Both teams made changes ahead of this game. For Latics only two players started the game from the same lineup which played against Manchester United on New Year's Day. Bournemouth made a few themselves and looked to play a more defensive style. Yet cheered on by a big following, they were here to case and upset.
Optimism among the home support, that was the best way to sum the atmosphere up. It was much the same way against Bradford City in the last cup game, that time we lost on penalties, at least we knew there could be no such result today. We were all very disappointed to see both new acquisitions on the bench. Both Angelo Henriquez and Roger Espinoza will have to wait for their full debuts, although Henriqurez came on at half time.
To start the game, Wigan tried to get on the ball and settle. Much the same as we do in a league game, yet our cutting edge was not there. The man we looked to get it from Jordi Gomez would have a shocker of a game. He was getting in all the right places, several time he was in a good 10 yards of space. Yet instead of turning and looking for Mauro Boselli or Callum McManaman, he passed it back to Roman Golobart or one of our two other defenders.
It was infuriating and really took our sting out of the game. When we did get forward it was down the left handside, as Callum McManaman showed his worth. Getting past players and looking to create chances. Bournemouth became aware he was going to cause danger, and after the first ten minutes he was rarely left in space.
So as we failed to impose ourselves on the game, Bournemouth decided they would. Winning a fair few corners and looking to try and whip in some good deliveries. Lucky for us they couldn't really work a chance. The few times they did one of our younger defenders in Golobart, or left wing back Daniel Redmond, were there to clear the mess up. The two of them were having very good games.
Bournemouth would feel some injustice before half time. The referee was having a bit of a poor game in all fairness. Giving slight knocks as freekicks then some big challenges as nothing. So when Marc Pugh got past Emmerson Boyce and went shoulder to shoulder in the box, before going down as Roman Golobart went in for the challenge, all Wigan fans feared the worse, especially when he blew the whistle. Yet it was to go the other way, a card was produced and the game carried on at 0-0.
The right decision? I haven't seen it again, but my first thoughts and thoughts still was Wigan got away with one. But that wouldn't last long. Bournemouth passing the ball around on the edge of the box, the ball eventually fell to an Eunan O'Kane who had acres of space, our midfielders watching as the ball was blasted into the top corner of the net.
The half would end 1-0 to Bournemouth and Wigan couldn't complain we hadn't done enough to deserve any more so far. Yet a change at half time, off came Daniel Redmond for Angelo Henriquez. Right idea, yet for me the wrong man. Redmond had a very good first half, yet Henriquez came on and changed the game for Latics.
With 10 minutes of being on Henriquez nearly got his first goal for the club. David Jones taking a free-kick that was to the right of the Bournemouth box. The resulting ball was fantastic as Henriquez got ahead of his marker and headed against the intersection. So close!
Wigan were growing in confidence now, the home fans sensing we could get back into this and so did the players. The tempo picked up, the passes became sharper and now we were getting some where. Henriquez finding those pockets of space and enjoying himself.
Yet it would be Maynor Figueroa who would come close next. Come in from the left hand side was urged to shoot by the home support and he didn't disappoint. A sublime effort was so unlucky not to go in. A swerving, dipping, drilled shot was going in, before hitting the cross bar and coming out. We were only inches away.
Then the referee changed the game for Wigan. Corner in and the ball was scrambled around in the box. Figueroa went for it, and according to the referee it was a foul. Now this was very soft. Yet a shirt pull on Figueroa saw the referee point to the spot and Jordi Gomez step up to take it. His initial effort was saved by keeper Jalal, before he placed it into the other corner.
Hope of a turn around?
The game opened up it came end to end as both teams went for the win. One came Nouha Dicko to run at them, and James McArthur to steady our midfielder. But these changes had no effect on the scoreline. We were unable to break down a very stubborn Bournemouth defence, while we have Mike Pollitt at the other end to thank for a few vital saves.
It was a result that Bournemouth deserved. Wigan never got out of second gear and it could have been worse for us. A replay isn't really what you want. Yet glory in the cup is still achievable.