Wigan 1 Bolton 3
Andranik Teymourian scored two second-half goals to keep Bolton on course for Europe and pile the relegation pressure on Wigan.
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Emile Heskey's 100th league goal of his career was in vain as Sam Allardyce's side produced a stirring comeback at the JJB Stadium.
Nicolas Anelka initially hauled Bolton level four minutes before the interval before Iran midfielder Teymourian grabbed the first Premiership goals of his career in the space of five minutes.
Teymourian, signed on his performances at last summer's World Cup, appears to be another of those shrewd Allardyce captures.
Starting only his second league match, the 24-year-old certainly delivered in a crucial local derby victory that keeps Bolton in the hunt for a possible Champions League place.
Wigan, though, continue to hover precariously above the bottom three after two successive defeats.
Manager Paul Jewell will again wonder how this one slipped away, in particular after taking a stranglehold on the game in the first half.
For 35 minutes the Latics were barely troubled, with Heskey's ton-up strike after the half hour just reward for their endeavour
Throughout that period Bolton had done nothing more than pump long balls forward to their attacking trio of Anelka, Kevin Davies and El Hadji Diouf.
Although Wigan were without inspirational captain Arjan de Zeeuw, the veteran centre-back seemingly rested, a defence marshalled by stand-in skipper Matt Jackson comfortably contained such a threat.
Instead, it was Wigan who posed all the problems, in particular with the pacy Antonio Valencia down the right wing, while Josip Skoko and Paul Scharner formed an imposing partnership across the middle.
Jewell's side should have taken a fourth-minute lead as a sleepy Bolton defence failed to pick up Lee McCulloch's unopposed run into the heart of the area in meeting a Ryan Taylor corner.
But from eight yards the Scotland international winger, who had scored the winner in a 1-0 win at the Reebok Stadium earlier this season, side-footed narrowly wide.
As Wigan applied the pressure, half-chances followed with Caleb Folan steering a Valencia cross over the bar, while Abdoulaye Faye made a painful block on the edge of the area from McCulloch's shot on the turn.
Abdoulaye Meite also produced a superb challenge to deny Heskey in the 27th minute after the striker had surged into the area on the back of a raking ball from Leighton Baines.
Four minutes later Wigan made the breakthrough with a scrappy goal that epitomised the passage of play at that stage as the home side were just starting to lose their grip.
Unsurprisingly, the move was started by Valencia, robbing Tal Ben Haim of the ball before feeding Folan who in turn played in Scharner.
The Austrian's run into the penalty area culminated in a low ball in for Heskey that should have been cut out by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
However, Heskey managed to get a decisive flick goalwards for his seventh of the season, with the ball trickling over the line off Nicky Hunt.
A perturbed Allardyce swiftly replaced struggling Ben Haim with Ricardo Gardner to combat Valencia's threat, and within a few minutes a more solid-looking Bolton were level.
A raid into the area initially saw Jackson block a close-range shot from Anelka from which Wigan failed to clear their lines.
John Filan then flapped at a cross that was picked up at the far post by Diouf, and the Senegal striker slid the ball into Anelka who tapped home from two yards.
Bolton could then easily have headed into the break with the lead, but after spilling a 20-yard shot from Teymourian, Filan made amends by superbly saving from Diouf on the follow-up.
The goal, though, had given Wanderers the impetus heading into the break, and it was one they built on as the second period ebbed and flowed before Teymourian's double breakthrough.
There were half-chances again, this time for both sides, as well as yellow cards for Bolton's David Thompson and Davies.
Then midway through the half Bolton completed their comeback, with Diouf again the supplier as he hauled down a long ball out of defence before splitting the Wigan rearguard with an incisive pass.
It left Teymourian all alone and with only Filan to beat, and he did so with aplomb by stroking the ball underneath the advancing Australian.
Five minutes later and Teymourian sealed the points with a simple downward header from an unmarked position at the far post after Davies had done all the hard work down the right.
Although McCulloch rattled the crossbar in the 80th minute with a thunderous right-foot half-volley, Wigan are now staring at the prospect of the drop, while Bolton are on the rise again.
Wigan Filan, Taylor, Jackson, Hall, Baines, Valencia, Scharner, Skoko (Cotterill 74), McCulloch, Heskey, Folan (Camara 63).
Subs Not Used: Nash, Kilbane, Unsworth.
Goals: Heskey 32.
Bolton Jaaskelainen, Hunt, Meite, Faye, Ben Haim (Gardner 35), Teymourian, Thompson (Tal 74), Speed, Davies, Anelka (Giannakopoulos 88), Diouf.
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Pedersen.
Booked: Thompson, Davies, Jaaskelainen.
Goals: Anelka 44, Teymourian 68, 73.
Ref: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).