Amr Zaki secured the three points from the penalty spot and Zamalek an extra £500,000, after Andy O’Brien felled Henri Camara on the goal line. Wigan didn’t have it all their way and had to weather the storm in the opening exchanges.
Latics had to fend off a couple of early Bolton efforts before we took over the game. Matty Taylor went for the worst free kickoff the season award in the first 5 minutes and must be winning at the moment. Gardner shaved the post and Taylor had a shot deflected wide.
Bolton then started to resort to the long ball tactics and that is when we started to get a foothold in the game. Zaki was first to have a go, but his shot was bravely blocked by Steinsson. The resulting long ball saw Kevin Davies go through on goal but Scharner got back well to clear the danger.
Heskey was denied a penalty after Shittu sithed him down from behind, but referee Phil Dowd waved it away. Heskey nearly capitalised 5 minutes later from a wicked Ryan Taylor cross, but his shot was easily saved by Jaaskelainen.
Henri Camara came on for Emile Heskey after 31 minutes and made an immediate impact as he latched on to a wayward back pass, the Senegalese International was only denied by a world class save by the Bolton stopper.
Lee Cattermole was on the end of another fine save and you could feel that we were going score soon. Alas it didn’t come from open play, but if Andy Obrien hadn’t dragged Henri Camara down right in front of goal it would have been.
Phil Dowd didn’t have any hesitation when pointing to the spot and Amr Zaki, going for his second goal in two games, stepped up to take it. He slotted it past Jussi and so earned his owners’ Zamalek another £500K.
Latics endured a couple more long balls that they easily cleared, before the half time whistle went.
Bolton resorted to the same long ball tactics that they adopted in the first half, and generally got the same results. Although the home crowd did go wild as Palacios cleared off the line after 10 minutes, all the Bolton players in the box were trying to imply the ball had gone over the line, but the officials just carried on.
The next 20 minutes or so really wasn’t good watching with free kick after free kick being given, coupled with the ball spending most of its time in the air. Bolton was then penned in their own half but as comfrotable as Latics lokked we just couldn’t find a way through.
The best the half produced was Pollitt make a couple of fine saves from Elamander and Valencia have a long range effort land straight in the arms of Jaaskelainin. As the match teetered out, Latic’s finished the year on a high and look good in their 7th place spot.
Report by Jason Taylor