Bolton Wanderers suffered a derby day defeat at the hands of neighbours Wigan Atheltic at the DW Stadium.
Joe Garner gave Wigan an early lead after three minutes, but Wanderers held firm and finished the first half stronger.
However, the hosts found themselves three goals up early in the second half and Wanderers never recovered from that despite goals from O’Neil and Ameobi.
Phil Parkinson made three changes from Tuesday’s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at the University of Bolton Stadium with Andrew Taylor, Clayton Donaldson and Will Buckley coming in for Pawel Olkowski, Sammy Ameobi and Craig Noone. Taylor wore the captain’s armband as he faced his former club at the DW Stadium.
The hosts earned an early free kick just outside the box on the right hand side after Jason Lowe committed a foul which earned him a yellow card with three minutes barely on the clock.
From Reece James’s set-piece Joe Garner emphatically headed the ball past Matthews to put Latics one-up.
Lowe was forced off the field with a leg injury shortly afterwards with Olkowski replacing him.
Wanderers responded by earning three corners in relative quick succession but on each occasion the Wigan defence dealt with them.
Action in both boxes was few and far between inside the opening half hour.
Hobbs was in the right place to clear for a corner as Garner was waiting at the far post to convert a low right sided cross off Massey.
Matthews made a fine save to thwart former Wanderers’ loanee Robinson who cut on from the left before shooting with his right foot. The Wanderers ‘keeper was at full stretch to turn the ball away for a corner.
Joe Williams’ well struck volley earned a corner after the ball broke to him when the Latics’ defence attempted to clear O’Neil’s free-kick.
Wanderers were edging their way back into this contest and were started to gather a bit of momentum as they ploughed forward.
Another O’Neil free-kick was whipped in which Walton had to punch clear and Wanderers were looking stronger as the half went towards time added on.
Parkinson made his second change of the afternoon during the break with Ameobi replacing Donaldson.
Wigan doubled their advantage after 51 minutes through Massey whose shot sneaked in off the inside edge of the post.
It was a rather unfortunate manner for Wanderers to concede especially after their strong finish to the first half.
Wigan’s third came shortly afterwards through Nick Powell who squared into an empty net after Garner stole in behind Matthews to dispossess him as he was attempting to kick the ball up field.
Magennis summed up Wanderers’ luck when his 20 yard free-kick skied over Walton’s cross bar.
Wanderers pulled a goal back on the hour mark through O’Neil whose firmly driven effort from just outside the edge of the box took a deflection to beat Walton.
Matthews made a smart block to keep out Jacobs after he was put rhough by Powell, but the midfielder wasn’t to be denied and moments later restored Wigan’s the three-goal advantage with a powerful drive into the back of the net.
Connolly was unlucky to not get his name on the scoresheet when Ameobi’s flick presented him with a shot which Walton somehow saved with his feet.
Ameobi pulled another goal back to round off some smart play from Wanderers with ten minutes of the game left.
But substitute Leon Clarke ensured the three-goal advantage remained moments later when he nodded in at the far post to seal victory for the hosts.
Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Taylor, Lowe (Olkowski 8), Beevers, Donaldson (Ameobi HT), Buckley (Noone 82), Hobbs, Connolly, O’Neil, J Williams, Magennis.
Subs From: B. Williams, Wilson, Wheater, Connell