Mjallby AIF 3-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • July 16, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/c924f

Bolton's pre-season tour of Scandinavia ended in defeat, as Mjallby AIF came from two goals down to beat Wanderers 3-2 at Strandvallen.

Goals inside the opening seven minutes from Jermaine Beckford and Robert Hall saw Wanderers storm into a two-goal lead, but the hosts were level within nine minutes thanks to strikes from Mattias Hakansson and Kristian Haynes.

Mjallby completed the turnaround seven minutes before the break, as Kwame Bonsu fired past Andy Lonergan from just inside the box to seal victory for a side midway through the domestic Swedish season.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made nine changes to the side that beat FC Vestsjaelland on Sunday afternoon, with Lonergan and Tim Ream the only players to retain their places in what could be a likely indication of the side that lines up against Watford on August 9.

Kevin McNaughton was also handed his first start of pre-season, after his season-long loan from Cardiff City was officially announced earlier in the day.

Bolton started brightly against the Swedish side and could have been ahead inside two minutes, but Beckford's shot from a McNaughton cross was well blocked by a defender.

The visitors didn't have to wait much longer for the opening goal, though. It arrived with four minutes played, as Hall cut the ball back for Beckford, who made no mistake in firing the ball past Mattias Asper.

Three minutes later, Bolton doubled their advantage as the provider of the first goal got himself on the scoresheet. Hall found time and space on the edge of the box and took full advantage, by drilling a strike into the top corner of the net.

Neil Danns smashed a free-kick into the Mjallby wall shortly afterwards, before the hosts broke straight down to the other end of the pitch and pulled one back through Hakansson.

Just as Wanderers had ten minutes earlier, the home side scored twice in quick succession. Trailing by a single goal, a hopeful cross from Haynes caught out the visiting defence and found a way into the corner of Lonergan's goal to bring the game level.

David Lofquist hit a free-kick over the Bolton crossbar on 21 minutes, while Liam Feeney had a cross-cum-shot cleared to safety on the half-hour. Beckford came within inches of poking home a cross from Hall moments later, before Mjallby took the lead for the first time with eight minutes left until the break.

Bonsu picked up the ball just inside the Bolton box and after taking one touch to bring the ball under control, he fired low and hard past Lonergan to complete the turnaround.

Feeney and Jay Spearing both failed to test Asper in the dying stages of the half, while Mark Davies was booked for a late challenge, as the home side took their lead into the half-time interval.

There were no changes to the Bolton side at the start of the second half, but they arrived in numbers after the hour-mark as Wanderers failed to break down the Mjallby backline.

Daniel Nilsson brought a smart save out of Lonergan early in the second period, but the flow of the game was interrupted as Wanderers made nine changes in the space of just 12 minutes.

There was one moment of controversy, at the midway point of the half, as an off-the-ball incident left a home player on the ground. Matt Mills appeared to be involved, but was promptly replaced by Freedman - who introduced summer signing Dorian Dervite in his place.

Mjallby struck a post with 15 minutes to go, while Hall and Craig Davies combined to create a chance which saw the latter's shot charged down by a defender.

With Bolton chasing a late equaliser, Mjallby were always dangerous on the break and should have sealed the victory with a fourth goal inside the final five minutes, but Dervite got back to make a perfectly timed tackle on Marcus Ekenberg, who had managed to round Lonergan.

That would prove to be the last attacking act of the game, as Wanderers were left to rue two defensive mistakes which saw them lose a two-goal lead in the final game of their foreign exploits.

Bolton return to action on Friday evening, when Freedman's side are welcomed back to England with a game against Skrill Premier side Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose.

Mjallby AIF: Asper, Arokoyo, Ivanovski, Haynes, Lofquist, Nilsson, Grill, Bergdahl, Bonsu, Hakansson
Goals: Hakansson 12, Haynes 16, Bonsu 38

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, McNaughton (Riley 61), Mills (Dervite 69), Ream (Bolger 65), Moxey (Threlkeld 61), Spearing (Kamara 73), Danns (Pratley 65), Feeney (Iliev 61), M Davies (Vela 53), Hall, Beckford (C Davies 73)
Subs Not Used: Fitzsimons
Booked: M Davies
Goals: Beckford 4, Hall 7

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