Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Preston North End

  • March 12, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's winless run was extended to seven games, as Preston North End came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory over Wanderers at Macron Stadium.

The home side struck first when Liam Trotter opened the scoring midway through the first half, but Preston hit back after the break through Jordan Hugill and went on to win the game four minutes from time, as substitute Marnick Vermijl fired through the legs of goalkeeper Paul Rachubka.

Defeat caps a miserable week for Bolton, who are now 11 points from safety with only nine games left to play and are almost certainly looking at League One football next season for the first time since 1992/93.

Neil Lennon one change to the side that started against Ipswich Town on Tuesday, as Trotter returned to the side at the expense of Jay Spearing, who dropped out of the matchday squad due to a financial clause inserted into his contract.

Preston raced out of the starting blocks at the Macron and came close to scoring inside the opening 15 seconds, as Hugill rose high inside the Bolton box and headed against the top of the crossbar.

Early appeals for a Wanderers penalty went unheard by referee Paul Tierney, who was unmoved when Gary Madine went to ground on 10 minutes, shortly before a rasping drive from Liam Feeney was deflected behind.

Zach Clough had an opportunity to open the scoring with a header from eight yards, but, similar to a chance that went begging in midweek, he could only succeed in directing the ball straight at goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard when it looked easier to score.

Thankfully for the hosts, they were ahead just two minutes later. After receiving the ball on the edge of the Preston box, space failed to materialise for Mark Davies, who instead teed up Trotter, who side-footed home from distance.

Supporters inside the stadium rose to their feet on 33 minutes, as they marked the memories of those who lost their lives in the Burnden Disaster, which happened 70 years ago this week.

Back to the action, Rob Holding had a volley cleared off the line, but would have been denied by a referee's whistle in any case, before Darren Pratley, Paul Gallagher and Bailey Wright all received yellow cards for their part in a scuffle in the final moments of the half.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second half, which began with the home side coming close to doubling their advantage, as a diving header from Madine flashed inches wide of Lindegaard's right-hand post.

Then, with 57 minutes played, Preston levelled the scores. Adam Reach did well to keep the ball in play and, despite having his back to goal, lofted it back into the six-yard box where Hugill bravely headed past Rachubka while under pressure from Dean Moxey.

Davies shot straight at Lindegaard as Bolton looked to restore their lead almost immediately, moments before Holding cleared to safety after Rachubka had spilled a shot from Paul Gallagher.

Trotter headed straight at Lindegaard from a Feeney corner midway through the half, while Gallagher twice wasted opportunities to fire the visitors ahead - first seeing a shot blocked by Derik Osede, before slicing wide with his follow-up.

An end-to-end half continued from the next attack, with Clough turning well on the edge of the box before drilling over the top, but it was Preston who found success with four minutes remaining.

A cross to the far post picked out an unmarked Vermijl, who volleyed the ball back across the face of goal and through the legs of Rachubka. Initial indications were that Eoin Doyle, who was standing in an offside position, had got the final touch, but the referee allowed the goal to stand and it was credited to Vermijl.

Doyle did have the ball in the net inside five added minutes for stoppages, but it was correctly ruled out for offside. It wasn't to matter, though, as North End saw out the clock to claim a first win at Bolton since September 1990.

Wanderers return to action next Saturday, when they travel to Bristol City before taking a two-week break due to the international schedule.

Bolton Wanderers: Rachubka, Wilson (Dobbie 88), Osede, Holding, Moxey, Trotter, Pratley (Silva 70), Davies, Clough (Woolery 84), Feeney, Madine
Subs Not Used: Vela, Danns, Finney, Campbell
Booked: Pratley
Goals: Trotter 22

Preston North End: Lindegaard, Woods, Clarke, Wright, Cunningham, Reach, Pearson, Gallagher (Welsh 90+1), Johnson (Vermijl 78), Hugill (Doyle 84), Robinson
Subs Not Used: Kilkenny, Smith, Kirkland
Booked: Gallagher, Wright
Goals: Hugill 57, Vermijl 86

Referee: Paul Tierney
Attendance: 18,423

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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