Leeds United 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • August 30, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/1abdf

Bolton produced their best performance of the season, but were guilty of misfiring in front of goal, as they were beaten 1-0 at Leeds United.

Former Wanderers defender Stephen Warnock scored the only goal of the game at Elland Road, as his 17th minute cross evaded the Trotters defence and goalkeeper Adam Bogdan before nestling in the back of the net.

Joe Mason spurned several chances to pull the visitors level, while Jermaine Beckford and Lee Chung-Yong were both denied by a stunning double save from United goalkeeper Marco Silvestri in second-half stoppage time, as Bolton crashed to defeat for the fourth time in just five Championship outings.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made nine changes to the side that won at Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night, as he reverted back to the same 11 that lost at Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.

Leeds started brightly, with a corner from Alex Mowatt causing trouble in the Bolton defence, but the visitors responded well, only for Craig Davies to be denied a clear run on goal by a well-timed challenge from Giuseppe Bellusci.

An injury-ravaged Wanderers squad were then dealt another blow, as David Wheater left the field just seven minutes into the game with what appeared to be a back injury. He was replaced by Dorian Dervite, who was making his first league appearance since the opening day of the season.

Bolton's first big chance of the game arrived on 10 minutes, as Davies' lay-off resulted in Neil Danns seeing a shot blocked from just outside the United box.

Wanderers were a matter of inches away from taking the lead three minutes later, as Mason latched on to a through ball from Jay Spearing. The on loan Cardiff City forward got his shot on target, but Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri got fingertips to the ball and pushed it onto the crossbar.

Casper Sloth drilled a strike over the bar at the other end in the moments that followed, before Leeds went in front courtesy of a former Bolton player.

Warnock, who spent three months on loan at the Reebok Stadium in 2012, powered a cross into the Wanderers box, which somehow evaded everybody and rolled into the bottom corner of Bogdan's goal.

A 30-yard strike from Danns won Bolton a corner, as they attempted to hit back immediately, while good play from Dervite and Chung-Yong ended with the latter's cross being cleared from dangerous territory.

Davies beat two men before hitting a shot wide as the game approached the half-hour, before Bogdan was on hand to keep out a looping header from Billy Sharp at the other end.

Bogdan saved from Lewis Cook, as Leeds looked to double their advantage, before Davies played in Mason - whose powerful strike from 10 yards was straight at Silvestri in the Leeds goal.

Sharp fired over the top as the half entered stoppage time, but the last chance before the break fell the way of Mason, who forced a smart stop out of Silvestri from a narrow angle.

Bolton had perhaps shaded the first half in terms of statistics, but the only one that mattered was that Leeds went in 1-0 up at half-time.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which started with Davies prodding just wide from a Danns cross.

The game was halted as Bogdan received treatment for a knock to the head, just seven days after suffering a concussion, but he was given the all clear to continue - leaving former Leeds goalkeeper Andy Lonergan waiting on the bench.

The trainers were back on the field five minutes later, this time to help Warnock from the field - as he was replaced by Charlie Taylor.

Once the game finally got back up and running, Wanderers came close to an equaliser but were denied as Silvestri got down low to keep out a long-range piledriver from Spearing.

An unmarked Matt Mills headed wide from the resulting corner, before Bogdan was on his toes to clear at the other end as Leeds picked out Sharp on the counter-attack.

Bogdan raced off his line to deny Sharp again at the midway point of the half, moments before a move involving Spearing and Danns ended with Mason seeing a shot charged down by a United defender.

Chung-Yong was next to try his luck for Bolton, only to find Silvestri in the way once again, before Mason's shot on the turn flew over the crossbar with 20 minutes to go.

Wanderers were well on top at this stage, but just couldn't find that elusive goal, with Danns the next to be denied by Silvestri, who clawed away a well hit free-kick from just outside the box.

Mills went to ground from the resulting corner, prompting penalty appeals from both players and supporters in the stands, but referee Simon Hooper wasn't interested in the claims and ordered play to continue.

Beckford came on for the final 12 minutes, to a heroes reception from the home supporters - while Wanderers fans didn't take too kindly to the acknowledgement of his former followers.

The former Leeds forward got himself straight into the game and came close on 84 minutes, firing just wide from 25 yards, before Mirco Antenucci reminded Bolton that there were two teams on the field by firing over the top at the other end.

Spearing flashed a shot wide of goal with three minutes to go, before what appeared to be a certain equaliser was somehow kept out of the net by Silvestri.

The Leeds goalkeeper produced a remarkable stop to keep out Beckford's goalbound header, before rising to his feet and somehow keeping out Chung-Yong's rebound by appearing to sit on the ball - winning the game for his side, who had been second best for the majority of the game.

Bolton were 5-1 winners in last season's corresponding fixture and, but for wasteful finishing, could have seen a repeat performance. Instead, they were left to reflect on what might have been, as a 1-0 defeat leaves them in the Championship's relegation zone going into the international break.

Wanderers return to action in a fortnight, with back-to-back home games against Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United, respectively.

Leeds United: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock (Taylor 55), Cook, Bianchi, Mowatt, Sloth (Benedicic 78), Sharp, Antenucci
Subs Not Used: Smith, Taylor, Tonge, Dawson, Cooper
Booked: Wootton, Pearce
Goals: Warnock 17

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, White, Mills, Wheater (Dervite 7), Ream, Spearing, Kamara (Feeney 82), Chung-Yong, Danns, Mason, C Davies (Beckford 78)
Subs Not Used: Hall, Pratley, Lonergan, Hughes

Referee: Simon Hooper
Attendance: 21,901

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 18 16
20 Tranmere Rovers 17 16
21 Milton Keynes Dons 18 13
22 Southend United 19 6
23 Bolton Wanderers 15 1
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