Diame wonder-strike and Al Habsi penalty save not enough to deny derby defeat
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
BOLTON WANDERERS 3
There was no derby-day delight at the DW Stadium this afternoon, as Latics fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat against Bolton Wanderers.
Roberto Martinez's men were looking to end a run of four consecutive Barclays Premier League defeats, and the fact the visitors arrived with six losses on the bounce added to the sense of importance of the game.
There was some encouraging news for Martinez coming into the match, as he was able to name defensive stalwart Antolin Alcaraz in a starting eleven that also saw Steve Gohouri return from suspension and David Jones come in to replace Ronnie Stam.
It was the worst possible start for Latics however, as Nigel Reo-Coker got on the end of a Chris Eagles cross in just the fourth minute to head the visitors into an early lead.
As the game progressed, Latics began to find their rhythm with James McCarthy and Ben Watson both having increased influence in the midfield.
It was McCarthy who had the first real glimpse of goal for the home side, as he tried his luck from just outside the area following Franco Di Santo's knock down.
The Irishman's effort fizzed wide but it seemed to give the side some visible confidence as they looked to get back on level terms.
There was little space to be found for either side as the encounter began to heat up, with a number of robust tackles flying in from both sets of players.
The equaliser finally came with five minutes remainingof the half, as Mohamed Diame's sublime 30-yard effort left Jussi Jaaskelainen stranded in the Bolton goal.
Minutes later however, Latics were trailing again.
David Ngog bagging Bolton's second following some indecision by Steve Gohouri deep in his own half.
The full-back was dispossessed by Kevin Davies who fed Ngog , leaving the Frenchman with the task of firing past Al-Habsi, who managed to get a fingertip on the ball.
Martinez introduced Hugo Rodallega and Maynor Figueroa at the interval and it was a positive Latics that began the second-half.
Rodallega looked dangerous and the Colombian hit-man went close in the 48th minute after finding space in the area.
Latics continued to surge forward in search of a way back and Victor Moses was denied just past the hour mark after turning smartly in the area.
The game seemed about to slip from the grasp of Latics in the 73rd minute when the referee awarded the visitors a penalty following an innocuous-looking challenge from Gary Caldwell.
Al Habsi made the protests irrelevant however, when he produced a magnificent save to deny Davies from the spot kick.
Latics again pushed forward but try as they might,&nbsp;they could not find a way through the Bolton backline.
The game was finally wrapped up by the visitors deep into stoppage time, as Chris Eagles pounced to stroke the ball past Al Habsi and bring to a close a hugely frustrating day for Roberto Martinez and his men.
Latics: Al Habsi, Gohouri (Rodallega, 45), McCarthy (Maloney, 74), Caldwell (c), Alcaraz, Watson (Figueroa, 45), Di Santo, Moses, Boyce, Jones, Diame.
Unused Subs: Pollitt, Crusat, McArthur, Sammon
Bolton Wanders: Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Cahill, Eagles (M.Davies, 90), Petrov (Gardner, 87), K. Davies (c), Reo-Coker, Pratley, Ngog (Klasnic, 84), Boyata, Wheater.
Unused Subs: Bogdan, Tuncay, Knight, Kakuta