Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Norwich City

  • April 11, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's stoppage-time jinx continues to bite, as Gary Hooper scored three minutes into added time to give Norwich City a 2-1 victory at Macron Stadium.

The Canaries, who went into the game occupying 2nd place in the Championship, took the lead with nine minutes on the clock, as a deflected free-kick from Graham Dorrans found a way beyond a stranded Adam Bogdan.

Adam Le Fondre equalised for the home side on 18 minutes, tapping home from an excellent Tom Walker cross, but Norwich won the game when substitute Gary Hooper was afforded too much time and space inside the Wanderers box and he responded by looping the ball over Bogdan to secure three vital points in their challenge for the title.

Neil Lennon made three changes to the team that started the Easter Monday win at Cardiff City, with Dean Moxey, Liam Feeney and Adam Le Fondre taking the places of Saidy Janko, Matt Mills and the injured Craig Davies.

Mark Davies made his return to the squad, taking up a place on the substitutes' bench after five months out with a knee ligament injury.

Bolton began brightly, without making any clear cut chances in front of goal, with Walker and Emile Heskey twice combining well down the left-hand side.

The first shooting chance of the game arrived with nine minutes played and it resulted in the opening goal.

Josh Vela lost possession in midfield and desperately tracked back to regain the ball. In doing so, he was punished for a sliding challenge on Nathan Redmond and the resulting free-kick from Dorrans took a deflection off the wall on its way beyond Bogdan.

Bogdan was brought into action again moments later, this time to turn away a rasping drive from Jonny Howson, before Martin Olsson and Sebastien Bassong saw attempts fly off target as the visitors took the early advantage.

Bolton refused to let their heads drop, however, and they pulled level on 18 minutes as Le Fondre gambled to get on the end of a pin-point cross from Walker to tap the ball past a helpless John Ruddy in the Norwich goal.

Le Fondre and Redmond fired wide at each end as the two sides looked to establish a lead, while Bassong just got enough on a clearance that denied Liam Feeney an almost certain goal at the end of another run from Walker.

Bogdan got down well to keep out Cameron Jerome's snapshot in the closing stages of the half, before expert defending from Tim Ream helped deny Wes Hoolahan to ensure the teams went in level at the break.

There were no substitutions as the teams emerged for the start of the second period, which began with a combination of Ream and Moxey flying in to turn Steven Whittaker's goalbound shot behind for a corner.

Dorrans fired over from the resulting set-piece, while Walker and Eidur Gudjohnsen both came close at the other end.

Bassong got back to clear a looping header from Le Fondre off the line, as the clock ticked towards the hour, before Vela and Ream ended two separate attacks by halting the progress of Lewis Grabban and then Dorrans.

Barry Bannan shot wide at the midway point of the half, moments before Ruddy raced back towards his line to save a lobbed attempt from Le Fondre.

Ruddy's services were required again shortly afterwards, this time to keep out Gudjohnsen's header back across goal, before Dorrans flashed a long-range shot harmlessly wide of goal at the other end.

Bassong headed over the bar and Jerome fired high and wide as time looked set to run out on Norwich's chances of victory, but they took the points in the third of five added minutes at the end of the game as Hooper raced clear of the Wanderers defence before looping the ball up and over Bogdan to send the travelling Canaries wild with delight.

Norwich were denied a third when Bogdan raced off his line to deny Grabban in the final minute, but Bolton were unable to win back possession as they slipped to home defeat for only the second time under Lennon in league competition.

Hooper's late goal means Wanderers have conceded in the 90th minute or beyond in seven of their last 16 games in all competitions, as they drop one place to 17th in the Championship.

They return to action on Tuesday night, when Charlton Athletic are the visitors to Macron Stadium in Bolton's penultimate home game of the campaign.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Vela, Dervite, Ream, Moxey, Bannan, Feeney, Walker (Janko 87), Gudjohnsen (Danns 82), Heskey, Le Fondre
Subs Not Used: M Davies, Trotter, Rochinha, Lonergan, McCarthy
Booked: Walker, Moxey
Goals: Le Fondre 18

Norwich City: Ruddy, Whittaker (R Bennett 71), Martin, Bassong, Olsson, Tettey, Dorrans, Redmond (Hooper 66), Howson, Hoolahan (Grabban 57), Jerome
Subs Not Used: E Bennett, Rudd, O'Neil, Odjidja-Ofoe
Booked: R Bennett
Goals: Dorrans 9, Hooper 90+3

Referee: James Adcock
Attendance: 16,027

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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