Oldham Athletic 1 Wigan Athletic 1

Jason Scotland (above) and Charles N'Zogbia (below) in action last night against Oldham
Jason Scotland (above) and Charles N'Zogbia (below) in action last night against Oldham

JUST 72 days after ending last season with a hiding at Chelsea, Latics kicked off their preparations for the new campaign with a 1-1 draw at Oldham.

In quite dreadful playing conditions, Roberto Martinez fielded the majority of his first-team squad, handing debuts to new signings Mauro Boselli and Ali Al Habsi in the process.

There were also run-outs for a couple of French trialists in the midfield, Sekou Baradji and Laurent Merlin, the latter in particular producing a bit of magic with some nice touches after the break.

Al Habsi had a shaky start to his Wigan career, fumbling a shot from Oldham striker Ryan Brooke inside the opening seconds, although the ball did skim horribly off the greasy surface.

And it was the home side who took the lead on 15 minutes when a cross from the right was only half-cleared, allowing Dale Stephens to volley home from just inside the box.

Stand-in skipper Emmerson Boyce created Wigan’s first chance midway through the first half, his deep cross to the back post finding an unmarked Victor Moses, who could only head straight at Dean Brill.

The rest of the half was as dour as the weather before, as expected, Latics made a number of substitutions at the break including £6m-man Boselli.

And the changes brought about instant dividends as Latics equalised within two minutes of the restart.

Jordi Gomez was brought down in the act of shooting, the Spaniard picking himself up and finding the bottom corner with aplomb.

Boselli had an early chance to open his account, but the Argentine elected to cut inside after being freed by Merlin and was dispossessed.

Oldham player-boss Paul Dickov appeared midway through the second half, and immediately made his mark by sliding in crudely on James McCarthy which brought about a warning from referee Mr Moss.

Boselli almost clinched a late winner with a flashing volley that hit the legs of Brill, with Mike Pollitt 
pulling off a stunning save from Pawel Abbott moments later at the other end in a lively finish.