Martyn Waghorn’s dramatic overhead kick in the fourth minute of stoppage time rescued a dramatic late point for Wigan Athletic, in a feisty derby match against Bolton Wanderers at the DW Stadium.
Latics dominated for most of the contest, hitting the woodwork on two occasions and even having a goal disallowed, but Tom Walker’s freak effort against the run of play looked to have won it for the visitors, before Waghorn’s late heroics rescued a point.
Malky Mackay made just one change from the side which lost to Watford, with loan signing Josh Murphy being brought in to make his full debut in place of Sheyi Ojo, after impressing with his cameo appearance on Tuesday night.
Latics made a cautious start to the game, with Bolton looking the more dangerous for the opening ten minutes in a cagey contest.
Wigan Athletic soon settled however, and took control of the game, with their first opportunity coming on the quarter of an hour mark, when James Perch hit the crossbar with a magnificent curling effort from the edge of the area.
This sprung the hosts into life, and they were soon on the attack again, with Harry Maguire sending the ball over with his volley just two minutes later.
Winger Josh Murphy caught the eye in particular for Latics, with the loan signing being the cause of anything positive going forward.
Latics continued to dominate, and produced the best chance of the half after 37 minutes through Marc-Antoine Fortune, who did well to latch onto Murphy’s cross at a difficult angle, before heading at Ben Amos from close range, who did well to prevent the forward from giving Wigan the lead.
The hosts continued to pour forward, and even had the ball in the back of the net just before half time through Leon Clarke, who latched on to Jermaine Pennant’s cross to blast home, only for it to be chalked off for offside – meaning the sides went in level at the interval.
Wigan Athletic continued where they left off in the first half and flew out of the blocks in the second interval.
Latics could have taken the lead within sixty seconds of the restart, when Pennant tried to sneak his free-kick on the left hand side of the area in at the near post, only for Amos to push the ball away nervously.
It was a bright start, and Latics continued to look bright going forward, with that clinical touch just lacking in the final third.
Josh Murphy continued to impress for his new club, and left parts of the DW thinking he had scored after 66 minutes, when his gorgeous curling effort from the edge of the area dropped mercilessly onto the roof of the net.
Bolton soon broke, and took the lead completely against the run of play twenty minutes from time, with a freak effort from Tom Walker.
The ball was cleared from a corner and the wing-back hit a hopeful effort from range after picking the ball up, before taking a deflection which left Ali Al-Habsi helpless and allowed the ball to dribble into the bottom left hand corner.
It was a cruel blow which left Latics wondering if it was to be their day, having dominated for the vast majority of the contest up until this point.
Wigan Athletic continued to pour forward, with Murphy again going close from range; seeing his effort curl just wide of the goal 13 minutes from time.
Time began to creep by without a definitive chance however, and Latics soon found themselves on the verge of suffering yet another unlucky defeat at home.
There was still enough time for Leon Clarke to sum up the afternoon however, when he hit the crossbar in the 90th minute with his header from a corner, which clattered against the woodwork from close range and left the hosts wondering what they would have to do to score.
Latics would not give up however, and their reward came in stoppage time through substitute Martyn Waghorn, who produced a stunning overhead kick from a William Kvist long throw, which hit the crossbar before bouncing into the back of the net to rescue an invaluable and richly deserved point.