Bournemouth 0 Wigan 1

Mauro Boselli in action in the FA Cup replay against Bournemouth
Mauro Boselli in action in the FA Cup replay against Bournemouth

A THUNDERBOLT from Mauro Boselli helped Wigan Athletic edge past the Cherries and set up an FA Cup fourth-round meeting with Macclesfield.

The Argentine has still to register a Premier League goal, but he continued his golden touch in the cups with the only goal on the south coast.

It was all Boselli’s own work, as he hunted the mistake from the home defence and, after seizing possession, rifled an unstoppable strike into the top corner.

Roman Golobart saw a second-half header from Roger Espinoza’s corner ruled out by referee Jon Moss for a push. And Bournemouth almost forced extra-time, when Marc Pugh hit the woodwork – after team-mate Eunan O’Kane had done the same in the first half – with the visitors holding on.

Roberto Martinez had made two changes from the side that drew 1-1 in the first game, handing Angelo Henriquez his first start and giving the brave souls that had made the trip their first sight of Espinoza in a Wigan shirt.

Bournemouth probably considered themselves unfortunate to have been taken to a replay having shaded the DW clash and they certainly started like they had a point to prove.

Neither side was being helped by a pitch that was causing the ball to bobble from the outset, but Latics managed to weather the initial tide from the Cherries and put some decent passing together.

Espinoza in particular made a good start, keeping it simple but retaining possession in a crowded midfield.

Bournemouth, too, were sticking to their footballing principles, but it led to their downfall as early as the 17th minute.

Boselli it was who was hunting the error, and some spirited off-the-ball chasing resulted in him winning possession 25 yards from goal.

The Argentine took a touch and then lashed the ball into the top corner, giving Shwan Jalal in the Cherries goal no chance whatsoever.

It was a goal of real quality, and made a mockery of his poor performance in the first game when he barely had a kick.

Predictably, the home side tried for an immediate response and Emmerson Boyce had to move smartly to toe the ball away from the incoming Wes Thomas

A Josh McQuoid cross was then nicely cut out by Golobart, who was looking as impressive as he had done on debut 10 days previous.

Jordi Gomez was putting himself about in midfield, and angered the home fans with rather robust challenges on Harry Arter and Charlie Daniels that led to a word from the official.

O’Kane thought he was through before Boyce again snuffed out the danger, before Latics threatened to add to their lead.

Gomez intelligently played in Callum McManaman, whose left-foot strike was well saved by Jalal.

Bournemouth were forced into an early change when Pugh replaced Lewis Grabban, and the new man was quickly into the game, crossing for Thomas to head just wide.

Latics managed to see it out until the interval, despite a period of concerted pressure from the home side that required crucial interventions from Golobart and Mike Pollitt.

That was Pollitt’s final action, the veteran goalkeeper being replaced at the break by Ali Al Habsi after appearing to be troubled by a thigh problem towards the end of the half.

McManaman picked up the game’s first yellow card for an over-zealous challenge in centre-field, before Latics nearly played themselves into trouble at the back.

Gomez, sold Fraser Fyvie woefully short, and O’Kane seized the opportunity to run at the Wigan defence.

Thankfully for the visitors, Fyvie came across superbly and mopped up the situation, and setting Latics off on their next attack.

Back came Bournemouth, though, and Simon Francis’ cross saw Thomas climb well, but the header was straight at Al Habsi.

Nouha Dicko took over from McManaman for the last half-hour, but the home side were asking more and more of the questions.

McQuoid’s cross was only just too high for the waiting attackers, and Arter’s shot was helped over by Al Habsi.

Substitute Wes Fogden fired goalwards only for Golobart to take one for the team, before a rare Latics raid saw them threaten a killer second.

Boselli’s shot was parried out by Jalal, and Henriquez was nearly in on the loose ball.

Arter left his foot in on Ronnie Stam and was yellow-carded, before the expected grandstand finish saw the Cherries come desperately close to taking the tie into extra-time. Pugh tried his luck again with a shot that came back off the bar, then fired inches wide moments later.

Latics should have killed it when Espinoza’s cross saw Dicko somehow side-foot wide from five yards, and Latics almost paid a high price.

Espinoza was cautioned for a foul on Matt Tubbs, whose free-kick forced a wonderful, and crucial, save out of Al Habsi.