Bolton Wanderers 3-0 Cardiff City

  • November 04, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton responded to defeat at Norwich City in the best possible way, by beating Cardiff City 3-0 in an entertaining game at Macron Stadium.

Wanderers boss Neil Lennon was highly critical of his side's performance at Carrow Road last Friday, but couldn't have had any complaints as the Trotters saw off the Bluebirds with ease.

Liam Feeney was on the scoresheet twice in a pulsating first-half, before Matt Mills put some gloss on the result by adding a third 14 minutes from time.

Bolton remain amongst the favourites to go down in the Championship relegation zone, despite the result, but are now within three points of 17th-placed Leeds United after a run which has seen them pick up nine points from their last possible 15.

There were three changes to the Wanderers side that started at Norwich last time out, with Feeney, Josh Vela and Craig Davies taking the places of Oscar Threlkeld, Jay Spearing and Jermaine Beckford, who all began the game on the substitutes' bench.

Bolton started brightly, with Feeney and Lee Chung-Yong combining well in opposition territory, and they had the first shooting chance of the game as Craig Davies fired wide after controlling a crossfield ball from Vela expertly with his chest.

The home side didn't have to wait long for the opening goal, however, which arrived in the 9th minute. Chung-Yong picked up possession on the right-flank, before playing a low ball into the Cardiff box that was turned past David Marshall by a stretching Feeney - his first competitive goal for the club.

Cardiff looked for an immediate response, as Peter Whittingham saw a shot deflect behind, but it was Wanderers who remained on top - with more than 70% of the possession inside the opening 20 minutes.

Mills saw a goalbound header cleared off the line by Craig Noone, after he rose highest to meet a corner from Feeney, before Andy Lonergan made his first save of the evening to deny Federico Macheda on the half-hour.

Macheda was denied a clear run on goal by Tim Ream five minutes later, as Bolton started a move which ended in them doubling their lead.

The Bluebirds failed to deal with Wanderers' pressure in the final third and, after Darren Pratley had played the ball to the far post, Feeney was on-hand to volley home his second of the evening to give Lennon's side some breathing space their display had deserved.

Adam Le Fondre fired straight at Lonergan, as Cardiff looked to respond before the break, but Bolton saw the half out to take a two-goal advantage into the interval.

There was one change to the Cardiff side at the start of the second period, as former Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison came on for Joe Ralls.

The visitors then created the first chance after the restart, with Macheda bringing a smart low save out of Lonergan, before Wanderers were forced into a chance as Spearing came on for an injured Mark Davies.

John Brayford, Macheda and Noone all failed to test Lonergan, as Cardiff enjoyed their best spell of the game, while, at the other end, Feeney wasted the opportunity to grab a hat-trick as he sliced the ball wide of the target with the entire goal to aim at.

Some last-ditch defending from Mills denied Macheda just after the hour, before Feeney's last action of the game saw him slice wide once again - moments before he was replaced by Max Clayton.

After showing his quality at one end of the field, Mills then extended Wanderers' lead to three as he netted his fourth goal of the campaign - scuffing a shot beyond Marshall after being afforded too much time and space inside the Cardiff box from a Vela corner.

An off-the-ball tussle between Pratley and Ravel Morrison earned both players yellow cards in the final 10 minutes of the game, which happened moments before Craig Davies was replaced by Beckford.

Nobody was able to get on the end of a delightful cross from Chung-Yong, as Bolton continued to search for goals, while Pratley skied the ball over the bar after doing well to work himself into a shooting position from the left-flank.

Nicky Maynard was denied a late consolation by a flying save from Lonergan, before the final chance of the game resulted in Vela firing into the Bolton fans who had urged him to take aim at goal.

Four minutes of added time passed by without any danger for Wanderers, who have secured back-to-back home wins under their new management team. They remain 23rd in the Championship, but could move up to as high as 17th with victory against Wigan Athletic on Friday night.

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Feeney (Clayton 71), Mills, Dervite, Ream, Vela, Danns, M Davies (Spearing 52), Chung-Yong, Pratley, C Davies (Beckford 85)
Subs Not Used: Moxey, Kenny, Trotter, Threlkeld
Booked: Pratley
Goals: Feeney 9,36, Mills 76

Cardiff City: Marshall, Brayford, Ecuele Manga, S Morrison, Fabio, Noone, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Ralls (R Morrison 46), Macheda, Le Fondre (Maynard 74)
Subs Not Used: Turner, Bo-Kyung, Connolly, Moore, Gabbidon
Booked: R Morrison

Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 12,961

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


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