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James McClean destroys Bolton in derby after summer war of words

The Derry man scored two, and teed up another for Will Keane, as Wigan laid waste to Ian Evatt’s ‘best side in the division.’

A day to remember for the Republic of Ireland international.
A day to remember for the Republic of Ireland international.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

JAMES MCCLEAN STRUCK on the double — and also set up a goal for his prospective international team-mate Will Keane — as Wigan Athletic romped to an impressive 4-0 derby win away to neighbours Bolton on Saturday afternoon.

McClean was targeted by missiles thrown by members of the 21,000-strong home crowd as he celebrated his first goal, a stunning 25-yard drive into the right-hand corner, but the Republic of Ireland international had the last laugh as he ran riot against the side with whom he was linked during the summer.

McClean rejoined Wigan from Stoke in the off-season and later claimed Bolton had also been interested in securing his signature, stressing that “there was never, ever any chance I was going to entertain that” on account of his having previously played for Wigan, Bolton’s local rivals. “The Bolton one, for a lot of reasons, wasn’t something I was going to take interest in,” McClean added at the time.

Bolton boss Evatt later described McClean’s version of events as “completely false”, and among other such jibes said that McClean’s agent “didn’t stop ringing me for three weeks after I’d told him no.”

Prior to today’s encounter, Evatt had claimed his Bolton were the best side in League One, but McClean — with two goals and an assist — and Wigan laid waste to their opponents today as they stayed third, a point behind leaders Plymouth Argyle with two games in hand.

Elsewhere in League One, Aiden O’Brien equalised in first-half stoppage time of Sunderland’s come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Gillingham.

In the Championship, former Republic of Ireland forward David McGoldrick and current left-back Enda Stevens helped to turn the game on its head as Sheffield United came from behind to beat Stoke 2-1 at Bramall Lane: McGoldrick first teed up Lys Mousset who cancelled out Jacob Brown’s opener with just 10 minutes remaining, and he then converted the winner after Stevens’ low cross just three minutes later.

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At Ashton Gate, Mark Travers kept a clean sheet, while Gavin Kilkenny also played a full game in central midfield, as Bournemouth won 2-0 against Bristol City to top the table thanks to goals by Jamal Lowe and Jordan Zemura.

Bournemouth midfielder David Brooks was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this week and applause rang around the ground for the Wales international in the seventh minute.

Lowe held up Brooks’ number seven shirt with his team-mates as they celebrated their opener.

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