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19:04 5th January 2011


Hard working Latics battle to deserved point

Rodrigo 54

Stam 80

Report by Iain McMullen

Ronnie Stam scored his first goal for the club tonight as Latics produced a battling performance to earn a well deserved point at rain-soaked Bolton.

Despite losing Tom Cleverely and Chris Kirkland to injury during the game, Roberto Martinez's men fought from the opening whistle in a performance that was much improved from Sunday's disappointing defeat to Newcastle.

The gaffer brought James McArthur into the midfield for Momo Diame and the young Scot impressed alongside Ben Watson and Tom Cleverley, as Latics forced the home team on to the back foot.

Chris Kirkland was a virtual spectator for most of the half behind a defence, expertly marshalled by Gary Caldwell and Antolin Alcaraz, that kept danger man Kevin Davies under wraps.

Hugo Rodellega had the best chance of the half when his thunderous 35 yard free kick had Jaaskelainen scrambling across his goal to parry away for a corner.

The only negative came in the eighth minute when Tom Cleverley pulled up clutching his hamstring as he chased a loose ball in the corner. The sight of the young winger limping down the tunnel will be a major worry for the gaffer and his already depleted squad.

The second half was only nine minutes old when Latics found themselves a goal down after Rodrigo latched onto a through ball and calmly chipped over the advancing Kirkland.

Five minutes later Kirkland had to be stretchered off when he was injured saving bravely at the feet of the advancing Elmander. The big keeper left the field to a round of concerned applause to add to Latics' growing injury list.

Latics battled hard to get back on equal terms with their hosts and got their just rewards when Ronnie Stam started and finished an excellent move to slot past Jaaskelainen in the 80th minute.

The goal lifted the travelling fans behind the Bolton goal and Latics responded by pushing forward in search of all three points.

The hosts responded well as they looked to win the game themselves and Mike Pollitt produced an excellent reflex save to keep the game level during the eight minutes of added time.

Latics survived the home side's late pressure and were rewarded with a well deserved point.

Latics:Kirkland (Pollitt 62); Gohouri, Alcaraz, Caldwell G, Thomas, Watson, Cleverley (Diame 12), McArthur, Rodallega, Stam (McManaman 90+4), Figueroa
Subs:Pollitt; Gomez, Caldwell S, Diame, López, McManaman, Robinson

Bolton:Jaaskelainen; Robinson, Cahill, Muamba, Taylor (Blake 90), Elmander, Knight, Davies K, Davies M, Ricketts, Rodrigo (Petrov 82)
Subs:Bogdan; Petrov, Blake, Alonso

    Data provided by Press Association