Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Brentford

  • October 25, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Neil Lennon's first home game in charge of Bolton ended in victory, as Wanderers ran out 3-1 winners over Brentford at Macron Stadium.

After winning at Birmingham City and losing at Charlton Athletic over the course of the previous seven days, Bolton picked up their first home win since mid-September thanks to second-half goals from Neil Danns, Mark Davies and Craig Davies.

Danns fired the hosts ahead just after the hour-mark, with a stunning long-range strike that nestled in the bottom corner of David Button's goal. Mark Davies came off the bench to double the advantage with 14 minutes to go, before Jon Toral pulled one back for the visitors with seven minutes to go.

Brentford pushed forward in desperate search of an equaliser, but they were punished in the final minute of stoppage time as Bolton hit them on the counter attack. Andy Lonergan had claimed a corner into his box and, with Button stranded in the Wanderers half of the field, quick thinking from the Trotters goalkeeper provided Craig Davies with an open goal - which he found with ease to seal victory in Lennon's first outing at the stadium.

Lennon made two changes to the side that was beaten at Charlton on Tuesday night, as Tim Ream and Joe Mason came in at the expense of Dean Moxey and Liam Feeney - the latter of which wasn't included in the matchday squad.

The home side burst out of the blocks and could have been ahead inside 20 seconds, but neither Jermaine Beckford nor Lee Chung-Yong could turn the ball home from inside the Brentford box.

At the other end, Lonergan got down well to turn a long-range strike from Jota behind for a corner, while Andre Gray headed wide moments later as both teams started the game searching for an early goal.

Darren Pratley fired over on 10 minutes, before going close with an acrobatic effort five minutes later, as he looked to provide the breakthrough.

Brentford should have taken a 20th minute lead, as Alex Pritchard was found unmarked inside the Wanderers box. He had the chance to end a fine passing move with a goal, but his shot was straight at a thankful Lonergan.

Button denied Beckford as Bolton looked to respond immediately, while shots from Danns and Jay Spearing produced two simple saves for Button.

Dorian Dervite, Chung-Yong, Danns and Spearing all saw shots charged down as the first-half began to draw to a close, a half which ended with Lonergan tipping over a goalbound volley from Alan Judge - ensuring the two sides went in goalless at the break.

There were no changes to either team at the start of the second period, which started with the home side on top.

Matt Mills headed a Spearing corner wide, as Bolton produced the first opportunity of the half, before Danns and Pratley both fired over the top.

Bolton's attacking momentum paid off just after the hour, though, as a powerful 25-yard strike from Danns flashed past Button and nestled in the bottom corner of the net - giving the home side the lead.

Lonergan did well to get down at the feet of Jota on 72 minutes, moments before Spearing drilled a shot wide of the target at the other end of the field.

Pratley was replaced by Mark Davies in the 74th minute and he had an immediate impact on the game, as he doubled Wanderers' lead within two minutes of entering the play. Playing in an unfamiliar left-sided role, Davies cut inside, danced beyond the challenges of two defenders and rolled the ball into the bottom corner to all but kill the game as a contest.

Jonathan Douglas was denied a consolation, as Lonergan tipped his header over the bar with 10 minutes to play, but Brentford didn't have to wait much longer to get themselves back into the game as Toral, himself on as a substitute, fired home from close range after Bolton failed to clear their lines at the back.

Mason was denied by Button, as Wanderers looked to restore their two-goal cushion, before Brentford pushed forward for a leveller inside seven minutes of stoppage time - the majority of which was added due to a serious looking injury to Bees defender Alan McCormack.

Toumani Diagourana and Douglas both came close to securing an unlikely point for the visitors, but their desire to pull level proved to be their downfall in the final minute, as Craig Davies finished a counter-attacking move by sealing a 3-1 home victory.

With Button in the Wanderers box attacking a corner, Lonergan claimed the ball and immediately rolled it out into play. Davies, out on the right-flank, had the freedom of the pitch. He checked his run, maintained his composure and, with Button desperately trying to get back into his box, the Bolton forward shot home to cap a memorable afternoon for Lennon and the Trotters supporters.

There was still time for Josh Vela to make a late appearance, but referee Mark Heywood called time on events - as Bolton moved to within two points of safety.

They return to action on Friday night, when they face Norwich City in a televised fixture at Carrow Road.

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, McNaughton, Mills, Dervite, Ream, Spearing, Pratley (M Davies 74), Danns, Chung-Yong, Beckford (Vela 90), Mason (C Davies 87)
Subs Not Used: Moxey, Hall, Clayton, Kenny
Booked: Dervite, Danns, Chung-Yong, Beckford, C Davies, Spearing
Goals: Danns 61, M Davies 76, C Davies 90+7

Brentford: Button, McCormack (Smith 70), Dean, Craig, Bidwell, Douglas, Odubajo, Pritchard (Toral 81), Judge, Jota (Diagouraga 64), Gray
Subs Not Used: Bonham, Tarkowski, Yennaris, Proschwitz
Goals: Toral 83

Referee: Mark Heywood
Attendance: 14,811

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
2 Peterborough United 4 9
3 Portsmouth 4 8
4 Bolton Wanderers 4 8
5 Exeter City 4 7
6 Charlton Athletic 4 7
View Full Standings >>


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