Dearnley strikes late to bag Latics' first league win of the season
Date published: 19 October 2020
Latics head coach Harry Kewell
Manager Harry Kewell hailed supersub Zak Dearnley after his superb 95th-minute strike at Bolton handed Latics their first League Two victory of the season.
Dearnley, an 85th-minute replacement for Dylan Bahamboula, fired home late on to earn Latics a precious 2-1 win at the University of Bolton Stadium.
“Fair play to Zak – he has had injuries and a spell on the sidelines,” said the Latics head coach.
“But he took his chance well.
"That’s what we all know Zak can do.
"We just want to get him to do it more.
“It is a real positive for the team when the substitutes come on and make a difference.”
However, I can’t fault the work rate from any of my players.
“I felt honestly we deserved that win and we could have won by more.
"From moment one we were on the front foot.
“The players just needed to believe in themselves.
"If they kept working and kept sticking to the game plan and formation you will get your opportunities.
“We didn’t look unorganised, we looked compact, we looked strong.
"The confidence has always been there, but hopefully we can be free to really express ourselves now.”
Dearnley outpaced Wanderers' defence with a lung-busting run before steering a low right-foot shot past Billy Crellin.
Victory lifted Latics off the foot of the table, and they certainly deserved three points as Ian Evatt's Bolton again failed to spark.
Latics' top scorer Conor McAleny and Jordan Barnett tried their luck, before Ben Garrity slid in a 28th-minute opener.
Midfielder Garrity turned in Danny Rowe's cross at the far post for his first league goal since moving on loan from Blackpool.
Bolton were behind for only four minutes, though.
Nathan Delfouneso, already denied by an excellent save from Oldham's debutant keeper Laurence Bilboe, fired home left-footed from close range after an excellent cross by Peter Kioso.
McAleny, with seven goals in his four previous outings, hit a post and drilled another effort wide in the second period, before Dearnley sealed a memorable Latics triumph.
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