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Match Report

 

Posted Thu 18 Feb 10 at 00:02 AM

Report: Wigan 0 Bolton 0

For the second season in succession the derby between Bolton and Wigan at the DW Stadium finished scoreless.

Still, it was an entertaining affair and a result that saw Wanderers move up a position in the Barclays Premier League table.

The Latics came the closest in the first-half with a Charles N'Zogbia effort that struck the inside of the post.

But Bolton came out and bossed the second 45 minutes with Matt Taylor coming close three times with shots that were fractionally wide of the post on each occasion.

18,089 fans braved the cold conditions for the gritty Lancashire derby, the first of two meetings in the space of a month between the two near neighbours.

With the standard of the performance against Tottenham still fresh in the mind, Owen Coyle opted to name the same starting line-up despite having Jack Wilshere and Vladimir Weiss back available.

And as with the FA Cup clash, it was another quick start by Bolton with Chung-Yong and Taylor coming close with shots from distance in the opening five minutes.

Before kick-off, much of the pre-match debate had been about the poor state of the pitch and it became apparent early on that both teams would have to guard against any potential errors as a result.

There were two moments in the early stages that highlighted that fact - when Mohamed Diame needed treatment after appearing to get his studs stuck in the threadbare turf and a Zat Knight clearance that was skewed out of play after the ball took an untimely bobble.

The better areas of the playing surface were in the wide positions and indeed it was Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia who came closest for Wigan in the first half on 20 minutes.

The former Newcastle United man cut in off the right touchline and between the shaven-headed Matt Taylor and Paul Robinson before hitting a fierce shot that looked destined for the far corner. Jaaskelainen was unmoved as the ball flew past his right hand, but it struck the woodwork and rolled to safety.

Chung-Yong Lee was also looking his lively self on the right wing for Bolton, most notably when a crafty nutmeg on Paul Scharner resulted in a half-chance for Elmander, who dragged a left-foot shot just wide of the post.

The South Korean was the Whites main source of ingenuity and on nearly each and every occasion he had the beating of his direct opponent Maynor Figueroa. It was Chung-Yong's cross from the by-line on 35 minutes that forced the Wigan defence to make their most telling defensive contribution as Caldwell got his head to the ball first to deny a host of preying Bolton attackers.

Like Caldwell, Steinsson also had to make two vital tackles in quick succession at the other end of the field to keep the game scoreless at half-time.

Both were on Hugo Rodalllega as firstly the right-back jockeyed to make a well-timed sliding interception inside his own box before again blocking after the ball squirmed out to the Honduran.

On the stroke of half-time, debutant Marcelo Moreno hit an ambitious long-range skidder, but it failed to trouble Jaaskelainen, who dived merely as a precaution.

Wanderers came out after the break and were almost a goal to the good within a minute of the restart.

The source was Elmander, whose pace and endeavour on the inside right almost saw Caldwell convert into his own goal. The ball was sliced by the Scotland international into the side-netting, much to the frustration of the majority of 3,500 strong contingent of Bolton fans who were up off their seats in anticipation of a goal.

If the first half was cagey then the second half was the complete opposite as the pace gathered and the game began to open up.

Rodallega headed wide and Muamba shot just past the post before Vladimir Weiss was given 20 minutes of action.

Although the Slovakian international wasn't involved instantly, Wanderers came the closest they had to scoring all night in the moments following the substitution.

A long ball forward was controlled by Davies and Elmander with Taylor shooting inches wide on the half-volley with his weaker right foot. The midfielder held his hands on his head as he watched his effort drift wide, and television replays showed just how close he had come.

And just four minutes later, Taylor was again off target. This time it was with his left-foot as he drove into the side-netting having been released inside the penalty area by Davies.

Rodallega spectacularly volleyed over as Wigan hit back and Muamba was brandished the first yellow card of the evening for a trip on N'Zogbia.

Taylor's bad luck in front of goal continued when he dragged another attempt wide from 12 yards out before he was replaced with four minutes to go by Jack Wilshere.

Wanderers piled the pressure on in the latter stages but they drew a blank against a resilient Wigan defence and had to settle for a point that moved them up into 18th position in the league table.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Ricketts, Knight, Robinson, Chung-Yong (Weiss 70), Gardner (Cohen 84), Muamba, Taylor (Wilshere 87), Elmander, Kevin Davies (Subs: Al Habsi, Samuel, O'Brien, Mark Davies)

Wigan: Kirkland, Caldwell, Scharner , N'Zogbia, Moreno (Moses 80), Bramble (Scotland 51), Rodallega, McCarthy, Melchiot, Diame, Figueroa (Subs: Thomas, Gomez, Sinclair, Boyce, Stojkovic)

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