Bolton 1 Wigan 1
Andreas Johansson stepped off the bench and out of the shadows to rescue a point for Wigan at the Reebok Stadium.
The Swedish midfielder has found himself on the fringes in the club’s recent remarkable rise.
However he did himself a power of good by grabbing the equaliser in the 77th minute of this derby clash.
Bolton had looked in sight of victory thanks to a goal from Stelios Giannakopoulos – his eighth of the season – in the 63rd minute.
But they failed to make their possession pay and for the second time inside a week let a lead slip.
That game ended in a draw at Portsmouth and Bolton carried a threat right from the off against Wigan.
The visitors found themselves on the back foot in the fourth minute when goalkeeper Mike Pollitt spilled a close range effort from Stelios Giannakopoulos.
The ball broke to Matt Jansen, making his second start, but he couldn’t get enough of a decent touch and it was scrambled away.
Wigan carved out a nice opening five minutes later when Gary Teale found space on the right. He delivered a cross to the back post only for Joey O’Brien to head back to goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
However they found themselves under pressure a minute later when Nakata sent a shot into Pollitt’s arms after being picked out by Tal Ben Haim.
Wigan skipper Arjan De Zeeuw then put his team under pressure with a sloppy back pass that released Kevin Davies. However Pollitt raced off his line to block the Bolton striker.
Bolton kept up the pressure and Davies was denied by Pollitt in the 16th minute after a neat one-two with the lively Jansen.
Allardyce was forced to make a change in the 20th minute with Khalilou Fadiga carried off with what appeared to be a recurrence of his knee injury.
He was replaced by Hunt, who took up the right back role with O’Brien switching to midfield.
Bolton were looking the more dangerous of the two teams going forward and Hidetoshi Nakata rattled in a shot in the 35th minute that was blocked by Stephane Henchoz.
Wigan hit back and midfielder Jimmy Bullard worked his way in the area only to be crowded out.
Then in the 37th minute Neil Mellor found himself in a good position but failed to test Jaaskelainen, sending his effort wide of the target.
Jaaskelainen sent a clearance into the opposition box in the 43rd minute and Giannakopoulos looked favourite to win the ball.
However Henchoz stood tall, stood guard, allowing Pollitt to tidy up.
The industrious Davies was forced to come off in the 52nd minute after taking a knock.
It meant a new strike partnership with Mexico’s Jared Borgetti joining Ricardo Vaz Te up front.
Bolton were finding it difficult to get behind the visiting defence.
Hunt tried a shot from distance in the 57th minute which was taken easily by Pollitt then Vaz Te hooked a shot over the bar.
With on-loan Liverpool striker Mellor toiling up front Jaaskelainen was having a fairly quiet afternoon between the posts.
Vaz Te delivered a deep cross from the right after 60 minutes and Borgetti escaped his marker to get in a header, which Pollitt turned around the post.
This was a good spell of pressure from Bolton and Kevin Nolan went close before they took the lead in the 63rd minute.
Giannakopoulos took advantage of a misplaced header by Wigan’s Paul Scharner to scramble the ball home.
Scharner could only shake his head in frustration after getting his bearings wrong when N’Gotty floated in a free-kick.
Vaz Te tested Pollitt from the edge of the area after 75 minutes but two minutes later Wigan were level.
Jaaskelainen couldn’t hold Bullard’s free kick from the edge of the area and substitute Andreas Johansson knocked in the rebound.
Johansson should have given Wigan the lead two minutes later but sent a weak header into the goalkeeper’s arms following a cross from Gary Teale.
Then Bullard went on a surging run two minutes from time only to drag his shot wide of the post.