Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Millwall

  • November 09, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season, after beating Millwall 3-1 at the Reebok Stadium.

After winning at Bournemouth last weekend, Wanderers went in search of their first victory on home soil since April and made easy work of a side who went into the game one place above them in the Championship table.

Robert Hall struck the opener from close range with just five minutes played, but Jermaine Easter equalised just before the half-hour to bring the Lions level.

Jermaine Beckford put Wanderers back in front two minutes before the break, before Andre Moritz sealed the points by finishing off a well-worked move in the final minute to give Dougie Freedman's side a deserved win.

Freedman made one change to the side that won at the Goldsands Stadium last time out, with Hall coming in for David Ngog - who was named on the bench.

With less than five minutes played, that alteration looked like the correct decision. Having seen an early cross-cum-shot flash across the face of goal, Hall was afforded too much time inside the Millwall box to tap home from close range from a Lee Chung-Yong cut-back.

The visitors had Nicky Bailey down with a head injury in the build-up to the goal, but appeals from the Lions players and coaching staff were ignored by match referee Graham Scott.

Beckford was looking lively in attack, but it was Millwall who had the next chance - as Nadjim Abdou struck tamely into the hands of Andy Lonergan.

The same thing then happened at the other end, as Chung-Yong shot straight at David Forde after a neat passing move involving Beckford and Neil Danns ended with the ball at the feet of the South Korea international.

With 28 minutes played, Steve Lomas' team were level. A clever turn from Easter saw him get away from both Matt Mills and Tim Ream, before firing the ball past a helpless Lonergan from just inside the box.

Beckford shot inches wide as Bolton looked to restore their lead almost immediately, but he didn't have to wait too much longer to net his fifth goal of the season. With just moments of the first half remaining, the former Leeds United forward latched on to a superb ball from Ream and found the corner of Forde's goal to put Wanderers back in front.

He fizzed a shot across the face of goal in stoppage time at the end of the first period, as the hosts took a 2-1 lead into the break.

There were no changes to either side for the start of the second half, as the two teams emerged to a heavy hail storm that had made for slippy conditions on the field. That showed in the early stages after the restart, with two early shots from Beckford failing to cause any trouble to the Millwall goalkeeper.

Lonergan did well to parry a shot to safety in the 55th minute, while Danns shot over the bar at the other end following a mistake from Forde.

Bolton should have taken a two-goal lead at the midway stage of the second half, as Chung-Yong played the ball through the Beckford. After scoring earlier in the game, Beckford should have made it two for the afternoon when he rounded Forde but he could only succeed in hitting the side netting as he ran away from goal.

Martyn Woolford brought a save out of Lonergan with 20 minutes left to play, as the visitors looked to find a way through a resilient Bolton backline.

As they continued to press for an unlikely leveller, Wanderers hit their opponents on the break and wrapped up the victory in style. Jay Spearing burst out of his own half and, with Moritz to his left and Craig Davies to his right, opted to play the ball to the former, who tricked his way beyond a challenge and smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

That was Moritz's first goal since joining on a free transfer from Crystal Palace in the summer and prompted cheers from the home supporters at the final whistle, who had seen their team win at their own stadium for the first time in nine attempts.

The win moves Bolton up two places to 17th in the Championship, five points above the bottom three and eight short of the play-offs. They return to action in two weeks, after the international break, when Freedman's side make the trip to Watford.

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, McNaughton, Mills, Ream, Baptiste, Kamara, Spearing, Hall (Moritz 60), Danns, Chung-Yong (Knight 78), Beckford (C Davies 83)
Subs Not Used: Eagles, Ngog, Lee-Barrett, Threlkeld
Booked: Kamara
Goals: Hall 5, Beckford 43, Moritz 89

Millwall: Forde, Hoyte, Robinson, Shittu, Lowry, Bailey, Abdou (Morison 75), Trotter, Waghorn, Easter (Feeney 59), Woolford (Martin 79)
Subs Not Used: Beevers, Chaplow, Smith, Bywater
Goals: Easter 28

Referee: Graham Scott
Attendance: 14,830

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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