Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Barnsley

  • April 12, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/c12dc

Bolton won for the third time in a week, as they beat relegation threatened Barnsley 1-0 at the Reebok Stadium.

Jermaine Beckford scored the only goal of the game, on his first start since January, as Wanderers chalked up a third consecutive victory - all of which have come against Yorkshire opposition.

The Tykes had the opportunity to earn a point in the latter stages, but Chris O'Grady's penalty came back off the post after Alex Baptiste had brought down Ryan McLaughlin.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made six changes to the side that won at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night, as Jermaine Beckford, Liam Trotter, Matt Mills, Robert Hall, Andre Moritz and Alex Baptiste took the places of Zat Knight, David Wheater, Medo Kamara, Neil Danns, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Joe Mason.

Interestingly, the six players to come in were all substitutes at the Keepmoat Stadium. All those who dropped out were named on the bench.

A pre-match tribute to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster was impeccably observed, before the game got underway at 3:07pm.

Once the action had started, it was Barnsley who created the first opportunity as Stephen Dawson's long-range strike flew narrowly wide of Adam Bogdan's post.

Moritz had Bolton's first chance, with seven minutes gone, but was forced wide before he could get in a shot at goal. The Brazilian midfielder hit a free-kick into the wall moments later, before Hall failed to direct the rebound on target.

Lewin Nyatanga saw a goalbound header cleared to safety by Jay Spearing on the quarter-hour, before penalty appeals were ignored by the referee as the Tykes' Kelvin Etuhu appeared to handle the ball inside his own box.

Luke Steele made a comfortable stop to deny Hall, before Dale Jennings somehow cleared the crossbar from eight yards with only Bogdan to beat.

Beckford was inches away from turning home a whipped cross from Moritz on the half-hour and he came even closer minutes later, with Steele pulling off a tremendous save to deny the former Leeds United forward - who had got on the end of a ball in from Lee Chung-Yong.

Chung-Yong and Liam Lawrence shot into the stands at either end as the half drew to a close, but Wanderers managed to take a one-goal lead into the break as Beckford netted for the first time since January 4.

Beckford got on the end of a hopeful ball towards the Barnsley box and his expert control allowed him to take the ball around Steele before tapping it into the empty net, with the Tykes defenders nowhere in sight.

The home side took their lead into the interval and the two sides emerged unchanged for the start of the second period.

McLaughlin and Moritz both saw early chances come and go in the early moments after the restart, before Bogdan was brought into action from two separate O'Grady strikes.

Beckford curled a shot narrowly wide of Steele's right-hand post as the game approached the hour, while Tim Ream did well to get in the way of a blistering strike from Lawrence at the other end.

A nice team move almost resulted in a second for Wanderers at the midway point of the half, but Chung-Yong couldn't grow tall enough to get on the end of a pass from Baptiste and the chance was gone.

Beckford was inches away from doubling Bolton's lead with 20 minutes to go. After getting on the end of a ball from Hall, the Wanderers forward forced a save out of Steele. The ball bounced back into play, with Beckford hitting a shot on the turn that trickled agonisingly wide of the far post.

Barnsley then had penalty appeals turned down when O'Grady took a tumble under a challenge from Mills, before McLaughlin somehow planted a header wide of the target after being found unmarked six yards from goal.

Jutkiewicz, on as a substitute for Moritz, headed straight at Steele moments after coming on, while Paddy McCourt and then Jennings brought saves out of Bogdan inside the final 10 minutes.

Then, with five minutes to go, the visitors were awarded a penalty as McLaughlin was brought down by the outstretched leg of Baptiste. O'Grady took responsibility for the spot-kick, but his shot crashed back off the outside of the post before rolling out of play for a throw-in.

Baptiste was replaced by Knight for the closing stages, as Bolton looked to soak up the increase in pressure from Barnsley.

Beckford came close to scoring as Wanderers struck on the counter-attack in stoppage time, as he headed over the bar from a superb deep cross from Alan Hutton.

Calls for a penalty were ignored when Jutkiewicz went down inside the Tykes box, before one final chance for Barnsley ended with Nick Proschwitz slicing an effort wide in the final minute.

Bolton managed to see out almost five minutes of added time to secure the victory, which guarantees their place in the Championship next season.

Freedman's side return to action on Good Friday, when they face Charlton Athletic at The Valley - a ground where they haven't tasted victory since October 2005.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Hutton, Mills, Ream, Baptiste (Knight 85), Trotter, Spearing, Chung-Yong, Moritz (Jutkiewicz 78), Hall (Danns 74), Beckford
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Mason, Wheater, Kamara
Booked: Spearing
Goals: Beckford 44

Barnsley: Steele, Etuhu, Mvoto, Nyatanga, Kennedy, McLaughlin, Dawson, Cywka (McCourt 73), Lawrence (Proschwitz 89), Jennings, O'Grady
Subs Not Used: Hassell, Cranie, Hunt, Mellis, Turner
Booked: Etuhu

Referee: James Adcock
Attendance: 15,845

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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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