Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Birmingham City

  • May 02, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton ended a disappointing season with a poor display, as they were beaten 1-0 by Birmingham City at Macron Stadium.

Robert Tesche scored the only goal of the game, firing in at the near post after Adam Bogdan had done well to keep out a wayward header from Dean Moxey, as the Blues ended the campaign in 10th position and consigned Wanderers to their lowest ranking in the English football pyramid since their Division 2 promotion-winning campaign of 1992/93.

Eidur Gudjohnsen had the ball in the net in the opening moments of the second half, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside as Bolton ended the season somewhat relieved that they will be able to start afresh in August.

Wanderers boss Neil Lennon made three changes to the team that started at Bournemouth on Monday night, as Oscar Threlkeld, Eidur Gudjohnsen and debutant Quade Taylor took the places of Liam Feeney, Tom Walker and the suspended Dorian Dervite.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the hosts, as Emile Heskey volleyed high into the stands from 30 yards in a game which saw him lining up against one of his former clubs.

Gudjohnsen was next to try his luck for the home team, bringing a low save out of Darren Randolph with a free-kick from the edge of the box, while Adam Le Fondre volleyed just wide as Bolton maintained their early tempo.

A looping cross from Le Fondre almost found its way to an unmarked Gudjohnsen on the quarter-hour, as Birmingham's defensive line was stretched once more, before Mark Davies curled a shot inches wide of Randolph's left-hand post from the edge of the box.

Bolton were enjoying large spells in possession as the half wore on, with Randolph once again alert to keep out a strike from Neil Danns, moments before a diving header from Heskey flashed agonisingly wide of the far post as he got on the end of a cross from Le Fondre.

Birmingham's first real attack ended with Taylor pinching the ball off the toe of Clayton Donaldson inside the six-yard box, but the Blues were ahead three minutes before the break as a lapse at the back cost Bolton a goal.

An inswinging corner caused havoc at the near post, with Bogdan keeping out a misdirected header from Moxey with his feet. But the loose ball fell kindly for Tesche, who composed himself before firing low and hard past the stranded goalkeeper to give the visitors a lead which they took into the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second half, but a change in referee was required after Mark Brown picked up an injury inside the opening 45 minutes.

Wanderers briefly thought they had equalised within 90 seconds of the restart, only for Gudjohnsen to have a goal ruled out for offside, before Diego Fabbrini forced Bogdan into a routine save at the other end.

A teasing corner from Walker ended with Heskey heading just over the top on the hour, while in-demand midfielder Demarai Gray flashed a shot inches wide as the Blues began to get themselves further up the field.

Feeney, who had come on as a substitute for Gudjohnsen, headed over within seconds of entering the field of play, and he came even closer when an instinctive first time shot just cleared the crossbar after neat work from Davies.

Le Fondre struck the post with 15 minutes to go, only to be flagged for offside in any case, before a combination of Randolph and his defenders worked together to keep out Heskey, Dean Moxey and Threlkeld in quick succession.

Saidy Janko had the final chance of the afternoon, only to see a goalbound header comfortably cleared to safety, as Bolton's wait for a final-day victory extends to five years - since they were 2-1 winners over the Blues in 2010.

Bolton end the season occupying 18th place in the Championship and will return in August with a new look, with as many as 25 players due to return to their parent club or out of contract.

Fixtures for the new season will be revealed on June 17, 2015.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Threlkeld, Taylor, Ream, Moxey, Bannan, Danns (Walker 59), M Davies (Janko 76), Gudjohnsen (Feeney 69), Le Fondre, Heskey
Subs Not Used: Rochinha, Lonergan, Twardzik, Coke
Booked: Bannan, M Davies, Janko, Le Fondre

Birmingham City: Randolph, Caddis, Morrison, Spector, Grounds, Gleeson, Tesche, Gray, Fabbrini (Davis 63), Dyer, Donaldson (Thomas 67)
Subs Not Used: Robinson, Cotterill, Doyle, Shinnie, Arthur
Booked: Tesche
Goals: Tesche 42

Referee: Mark Brown (Steven Rushton 46)
Attendance: 18,614

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
15 Shrewsbury Town 26 30
16 Cambridge United 25 30
17 Bolton Wanderers 25 29
18 Lincoln City 25 28
19 Fleetwood Town 25 28
View Full Standings >>


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