Wigan 0 Bolton 1: Ivan the terrific sees off Latics and books FA Cup trip to Fulham

17 February 2011 07:57
Roberto Martinez mentioned in his programme notes last night that this would be a "typical FA Cup replay".If he meant a game played in front of empty seats then he was dead right, such is the rather lacklustre nature of the modern competition.

With only 7,515 spectators in the DW Stadium and neither side at full strength, this was never going to be a game to rival the European fayre being lapped up at the Emirates. Nevertheless, the right team went through.

Cup cracker: Bolton's Ivan Klasnic scores the winner

Under manager Owen Coyle, Bolton are progressing well both in terms of league position and in terms of the football that they play.

Last night his team played with the greater urgency, the greater ambition and the greater skill.

Having made six changes from the weekend win over Everton - two of them enforced - Bolton faced a team that had brought in nine fresh players.

Frankly, Bolton's greater experience showed and they should really have won by more.

Coyle's team wasted good chances in a first half that they dominated. The Swede Johan Elmander saw one goal ruled out for offside, saw a long range shot strike the inside of the post and was denied by Wigan goalkeeper Mike Pollitt.

It was the Croat Ivan Klasnic who spurned the best chance, though, as he shot straight at Pollitt after being played through by Mark Davies.

Injury blow: Bolton's Sam Ricketts is stretchered off

Starting only his fourth game of the season, Klasnic could perhaps be forgiven for being a little rusty.

Nevertheless, he found his range midway through the second period to kill off Wigan's challenge and send Bolton through to a fifth round meeting at Fulham on Sunday.

A super goal it was, too, as the impressive Davies excelled again to play Klasnic in down the left. This was actually a tougher chance but the 31-year-old slammed the ball across Pollitt with his left foot.

Finally, Wigan woke up. Well, they stirred a little. They even could have equalised had Jordi Gomez's shot been struck just under the bar from 12 yards rather than against it.

Coyle said: 'I am really pleased. I thought we were terrific and could have won by more. We now have the chance of reaching the last eight of the best cup competition in the world.'

Romance of the Cup? One young fan has a grandstand view at the DW Stadium

Bolton's night was soured somewhat by the loss of defender Sam Ricketts to an Achilles injury. Wigan manager Martinez said: 'I feel there were some positives. We were good in parts.The pitch is a problem. It will be relaid this week.'

With Manchester United the next visitors, Wigan may have been advised towait a while.

Coyle, meanwhile, insists the Trotters can cope with the extra pressure a cup run will put on his defence.

Coyle, who expects Zat Knight to be out for four to six weeks with an ankle ligament injury sustained in last weekend's win over Everton in the Barclays Premier League, confirmed Sam Ricketts was likely to be sidelined for some considerable time after suffering an achilles injury.

Empty Cup: Only 7,500 fans turned up for the replay

'That is the nature of football, but again, it is something we have to cope with, as we have done all season,' Coyle said.

'At one point we were down to 15 players and we are not at that stage yet, but we do have good players - as they have shown (against Wigan) - that can step into the breach.

'David Wheater (Knight's replacement in the starting XI) was outstanding again and I thought after Marcos Alonso came on (for Ricketts) and went to left-back, with Paul Robinson going to the right, they all stuck to their task.

'We would love to have Zat and Sam fit, and we'd love to have Gretar Steinsson fit, who has been injured and is on his way back. But it's all hands to the pump and that is the way we have always worked anyway.'

Coyle admitted the signs were not good for Ricketts.

'The medical team think it could be quite severe and we hope that is not the scenario,' the Scot said.

'But the way it is looking right now, I think it is going to be a lengthy period of time (he is out for).'

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Source: Daily_Mail