Bolton Wanderers 3-2 Bristol City

  • October 20, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton began life after Owen Coyle by coming from two goals down to record a 3-2 victory over Bristol City at the Reebok Stadium.

Optimism was high prior to the game, but the Wanderers players and fans were brought back down to earth after just three minutes, as Steve Davies volleyed past Adam Bogdan from just inside the box.

Davies added a second from the penalty spot midway through the half, before Chris Eagles pulled one back for the hosts with a thunderbolt of a free-kick just after the half hour.

Bolton upped the pace after the break and equalised through Jay Spearing's first goal for the club just after the hour and they would go on to seal the victory, as Martin Petrov slotted home to complete a fine team move with eight minutes to go.

Wanderers started the game with three changes to the side that lost at Millwall a fortnight ago, with Petrov, Benik Afobe and Tim Ream taking the places of Keith Andrews, David Ngog and Zat Knight, who was left out of the squad amid reports that he had arrived late to the stadium.

The Bolton fans were in high spirits prior to the game, but the bubble had burst within the opening three minutes as Stephen Pearson crossed the ball into the box and Steve Davies volleyed his side into the lead.

Wanderers were struggling to get themselves into the game and they conceded again midway through the half, with Ream conceding a penalty for a foul on Martyn Woolford - the sixth they have conceded so far this season.

Davies already had one goal to his name and he stepped up to send Bogdan the wrong way and fire the Robins into a two-goal lead.

Kevin Davies fired over the top shortly afterwards as Bolton tried to find a way back into the game, before Eagles found the net with his sixth of the campaign.

After being brought down on the edge of the City box, the former Burnley midfielder stepped up to fire low and hard past Tom Heaton to reduce the deficit.

Wanderers were fortunate to survive a second penalty scare just before the break. Ream dived into a challenge with Sam Baldock, who did well to stay on his feet. The Robins forward then clipped the ball against the hand of the Bolton defender, but referee Mark Brown waved play-on and ensured the scores stayed at 2-1 going into the interval.

The half-time team talk worked wonders for the hosts, who came out a completely different side after the break, with Wanderers hammering the City goal.

Mark Davies was the first to try his luck after the restart, but his placed strike rolled inches wide of the far post after he had been set up by a smart ball from Petrov.

Heaton made a comfortable stop from Spearing's long-range strike, before doing well to deny both Afobe and Petrov as Bolton tried to get themselves on level terms.

Their persistence paid off just after the hour, however, as the on-loan Spearing scored his first goal for the club since joining from Liverpool in August.

A fine move resulted with Kevin Davies playing Spearing clean through on goal and he made no mistake in slotting the ball beyond the onrushing Heaton to bring the Reebok Stadium to life.

From that point on, there was only one team looking likely to win the game and it was Bolton Wanderers.

Eagles went close with another free-kick, while Heaton was required to tip over a dipping strike from Petrov.

Petrov would get his reward for a good performance with eight minutes remaining, though. Eagles and substitute Lee Chung-Yong combined to release the Bulgaria international, who adjusted his body and slotted the bouncing ball into the corner of the Bristol City net and complete the comeback.

Bolton were almost hit with a suckerpunch in the dying stages, however, but Stephen Pearson could only succeed in heading the ball wide of the target when he was found unmarked inside the Wanderers six-yard box.

Moments later, the referee called time on events, ensuring Wanderers took all three points after recording their first win in four games.

The interim trio of Phillips, Sammy Lee and Julian Darby are expected to remain in charge of first-team affairs when Bolton face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Tuesday night.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Mills, Ream, Warnock, Eagles, M Davies, Spearing, Petrov (Pratley 90), K Davies, Afobe (Chung-Yong 80)
Subs Not Used: Lynch, Andrews, Ngog, Ricketts, Riley
Goals: Eagles 31, Spearing 62, Petrov 82

Bristol City: Heaton, Foster, Carey, McManus, Fontaine, Adomah, Skuse, Pearson, Woolford (Pitman 85), Baldock, Davies (Taylor 63)
Subs Not Used: Gerken, Wilson, Bryan, Anderson, Morris
Booked: McManus, Skuse, Carey
Goals: Davies 3,21(pen)

Referee: Mark Brown
Attendance: 17,259

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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