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Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Sunday, 28 December 2008

Bolton 0-1 Wigan

By Paul Fletcher

Wigan celebrate Amr Zaki's penalty for Wigan
Zaki scored his 10th Premier League goal of the season

Wigan won for the fifth time in their last six Premier League fixtures and moved seventh in the table after shading a tight contest at Bolton.

Amr Zaki scored the decisive goal from the penalty spot after Andrew O'Brien had dragged down Henri Camara.

Wilson Palacios headed off the line for Wigan, while Mike Pollitt denied Johan Elmander and Kevin Davies hit the post with the follow-up.

Bolton's Danny Shittu also hit the bar with a looping injury-time header.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the hosts, who were looking for a positive response after a 3-0 defeat at Liverpool on Boxing Day.

Super Kevin Davies

The win for the Latics was their third away from home in the league this season and comes on the back of their 2-1 home victory over Newcastle on Friday - but the Trotters have now lost five Premier League fixtures at home.

However, Bolton boss Gary Megson could not be accused of lacking ambition with his team selection.

He had packed his midfield at Anfield but restored Davies to the starting line-up against Wigan to partner Elmander in attack.

And the two almost combined to craft the opening goal when Paul Scharner failed to cut out an Elmander cross that left Davies in the clear eight yards from goal. The Bolton forward seemed certain to score but Scharner atoned for his initial mistake with a superb last-ditch tackle.

Bruce happy with 'determined' victory

Poor passes, players caught offside and shots well wide of either goal were the order of the day as both sides struggled to impose themselves.

And it came as no major surprise when an error led to the first clear opening of the game.

Shittu, in for the injured Gary Cahill, tried to kick the ball clear but it hit the heel off his boot and ran towards his goal.

Emile Heskey was the first to react and diverted the ball goalwards but Jussi Jaaskelainen had charged off his line and smothered the striker's effort.

Heskey limped out shortly afterwards while Zaki later sustained a sizeable bump on the side of his head after colliding with team-mate Mario Melchiot as they tried to clear a Bolton corner.

However, Zaki was able to continue and scored his 10th Premier League goal of the season after O'Brien's clumsy challenge on substitute Camara.

It was one of the last moments of the half but the Latics had hinted at an increasing goal threat prior to scoring, with Jaaskelainen saving from Camara, Lee Cattermole and Titus Bramble.

Bolton were within inches of an equaliser shortly after the resumption when Palacios headed the ball off his own line and into the arms of keeper Pollitt, drafted in when Chris Kirkland sustained a groin injury in the warm-up.

Megson questions goalline decision

The home team were convinced the ball had crossed the line but referee Phil Dowd was not interested. Replays were inconclusive but the incident was highly debatable.

Pollitt denied Elmander with his legs and the woodwork thwarted Davies as Bolton pushed forward in search of an equaliser.

And the home team were unlucky not to equalise when Shittu, playing as a makeshift striker, headed a looping Matt Taylor pass towards goal but saw his effort strike the crossbar.

Bolton manager Gary Megson:
"We had what we thought was a legitimate goal turned down but we did not play particularly well.

"A lot of our well-known players did not perform. The best display came from Danny Shittu in terms of defending.

"Maybe tiredness set in during the last 20 minutes but we have to give credit to the opposition as they were really solid."

Wigan manager Steve Bruce:
"Anyone who has seen us will know it is no fluke we are in the top half of the division.

"Our aim is to stay there if we can. There a lot of big clubs down near the bottom so it is great for a side like ours to be punching above our weight. Bolton have played in the Uefa Cup, Blackburn have done it. Why can't it be our turn?.

"In the calendar year we have taken something like 58-60 points. It is a fantastic achievement from the players but we are not going to get carried away."

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Shittu, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel (Riga 65), Taylor, Nolan (Muamba 64), McCann, Gardner (Obadeyi 87), Elmander, Davies.
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Smolarek, Fogut, Basham.

Booked: Nolan, Steinsson.

Wigan: Pollitt, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Cattermole, Palacios, Taylor (Kilbane 86), Heskey (Camara 33), Zaki (Brown 90).
Subs Not Used: Kingson, Koumas, Boyce, De Ridder.

Booked: Taylor, Palacios, Cattermole.

Goals: Zaki 44 pen.

Att: 23,726

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Bolton's Jussi Jaaskelainen 9.19 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Sunday's football photos
28 Dec 08 |  Football
Premier League as it happened
28 Dec 08 |  Premier League

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