Bolton Wanderers 0-2 Brighton & Hove Albion

  • March 15, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/08ebd

Bolton tasted defeat for the first time in six games on Saturday, as they were beaten 2-0 by Brighton & Hove Albion at the Reebok Stadium.

A brace of goals, one in each half, from Oldham-born and former Rochdale midfielder Will Buckley gave the Seagulls all three points, moving to within one point of the Championship play-off places.

Wanderers had a goal disallowed at 1-0 down, as Joe Mason's flicked finish was ruled out for offside, but Dougie Freedman's side were largely second best against Oscar Garcia's men on a disappointing afternoon for the Trotters.

Dougie Freedman made four changes to the side that drew 0-0 at Derby County on Tuesday night, with David Wheater, Lee Chung-Yong, Liam Trotter and Mason taking the places of Zat Knight, Neil Danns, Andre Moritz and Mark Davies. The latter wasn't included in the matchday squad, while the other three dropped to the bench.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the visitors, with Adam Bogdan alert to make a comfortable save to deny Stephen Ward.

Wanderers responded with bright forward play from Jutkiewicz, Mason and Medo Kamara, but all thre attacks were snuffed out at the death as Brighton looked strong at the back.

Albion were soon back on the front foot and they went ahead in the 13th minute, as Buckley fired home from the rebound after Bogdan had pulled off an incredible reflex save to stop an initial attempt on goal.

Tomasz Kuszczak saved from Jay Spearing moments later, before Trotter's low cross to Jutkiewicz fell just behind the on-loan Middlesbrough forward.

Wheater was denied by an outstretched hand of Kuszczak just after the half-hour, before the Brighton goalkeeper was on hand to push away a fierce strike from Spearing.

Kamara hit the crossbar with a 37th minute free-kick, after Alex Baptiste had been fouled on the edge of the box, while Jake Forster-Caskey sliced wide at the other end. Kamara then shot high and wide as the half drew to a close, as the visitors went in a goal to the good at the interval.

There were no changes to either side at the break and the first chance of the half fell the way of the hosts, as Trotter dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box.

Wanderers were agonisingly close to an equaliser in the 51st minute, but Jutkiewicz just couldn't quite grow enough as he missed the opportunity to tap home Mason's wicked cross-cum-shot with the goal at his mercy.

Jesse Lingard saw an attempt charged down at the other end, before Jutkiewicz once again found himself in the Brighton box - only to see his header deflect behind.

Bolton had the ball in the net on the hour, as Mason flicked Chung-Yong's low cross beyond Kuszczak, but celebrations were cut short as the referee's assistant had his flag raised to signal an offside.

After trying so hard to get themselves on level terms, that came as a hammer blow to Freedman's side as, five minutes later, the ball was in the net at the other end of the pitch.

Moments after pulling off a fine save from Rohan Ince, Bogdan was beaten as Buckley pounced on an awful back-pass from Kamara and slotted the ball past the Wanderers goalkeeper with ease to double Brighton's advantage.

From that point on, Brighton began to take control of possession and make Bolton work hard by closing them down. Little in the way of goalmouth action was to follow in the final quarter of the game, with a half-chance from substitute Robert Hall seeing him penalised for a push in the 85th minute.

Danns, also on as a substitute, directed a header wide four minutes from time, when he should really have hit the target, before Baptiste also headed narrowly wide in stoppage time.

Alan Hutton shot high and wide in the final minute, on an afternoon to forget for Bolton as Brighton won at the Reebok Stadium for the very first time.

Wanderers return to action next Saturday, when they make their first ever league visit to Huish Park. Yeovil Town are the opponents.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Hutton, Wheater (Danns 80), Ream, Baptiste, Spearing, Kamara, Chung-Yong (Moritz 72), Trotter (Hall 52), Mason, Jutkiewicz
Subs Not Used: Knight, Vela, Lee-Barrett, Threlkeld

Brighton & Hove Albion: Kuszczak, Bruno, Greer, Dunk, Ward, Stephens, Ince, Forster-Caskey, Buckley (March 71), Ulloa, Lingard (Rodriguez 81)
Subs Not Used: Brezovan, Calderon, Chicksen, Lopez, LuaLua
Goals: Buckley 13,65

Referee: Scott Duncan
Attendance: 15,336

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 31 33
20 AFC Wimbledon 32 30
21 Tranmere Rovers 30 23
22 Southend United 32 16
23 Bolton Wanderers 29 11
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