making several really good challenges and always busting a gut to get back, he just didn't seem to have much of an impact at all going forward. He wasn't on the ball, carrying it forward with his usual grace, as much, and his passing was lacking in adventure.
Tom Walker - 7.5
It was a big ask of young Tom Walker to play three games in a week, but he came through the gruelling test in striking colours. Both going forward and helping out in defence, Walker proved that he is more than just a gap filler and is now a genuine first team player. He used his rapid pace to his advantage on multiple occasions to get back and face the snappy Jermaine Pennant, and he dealt with the experienced winger really well, giving him very few opportunities to whip in a cross. With the ball at his feet he had the confidence to do what most did not: run at the Wigan defenders and try and make something happen. His jinking movement and delicate touch often made Wigan defenders look like idiots. And, of course, he scored his first ever goal for the club, albeit with a bit of luck, but he deserved it after his recent good performances. He understandable tired towards the end of the game, he showed his inexperience at times by trying to take on an extra player instead of releasing the ball, and he struggled to get any good service into the box, much like the rest of his team mates, but I look forward to seeing even more of Walker in the future.
Rochinha - 7
Whilst Rochinha didn't have as good of a game as he did against Ipswich, largely due to his team mates not getting the ball to him enough, his quality is clear to see. His insanely quick feet and wits allowed his to ghost past opposition defenders as if they weren't there at times, and his acute passing led to our one good chance of the first half. I feel he was unlucky in getting substituted and I hope he gets another opportunity in our next game.
Emile Heskey - 8
That was probably Heskey's best performance in a Bolton shirt, it's just a shame it came to nothing. He won absolutely everything in the air, with his flick ons occasionally leading to us at least threatening to create a chance. But it was in the last few minutes where Heskey really showed his worth. On two occasions in the dying embers of the game Heskey held off three defenders to keep hold of the ball deep in Wigan's half and run down the clock, with one resulting in him brilliantly slipping in Craig Davies. Had we had another player who could hold up the ball like Heskey, we'd have won the game.
Adam Le Fondre - 5
Saturday's clash didn't see the best of performances from on-loan striker Adam Le Fondre. Part of that can be put down to the massive lack of service played into him, as crosses were in very limited supply, but his all round game was off beat too. His first touch seemed uncharacteristically poor and he found the physical battles with the likes of Harry Maguire and Emerson Boyce difficult to win. When ever he did, however, and managed to beat a player, he seemed to hesitate on the ball and before he knew it the chance was gone. He did miss Tuesday's game with illness, so maybe he's still not at 100%, hopefully the upcoming international break will give him time to fully recover,
Josh Vela - 8
Bolton were in dying need of some energy and a driving force, as Wigan were controlling the game. Lennon introduced Josh Vela who swung the game in Bolton's favour, at least for a brief period. Playing over on the right side, he was constantly picking up the ball and driving straight at the Wigan defence, who couldn't cope with him. He clipped in a number of good crosses, one of which inadvertently led to our goal.
Craig Davies - 4
In three of our last four games Davies has squandered a chance which would have potentially secured us points. Against Blackburn, with the scores at 0-0, he went clear through on goal and hit the goalkeeper. Against Ipswich he missed the target with a back post header, with all the goal to aim at, in the last minute whilst we were a goal down. Against Wigan, he could have put us two up as he was played through on goal by Heskey, but his touch took him too far wide and it resulted in nothing. He even missed a sitter against Millwall too. I was willing to put it down to a lack of match fitness at first, as his form easier in the season was excellent, but it's just simply not good enough now.
Dean Moxey - 5
Was given the run around a bit by Seyi Ojo and didn't exactly help to see out the game.
Ali Al-Habsi - 7
Had very little to do all game and was only beaten by a deflection. Applauded the Bolton fans as he walked over to the goal, which was very nice.
Emerson Boyce - 7
Didn't venture forward much, despite being at right back, which meant he was on hand to deal with Le Fondre and Walker when ever they tried to counter attack. Was only beaten once by the pair all game.
Harry Maguire - 8
Solid at the back and composed on the ball when moved into midfield late on. I'm a big fan of his.
Jason Pearce - 6
Pearce was the poor man tasked with battling Heskey in the air, a battle he lost on almost every occasion.
Gaeten Bong - 7.5
Got forward well and put in some dangerous crosses. Didn't have much to do when Feeney was out wide, but struggled to cope with Vela.
Jermaine Pennant - 7
Was always an option for the counter attack and his pace meant he was a constant worry, but I only remember him getting the better of the defenders and putting in a very dangerous cross once. Forced Amos into a great save with a trademark free kick.
James Perch - 7.5
Hit the bar once and hit another shot just over. Kept play ticking with nice simple passes and did a good job at winning the ball back for Wigan.
Kim Bo-Kyung - 8
Kim was at the centre of a lot of what Wigan did well, controlled the midfield with his clever passing and always had the beating of Trotter.
Josh Murphy - 7
Had free reign over on the left hand side and was a constant threat due to having the ability to easily beat our players, but a lot of what he did came to nothing.
Leon Clarke - 4
Cocked up an open net as Perch's shot bounced back off the bar, clumsily stood off-side when he didn't need to, costing his team a first half lead and overall not very good.
Marc Antoine Fortune - 6
Gave our defence a hard time with his physicality and pace on the turn, had Mills beat a couple of times. However, should have done better with a have done better with a header at point-blank range, regardless of how good Amos' save was.
Seiji Ojo - 7.5
Was very good when he came on, had the beating of our players all day long with his feints on the ball and quick acceleration.
Martyn Waghorn - 8
Scored a great overhead kick to equalise right at the death, showed exactly why he should be starting for Wigan.
William Kvist - 6
His long throw set up the goal.