Eagles preys on Wigan's weakness to give Bolton long-awaited win

Wigan Athletic 1 Bolton Wanderers 3

DW Stadium

Bolton moved off the foot of the table with their first win – and first points – since the opening day of the season, but they did it the hard way. Chris Eagles was the Wanderers' hero, creating the first goal and scoring the clincher. In between, he was one of the guilty men in an extraordinary sequence of missed opportunities to make the game safe.

"We scored three goals, but we could have had five or six today," said a relieved Bolton manager, Owen Coyle, of the end of a six-match losing streak. "When you've lost the number of games we have, you've got to get up and running. It was great to see it all come together today."

If the managing director of Liverpool, Ian Ayre, is right about nobody in Kuala Lumpur being too fussed about watching Bolton, then the good citizens of the Malaysian capital are presumably equally lukewarm about the attractions of Wigan. They might have been pleasantly surprised, however, with what they saw from Bolton in the opening stages yesterday.

After four minutes, Eagles, the summer signing from Coyle's old club, Burnley, found himself in the clear on the right and whipped in a nasty low cross to the near post. A combination of Nigel Reo-Coker and Gary Caldwell bundled it into the net, although the replay suggested that it was the Latics' defender who had got the crucial touch. Eagles, whose career has not exactly taken flight since he landed at Bolton, was soon causing further trouble, this time cutting in and testing Ali Al Habsi, the goalkeeper Wigan loaned and then bought from Wanderers, with the outside of his right foot. A one-two between Eagles and David Ngog forced Al Habsi to save from the winger with his feet and he had to be alert again to deny Kevin Davies when the Bolton captain brought down a long clearance.

By contrast, Jussi Jaaskelainen, unsurprisingly reinstated after his stand-in, Adam Bogdan, was implicated in at least two of Chelsea's five goals a fortnight ago, had next to nothing to do, although David Wheater, a reassuring presence at the back all afternoon had to make a timely tackle on Franco di Santo.

The goalkeeper's workload consisted of dealing with a couple of corners from Ben Watson, but that all changed in the 40th minute. It was Watson's bustling run that created the chance, and Mohamed Diamé's curling shot from the edge of the area left Jaaskelainen helpless. After controlling so much of the first half and after some hammerings by top clubs in the opening two months of the season, Bolton could have been frustrated and wrong-footed by that turn of events.

"It would have been easy for them to feel sorry for themselves," Coyle said. Instead, they regained the lead in the time added on, Davies dispossessing Steve Gohouri, who was having a thoroughly uncomfortable afternoon, and squaring the ball for Ngog to claim his first goal for the club.

Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, brought on two substitutes for the second half, including Hugo Rodallega, who at least produced a shot that had to be saved. It should all have been academic when Bolton had three gilt-edged chances in two minutes. Dedryck Boyata missed with a close-range diving header. Then, Reo-Coker and Davies set up Eagles, whose shot was tame and saved easily. Finally, and most scandalously, a penalty awarded for Caldwell's push on Boyata was thumped straight at Al Habsi by Davies.

It all added up to an invitation to Wigan that they could have taken up when Di Santo almost got onto the end of Victor Moses' cross. In stoppage time, though, all doubt was removed when the substitute, Ivan Klasnic, won the ball inside the Wigan area and Eagles finished coolly. "I feel really disappointed, because we gifted them three points today," said Martinez. "The hardest thing in football is scoring goals and we made it extremely easy."

Wigan (4-5-1): Al Habsi; Boyce, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Gohouri (Figueroa h-t); Moses, Jones, Diamé, Watson (Rodallega h-t), McCarthy (Maloney, 74); Di Santo.

Bolton (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Boyata, Cahill, Wheater, Robinson; Eagles (M Davies, 90), Reo-Coker, Pratley, Petrov (Gardner, 87); K Davies, Ngog (Klasnic, 83).

Referee: Mike Dean

Man of the match: Eagles (Bolton)

Match rating: 6/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn