Ronnie Stam conjured a late equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw for Wigan and leave high-flying neighbours Bolton bitterly frustrated.
When on-loan Benfica forward Rodrigo Moreno, 19, produced a delightful finish to put Owen Coyle's men ahead in the 54th minute, the stage was set for the Trotters to emerge victorious.
Wigan had already lost Tom Cleverley to injury in the 12th minute and goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was carried off on a stretcher shortly after the hour mark. But Stam stabbed home at the far post in the 80th minute to draw Wigan level and earn a booking for his celebrations in front of the visiting supporters.
In the opening exchanges Johan Elmander's delightful flick set Matthew Taylor into space down the Wigan left, but his low cross was well blocked by Antolin Alcaraz.
Cleverley, on loan from Manchester United, pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury shortly after and was replaced by Mohamed Diame in the 12th minute.
Hugo Rodallega forced a fine save from Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen in the 32nd minute when his fierce 25-yard free-kick was parried clear.
In the 47th minute Taylor's free-kick from the right was greeted by a powerful header from Gary Cahill but his effort flew just wide.
Then a corner from Taylor, again from the right flank, was completely missed by Kirkland and Cahill headed over from the edge of the six-yard box.
The Trotters began to dominate and broke the deadlock in the 54th minute when a delightful passing sequence led to Mark Davies spotting Rodrigo making a diagonal run inside the Wigan penalty area and he finished confidently.
Elmander caught Kirkland with a late challenge and he received treatment before being replaced by Mike Pollitt. But Wigan levelled when Steve Gohouri's low cross was sidefooted home by Stam at the far post.