Match ends, Bolton Wanderers 1, Wigan Athletic 1.
Goalkeeper Adam Bogdan prevented Wigan from staging an incredible comeback by saving Jordi Gomez's last-minute penalty to earn Bolton a point.
The hosts looked to be heading for victory after on-loan forward Lukas Jutkiewicz scored in the first half from Robert Hall's free-kick.
But Wigan midfielder Nick Powell smashed home with two minutes left.
Callum McManaman won a penalty in time added on after Alex Baptiste's foul but Bogdan denied neighbours Wigan victory.
With Reading also drawing, Uwe Rosler's Wigan side missed out on a chance to move clear of their play-off rivals.
But they are still five points clear of seventh-placed Nottingham Forest, with a game in hand.
Bolton, who are 10 points clear of the relegation zone, began the game at a flying pace with Hall at the heart of most of their endeavour.
It was not all one-way traffic, though, and the Latics could have scored through both Emmerson Boyce and Marc-Antoine Fortune had it not been for heroic blocks from David Wheater and Jay Spearing.
A magnificent assist from Hall then saw Bolton take the lead. The former West Ham winger's free-kick was curled perfectly into the danger area and just needed the slightest touch from Jutkiewicz to beat Ali Al-Habsi.
They then almost doubled their advantage before half-time, with Liam Trotter off target.
Wigan were then fortunate to keep 11 players on the pitch. Trotter broke clear before last man Leon Barnett brought him down on the edge of the penalty area. Referee Darren Drysdale, though, only chose to award the defender a booking.
Al-Habsi kept his side in the game with a string of saves before Powell smashed in a late equaliser from Martyn Waghorn's cutback.
Had Gomez converted from the spot following Baptiste's foul, it would have been harsh on Bolton.
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman on referee Darren Drysdale's decision to only book Leon Barnett for a foul on Liam Trotter:
"I don't like criticising referees and I thought he had a good match today but I was very, very disappointed by the decision he made.
"It was a decision which gave them that little bit of hope to get back in the game in the end.
"It's a difficult match for referees and I'm not one to criticise them because I know how difficult their job is, but I just can't get my head around the decision.
"He's through on goal and it's just a very poor decision. On the replay it's even worse."
Wigan boss Uwe Rosler:
"It was very important to get something out of today's game.
"Should I be happy? Should I be disappointed? I don't know.
"We had some experienced players out there who couldn't handle the derby situation and got nervous after they scored.
"Today we are disappointed in ourselves. We should have played a lot better from the start. As a ball-playing team we should have been better on the ball and at times we didn't cope with the physical side of things."
- 44KamaraBooked at 41mins
- 6SpearingBooked at 90mins
- 29JutkiewiczSubstituted forBeckfordat 87'minutes
- 17TrotterSubstituted forBaptisteat 79'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 11HallSubstituted forMoritzat 79'minutes
- 22BeausejourBooked at 85mins
- 31TunnicliffeSubstituted forCollisonat 58'minutes
- 25BarnettBooked at 53mins
- 33WaghornBooked at 23mins
- 16McArthurSubstituted forPowellat 70'minutes
- 14Gómez García-Penche
- 11McCleanSubstituted forMcManamanat 45'minutes
- Darren Drysdale
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Bolton Wanderers 1, Wigan Athletic 1.
Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Jay Spearing.
Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Adam Bogdan.
Penalty saved! Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, left footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.
Jay Spearing (Bolton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card.
Penalty Wigan Athletic. Callum McManaman draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Alex Baptiste (Bolton Wanderers) after a foul in the penalty area.
Attempt saved. Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Jordi Gómez with a cross.
Alex Baptiste (Bolton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Alex Baptiste (Bolton Wanderers).
Goal! Bolton Wanderers 1, Wigan Athletic 1. Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Martyn Waghorn.
Offside, Bolton Wanderers. Alan Hutton tries a through ball, but Jermaine Beckford is caught offside.
Attempt missed. André Moritz (Bolton Wanderers) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.
Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. Jermaine Beckford replaces Lukas Jutkiewicz.
Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic).
Medo (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Jay Spearing (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.