MK Dons 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • August 18, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton set an unwanted club record on Tuesday, as a 1-0 defeat at MK Dons saw them extend their record without a goal to six games in all competitions.

Defeat at Middlesbrough on Saturday saw Wanderers equal a record that had stood since March 1990, but, despite a much improved performance at stadiummk, Neil Lennon's side have entered the history books for a reason they wouldn't like to admit.

Bolton were much the better side during the opening 45 minutes, but were made to pay for a more relaxed approach to the second period when Daniel Powell fired home just after the hour, giving the Dons a second win from three games since earning promotion to the Championship. Even betting operators like Ladbrokes took these changes into consideration, when putting out their odds.

Lennon made three changes to the team that started the weekend defeat at Middlesbrough, as Lawrie Wilson, Zach Clough and Gary Madine took the places of the benched Rob Holding, Jay Spearing and Emile Heskey - with Mark Davies continuing to wear the captain's armband in the absence of Darren Pratley.

Bolton started brightly at stadiummk, with Madine and Liam Feeney causing early problems for the Dons defence, but it was the home side who created the first opportunity of the game as Simon Church pounced on a mistake from Prince-Desir Gouano, only to be thwarted by an alert Ben Amos.

Carl Baker was the first player to have a shot at goal, with Amos happy to see the ball fly harmlessly over the crossbar, before Dean Moxey came agonisingly close to opening his goalscoring account for Wanderers with a piledriver that flashed inches wide of the post.

Gouano headed wide of the target from the resulting corner, while, at the other end, Amos was alert once more to keep out a strike from Samir Carruthers.

Clough looked certain to break the deadlock on the half-hour, after working his way beyond four Dons defenders, but was halted by an excellent challenge just as he was about to pull the trigger.

Another slip from Gouano almost proved costly for Wanderers, who once again had Amos to thank for keeping out Baker, before Clough brought a superb save out of David Martin with a volley from just inside the box.

Josh Vela became the first player to enter the referee's book for a late challenge on Darren Potter, moments before one-time Bolton target Kyle McFadzean followed suit for a foul on Neil Danns.

Despite going in goalless at the break, there were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Davies being denied a clear run at goal by an offside flag.

The Dons stepped up their game from that point on, with Jordan Spence coming close with a cross-cum-shot that rolled dangerously across the face of the six-yard box.

Cristian Benavente's evening was brought to an end on 56 minutes, with Powell coming on to replace him in a substitution that paid immediate dividends.

With the clock ticking past the hour, Powell latched on to a through ball from Carruthers and made no mistake in slotting beyond a helpless Amos to put the hosts in front.

Dorian Dervite headed wide as Bolton looked for a quick response, while Clough fired a free-kick over the crossbar after Heskey, who had just come on to replace Feeney, had been bundled over just outside the area.

Clough hit another attempt over the crossbar shortly afterwards, as he connected with a cross from Moxey on the half-volley, an action which proved to be the final one for the latter - who limped off to be replaced by Stephen Dobbie with 10 minutes left to play.

Clough was denied by Martin once more from Wanderers' next attack, with Heskey also seeing a shot charged down from the rebound that followed. The former England international brought another stop out of Martin in stoppage time, but his header from a Wilson free-kick was straight at the goalkeeper.

Five minutes of added time wasn't enough for Bolton to draw level, however, as they left the field frustrated that their efforts on the evening were without reward. The record books have been rewritten though, now showing a run of six successive games without a goal for the first time in the club's history.

Wanderers must start to find the net soon if they are to avoid another relegation fight this season, starting with Saturday's visit of Nottingham Forest and the return of former manager Dougie Freedman to Macron Stadium.

MK Dons: Martin, Spence, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington, Carruthers, Potter, Baker, Benavente (Powell 56), Bowditch (Upson 82), Church (Gallagher 68)
Subs Not Used: Hodson, Aguza, Jennings, Cropper
Booked: Carruthers, Potter
Goals: Powell 61

Bolton Wanderers: Amos, Wilson, Dervite, Gouano, Moxey (Dobbie 80), Vela (Walker 90+1), Davies, Danns, Clough, Madine, Feeney (Heskey 68)
Subs Not Used: Spearing, Twardzik, Fitzsimons, Holding
Booked: Vela, Wilson, Dobbie

Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 10,765

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
8 Burton Albion 13 19
9 Oxford United 12 18
10 Bolton Wanderers 13 18
11 Accrington Stanley 12 16
12 Portsmouth 12 15
View Full Standings >>


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