Bolton Wanderers 3-2 Rotherham United

  • September 16, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Joe Mason entered Bolton's history books on Tuesday night, as he netted a hat-trick in Wanderers' 3-2 victory over Rotherham United at Macron Stadium.

The on-loan Cardiff City forward became the first Trotters player to score three goals in a competitive game since Fredi Bobic, way back in April 2002, as Dougie Freedman's side claimed a first league win of the season.

It wasn't all plain sailing for Bolton, though, who fell behind in the 33rd minute when Anthony Wordsworth curled a free-kick beyond Andy Lonergan.

Wanderers levelled on the hour, as Mason drilled home from the edge of the box. His second of the evening put the home side in front with just 10 minutes to play, but Rotherham were level within two minutes as substitute Jordan Bowery turned inside the six-yard box before firing home.

The goals continued to flow and, thankfully for the hosts, it went in their favour as Mason volleyed home from close range with six minutes left to play to seal a deserved three points for Bolton.

There were three changes to the Bolton side that started the goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend, with Darren Pratley, Neil Danns and Craig Davies taking the places of Liam Feeney, Owen Garvan and Lee Chung-Yong - who all dropped to the bench.

Bolton began brightly under the floodlights, with Pratley seeing an early header saved by Adam Collin in the Rotherham goal. A succession of corners followed inside the opening 10 minutes, from which Matt Mills, Mason and Danns all came close to breaking the deadlock.

Wordsworth brought Lonergan into action for the first time at the midway point of the half, but the Wanderers goalkeeper was beaten in the 33rd minute as the Millers midfielder curled home a free-kick - which brought a furious reaction from Mills and Jay Spearing due to the soft nature of the award.

Nevertheless, Bolton trailed and came close to an immediate equaliser through Davies, who dragged a shot across the face of goal. Danns dragged a shot wide as the half drew to a close, while a deflected strike from Spearing flew kindly into the arms of a waiting Collin in the final attack of the half.

Rotherham took their one-goal advantage into the break and both teams emerged unchanged at the start of the second period, which began with Mason shooting straight at Collin from just inside the Rotherham box.

Tim Ream curled a shot straight at the goalkeeper, after cutting in from the right-flank, before the visitors came agonisingly close to doubling their lead as Paul Taylor's 30-yard strike cannonned back off Lonergan's right-hand post.

The turning point of the game arrived just before the hour, as a double change saw Chung-Yong and Feeney come on for Danns and Mark Davies. The move was met by jeers from a section of the home support, but they were soon on their feet as Mason brought their side level with a low strike from the edge of the box.

The ball broke kindly for Mason, who found himself in a central position. Unlike his previous attempt, which was directed straight at Collin, this time he picked out the bottom-left corner of the goal, bringing a collective sigh of relief from three sides of the stadium.

Chung-Yong and Dorian Dervite both came close to putting Bolton ahead as the game reached the final 15 minutes, before Feeney brought a good stop out of Collin with a back-post header - although the referee had already signalled for a shove in the build-up.

Collin got down well to stop Fraser Richardson from scoring at the wrong end on 77 minutes, but he was beaten three minutes later as Mason rose highest to flick a corner from Spearing into the net and give Bolton the lead.

Bowery, who had come on moments before that goal, brought Rotherham level two minutes later after being afforded too much time inside the Wanderers box, but the hosts restored their lead with six minutes to play as Mason volleyed home from close range after the Millers failed to deal with a set-piece delivery into their box.

Ream was in the right place to clear a goalbound free-kick from Wordsworth with three minutes to play, before Mason dragged a shot wide after being played clean through in the final minute of normal time.

Rotherham thought they had equalised in the first of five added minutes, as Bowery flicked the ball beyond Lonergan, but the goal was disallowed by match referee Neil Swarbrick as his assistant had flagged for offside.

Mason was denied a fourth by a superb save from Collin as Wanderers went in search of a goal that would have put some gloss in the scoreline, before a horrific challenge from the Rotherham goalkeeper left Lonergan prostrate on the ground - as the visitors desperately searched for a late equaliser.

Lonergan was deemed fit enough to continue and after hitting the ball down field, the full-time whistle was greeted by cheers around Macron Stadium as Bolton picked up their first league victory of the campaign.

Wanderers return to action on Saturday afternoon, when they travel to Molineux to renew their rivalry with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Ream, Mills, Dervite, Moxey, Spearing, Pratley (Feeney 59), Danns (Chung-Yong 58), M Davies (Kamara 85), Mason, C Davies
Subs Not Used: Beckford, Garvan, Hughes, Fitzsimons
Booked: Pratley
Goals: Mason 60,80,84

Rotherham United: Collin, Richardson, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz, Taylor (Bowery 78), Smallwood, Green, Wordsworth, Derbyshire (Clarke-Harris 67), Becchio (Revell 56)
Subs Not Used: Loach, Broadfoot, Frecklington, Pringle
Booked: Collin
Goals: Wordsworth 33, Bowery 82

Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Attendance: 13,630

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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