Cardiff City 0-3 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 06, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Craig Davies scored twice in the Welsh capital, as Bolton produced an outstanding performance that helped them to a 3-0 victory over Cardiff City.

Davies, capped seven times by Wales, hasn't represented his nation since August 2013, but reminded supporters of the country what he was capable of with two stunning finishes at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Those goals both arrived in the second half, after Eidur Gudjohnsen had earlier given Wanderers the lead, as the visitors claimed three points on the road for the first time in eight attempts - dating back to January 17.

Neil Lennon made six changes to the side that started Saturday's 1-1 draw against Blackpool, as Adam Bogdan, Saidy Janko, Dorian Dervite, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Craig Davies and Emile Heskey all came into the starting line-up.

Paddy McCarthy, Neil Danns, Liam Feeney and Rochinha all dropped to the bench, Ben Amos missed out on the day his loan deal comes to an end, while Adam Le Fondre was ineligible as he is on loan to Wanderers from Cardiff.

The hosts began brightly and had the first attempt of the match, with Craig Noone shooting straight at Bogdan, moments before Davies fired horribly wide for Wanderers after latching on to a knockdown from Heskey at the other end.

The same two players combined again shortly afterwards, with Davies this time turning provider for Heskey. His cross into the Cardiff box looked set to provide the opening goal, only for a miraculous piece of defending to deny Wanderers what would have been a magnificent goal.

Peter Whittingham is a man well known for producing the spectacular and he fired a warning shot on the quarter-hour, shooting narrowly over the crossbar, while Davies saw another dangerous cross cleared to safety as Bolton hit their opponents on the counter attack.

Barry Bannan was in the right place at the right time to deny Cardiff at the midway point of the half, as he twice got himself in the way of goalbound efforts from Eoin Doyle to clear off the line.

Then, shortly after they got lucky at the other end, it was Bolton's turn to be left frustrated by a goalline clearance, with a header from Dervite cleared from under the crossbar.

Doyle put the ball in the back of the Wanderers net on 32 minutes, only to see his celebrations cut short by the assistant referee's offside flag, before Tom Walker's volley at the other end failed to test David Marshall in the Bluebirds goal.

Sandwiched between those two incidents was the first substitution of the game, which saw former Bolton loanee Joe Mason come on to a roaring round of applause as he replaced the injured Alex Revell.

The visitors should have taken the lead in the final minute of the half, but Davies somehow fired the ball wide of the target after Gudjohnsen had played him clean through on goal.

A free-kick from Whittingham flashed narrowly wide of Bogdan's post in stoppage time, as an up and down first-half ended with the two sides going in goalless at the interval.

If the opening 45 minutes had been somewhat of an end-of-season affair, the game was the total opposite after the restart as Bolton produced one of their best halves of the campaign to pick up a valuable three points.

Early efforts from Whittingham and Noone failed to test Bogdan in the Wanderers goal, before the visitors took the lead with a goal right out of the top drawer.

Dervite's ball into the Cardiff box was chested down by Heskey and Gudjohnsen was in position to fire a left-footed volley into the top corner of Marshall's net to give Bolton the lead.

That lead was doubled just four minutes later, as Davies raced away from Fabio da Silva down the left flank before drilling the ball across goal and into the bottom corner.

Mason scuffed a shot wide of the target as Cardiff looked to respond on the hour, before changes for both sides saw Aron Gunnarson replaced with Matthew Kennedy for the hosts and Feeney coming on for Janko for the visitors - a few minutes after Dean Moxey had also come on for Walker.

Heskey and Gudjohnsen both fired wide as the game entered the final 20 minutes, but Bolton did find the net for a third time with 17 minutes left to play.

Despite momentarily losing his footing, Davies once again got the better of Fabio before cutting inside and seeing a deflected shot nestle into the corner of Marshall's net to prompt a chorus of boos from the home support and unbridled joy from the travelling numbers.

Danns replaced Gudjohnsen immediately after that goal, which was almost followed by the completion of a hat-trick for Davies, who was denied by the legs of Marshall.

Davies, Feeney and Heskey all came close to adding to the scoreline in the final 10 minutes, while a deflected shot from Noone rolled narrowly wide of Bogdan's post, as Bolton saw the game out with ease to claim their biggest away win since their 5-1 victory at Leeds United 13 months ago.

Lennon's side return to action on Saturday, when title-chasing Norwich City are the visitors to Macron Stadium.

Cardiff City: Marshall, Fabio, Manga, Morrison, Malone, Noone, Whittingham, Gunnarsson (Kennedy 66), Ralls, Revell (Mason 38), Doyle (Harris 78)
Subs Not Used: Peltier, Adeyemi, O'Keefe, Moore

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Janko (Feeney 66), Mills, Dervite, Ream, Walker (Moxey 55), Vela, Gudjohnsen (Danns 74), Bannan, C Davies, Heskey
Subs Not Used: Trotter, Rochinha, Lonergan, McCarthy
Booked: Vela
Goals: Gudjohnsen 55, C Davies 59,73

Referee: Keith Stroud
Attendance: 20,219

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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