Wigan chalked up a well-earned first win of 2012 to close the gap to their local rivals and stay in touch at the bottom of the table. Gary Caldwell rose to head home Jean Beausejour’s corner and give his side the lead towards the end of a first half they largely controlled. Though Mark Davies pulled the Trotters level with a 67th minute screamer, Latics never lost heart and were back in front through James McArthur less than ten minutes later. The visitors saw through a tense final fifteen minutes and have Ali Al Habsi to thank for a wonderful fingertip save from Ryo Miyaichi’s strike with mere minutes to play.
Latics began nervously in the face of some lively Bolton interplay, and would be forced into some anxious fumbled clearances at the back. The hosts managed three early shots on target, but none of them even got through to Al Habsi as they were intercepted in the first instance by charging defenders. Wigan were always right in there, however, and almost had a breakthrough on 13 minutes through Victor Moses, who cut into the penalty area and sliced his shot wide of Bogdan’s right hand post. Beausejour, too, found success in running at the defence, and flashed a couple of balls across the face of goal but sadly there were no men present to finish the job and put Latics ahead.
As the half progressed, Wigan saw more and more of the ball and won a good proportion of 50:50 challenges as the midfield began to impose themselves on the game. This dominance provided Di Santo with two chances, one a powerful strike that flew not far over the bar, and a second that had the keeper diving low to repel his shot destined for the bottom corner. Caldwell’s goal was the pinnacle of Latics’ endeavours, a well-placed header past Adam Bogdan from just outside the six-yard area to convert Beausejour’s corner kick.Bolton, Premier League, Report