Date:Sunday December 28 2008
Reebok Stadium, Bolton
Wigan made it a perfect six with two wins over Christmas but at a price in terms of injuries.
The afternoon started badly with Kirkland injuring his groin in the warm up and was replaced by the ever dependable Pollitt.
This was the only change to the team that performed so admirably against Newcastle, with Lee Cattermole playing his last game before an enforced one game rest.
Both sides started off fast and furious and there was plenty of passion and commitment as befits a local derby.
The first chance came to Davies, when Scharner allowed the ball to get past him into Davies feet with only Pollitt to beat. Scharner redeemed himself clearing the ball and Bolton had to settle for a corner.
Once again, Latics main creative outlet was Valencia who linked up well again with Melchiot and formed an excellent understanding with the industrious and committed Zaki up front.
On the left Taylor was once again played out of his natural position but he grew in confidence as the game went on and created several chances for Zaki.
The midfield was predictably where the majority of the game was played and whilst it was a dogfight, it was by no means dirty and several of the bookings most notably Palacios and Taylors were unjustified.
Clear cut chances were few and far between as the half went on, Pollitt got down well so save from Davies although there was a clear handball in the build up. At the other end, Jaaskalienen saved well from Heskey and Palacios.
The goal when it came resulted from a clumsy challenge by O'Brien on Camara, who had replaced the injured Heskey two thirds of the way through the first half. Mr Dowd had no option but to point to the spot and Amr Zaki scored his second penalty in three days, to delight of his manager and the large and vociferous travelling Wigan support.
The second half carried on in much the same way as the first, with Bolton pushing froward looking for an equiliser and Wigan breaking down the wings looking to put in Camara/Zaki, for what hopefully would be a telling second goal.
It didn't come and Wigan had to be alert, with Palacios clearing of his own line, with Bolton claiming the ball had crossed the line, Pollitt getting down well to save on another occasion and Shittu heading onto the Wigan bar in the closing minute.
Full time brought cheers of delight from the Wigan faithful and another three points in the bag at the old enemy's own midden, was enough to give all Wiganners a merry Christmas.
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Date:Sunday December 28 2008
|8.||Noel Wards Leg||60|
|3. Derby County||43||23||9||11||29||78|
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