Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Middlesbrough

  • August 19, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton dropped into the Championship relegation zone on Tuesday night, as they were beaten 2-1 by Middlesbrough at Macron Stadium.

Wanderers took the lead when Craig Davies fired home from the penalty spot on 27 minutes, but Boro were level in first-half stoppage time as Grant Leadbitter scored a penalty of his own.

Both sides threatened to win it in the second-half, but it was Boro who took the points as summer signing Kike finished a free-flowing move to secure victory with 12 minutes to go.

Dougie Freedman made two changes to the team that drew with Nottingham Forest on Saturday, with Liam Feeney and Liam Trotter taking the places of Medo Kamara and Neil Danns - who were both on the bench.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the visitors, as Kike's shot from distance cleared the Bolton crossbar with just two minutes played.

He came closer to breaking the deadlock moments later, as he prodded the ball beyond Adam Bogdan. David Wheater managed to clear the ball to safety, although he was unaware that the assistant referee had already raised his flag for an offside against the Boro forward.

Lee Tomlin was next to bring Bogdan into action, before Wanderers' first attempt of the game saw Feeney drill a shot wide from 25 yards.

Kike was denied a certain goal by Wheater's desperate lunge on 10 minutes, before Bolton began to settle on the ball and forced some shooting opportunities of their own.

Jay Spearing curled a free-kick wide on the quarter-hour, after Davies had been flattened on the edge of the box, before Lee Chung-Yong and Wheater both saw attempts flash wide of Tomas Mejias' goal.

Then, with 27 minutes played, Wanderers were awarded a penalty as Seb Hines halted the run of Davies inside the Boro box. Referee Stephen Martin produced a yellow card for Hines, who was arguably the last man, but Davies dusted himself down to take the spot-kick and made no mistake in firing home from 12 yards.

Boro had penalty appeals of their own in the dying stages of the half, as Tomlin went to ground, but Martin did point to the spot in stoppage time as Wheater handled the ball inside his own box.

Leadbitter took responsibility for the penalty kick and sent Bogdan the wrong way to level the scores going into the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second half, which came to life when Feeney was booked for a late challenge five minutes after the restart.

Kike sliced a half-volley well wide of the target on 54 minutes, before a dangerous spell for the hosts saw Chung-Yong fire agonisingly wide of the post after Feeney had won a corner.

Bogdan did well to block a goalbound strike from Albert Adomah on the hour, although the offside flag had already been raised, before Davies saw a deflected shot flash wide of the target after a neat ball from Spearing.

Bolton should have gone ahead with 20 minutes to play, as Chung-Yong raced clear down the right-hand side, but Feeney failed to direct his shot on target after latching on to the South Korean's cutback.

Middlesbrough stepped up the pressure from that point on and would have gone ahead had Bogdan not produced a superb save to deny Adam Reach, but they did get the ball in the net with 12 minutes to go as Kike finished off a brilliant move by slotting home from close range.

Jermaine Beckford came off the bench for the final seven minutes and almost pulled Wanderers level with his first touch, as his first-time shot flashed inches wide of Mejias' far post. He thought he had equalised from the next attack, as he prodded the ball into the net from close range, but the referee had blown his whistle for an apparent foul in a Boro defender.

Mejias saved comfortably from Danns as Wanderers looked for a stoppage time goal, but it didn't arrive as Middlesbrough secured a first win at Bolton since April 1987.

Bolton now face three away games in-a-row, starting with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon. They then travel to Crewe Alexandra in the League Cup, before ending the month at Leeds United a week on Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, McNaughton (White 90), Mills, Wheater, Ream, Feeney, Spearing, Trotter (Danns 83), Chung-Yong, Mason, C Davies (Beckford 83)
Subs Not Used: Dervite, Pratley, Lonergan, Kamara
Booked: Feeney, Wheater
Goals: C Davies 27(pen)

Middlesbrough: Mejias, Damia, Omeruo, Hines, Friend, Nsue (Reach 63), Leadbitter, Clayton (Ayala 79), Adomah, Tomlin (Whitehead 89), Kike
Subs Not Used: Konstantopoulos, Williams, Husband, Fewster
Booked: Omeruo, Hines, Friend
Goals: Leadbitter 45+1(pen), Kike 78

Referee: Stephen Martin
Attendance: 13,847

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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