Waghorn spoils Amos heroics
MARTYN Waghorn’s dramatic late leveller threw Wigan a survival lifeline but Bolton stopper Ben Amos was the name on Latics boss Malky Mackay’s lips afterwards.
Waghorn’s overhead kick came right at the death after the Latics had three times been denied by the woodwork while Trotters stopper Amos made a string of fine saves as Wanderers took a fortunate lead.
Tom Walker’s deflected shot had left Ali Al-Habsi helpless before Waghorn struck deep into stoppage time leaving MacKay to praise his side’s fighting spirit as they continue to flirt with the division’s trap door.
“I think we should have had all three points,” Mackay said. “My team were terrific in the first half and even better in the second.
“But Ben Amos had a fantastic game between the posts for Bolton.
“We lost a really unlucky goal but the boys immediately went up the other end, hit the bar and saw two other good efforts saved before we got a goal at the end.
“There is a fighting spirit in the dressing room at the moment and we are going toe-to-toe against whoever we are playing.
“The gap between us and safety is now five points and this group of players are working extremely hard.
“We dominated and created chances we just needed that extra little bit of luck.” Wigan’s James Perch’s looping 25-yard shot struck the underside of the crossbar with Ben Amos saving from Leon Clarke on the rebound 15 minutes in.
Jermaine Pennant then tested Amos once more when he took aim from the edge of the Latics’ penalty area.
Al-Habsi saved from Matt Mills as the game swept from end to end but Amos made a terrific point-blank stop when Marc-Antoine Fortune met Josh Murphy’s cross on the half hour.
Pennant’s curling free-kick struck the post as the second-half began, with Patrick McCarthy clearing off the line as Josh Murphy followed up.
Murphy then sent a strike inches over the bar as Wigan pushed forward, but it was the Trotters who went in front when Walker wrong-footed Al-Habsi courtesy of an Emmerson Boyce deflection on 70 minutes.
Wigan substitute Sheyi Ojo saw his strike saved at full stretch by Amos before the goalkeeper pushed Leon Clarke’s header onto the bar.
But Waghorn pounced with an acrobatic equaliser to snatch a vital point.
Bolton boss Neil Lennon said: “We had a bit of luck with Tom Walker’s goal and we’ve been due something like that, especially away from home.
“I wasn’t really pleased with the performance some of the players put in.
“But when you play away from home you need your goalkeeper to play well and Ben Amos certainly did that.
“He’s been great for us since he came in and he just keeps getting better and better.
“But I do think the goal that Wigan scored was the least that they deserved because they had a real good go and created a number of really good chances during the game.
“They were unlucky not to get more than their one goal, but from our point of view it was important that we stopped the rot away from home.”
WALKING AWAY: Tom Walker sends Bolton into the lead 20 minutes from time with a powerful left-footed effort
his goal DRAMA: Waghorn celebrates