Peterborough United 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 13, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton spurned the opportunity to move back into the League One automatic promotion places, as they were beaten 1-0 at Peterborough United.

The outcome of Saturday's matches had seen Wanderers slip below Bradford City and into third-place, but they rarely threatened at the ABAX Stadium and were beaten by a Posh side who move up to fifth as a result of their victory.

Michael Smith scored the game's decisive goal, volleying home in the 27th minute with an outstanding strike from distance that left substitute goalkeeper Ben Alnwick with little chance.

Phil Parkinson made seven changes to the side that started against Cheltenham Town in Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy defeat, with David Wheater, Lawrie Wilson, Josh Vela and Liam Trotter the only players to retain their places.

The first chance of the afternoon fell the way of the hosts, but Shaquille Coulthirst couldn't direct his 2nd-minute header on target as Mark Howard saw the ball glance wide of his near post.

Howard was soon forced off the field, however, after an innocuous-looking incident which left the goalkeeper with a seemingly dislocated thumb.

After claiming a corner and racing to the edge of his box to launch a counter-attack, Coulthirst jumped in front of the Wanderers goalkeeper and took a blow to the head. The Peterborough forward was booked for preventing the release of the ball, while Howard's afternoon came to an end as a result.

Alnwick came on as Howard's replacement, with the home supporters voicing their displeasure following his controversial summer move from Posh to Bolton.

Coulthirst was proving to be the biggest thorn in the side of Wanderers and he was denied midway through the half, with the returning Tom Thorpe getting back to make a block, but the ball was in the net shortly afterwards as Peterborough broke the deadlock in spectacular style.

After plucking the ball out of the sky, Smith stepped inside before unleashing a dipping right-footed volley which flew over Alnwick and into the net.

Zach Clough looked to respond moments later for the visitors, but his 30-yard effort was well off-target, while Chris Forrester tried a shot from similar distance at the other end, only to find the same end result.

Josh Vela put his body on the line to block a stinging volley from Michael Bostwick in the final minute of the half, which ended with Peterborough taking their 1-0 lead into the changing rooms ahead of the manager's half-time team talks.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Wanderers on top. A neat move involving Clough, Sammy Ameobi and Wilson ended with a looping ball into the box, but Gary Madine couldn't quite stretch enough as his header fell kindly into the arms of Luke McGee.

Bostwick would then try his luck at the other end, dragging a free-kick wide of Alnwick's right-hand post from the edge of the box, while Clough wasted an opening at the other end by shooting wide at the near post when space had opened up to shoot across goal.

A poor clearance from Alnwick presented Peterborough with an open goal shortly after the hour, but Leonardo Da Silva Lopes couldn't direct his shot on target, moments before Wanderers saw penalty appeals turned down when a goalbound shot from Vela clearly struck an arm inside the Posh area.

A chance in personnel saw Chris Taylor replace Thorpe midway through the half and the Bolton substitute should have done better with his first action, heading wide with 20 minutes remaining after pouncing on a moment of hesitation in the Peterborough defence.

Taylor was involved again shortly afterwards, playing a neat one-two with Ameobi before pulling a cross back for Clough, who got the ball stuck under his feet before seeing his shot charged down.

Forrester then looked set to seal the points for the hosts, rounding Alnwick and looking certain to score, but Wilson recovered to make an outstanding challenge and keep his side in with a shout of a point.

Bolton were now becoming wasteful with chances of their own, however, with Madine and Taylor both shooting off-target as the clock ticked into the final 10 minutes, before a shot from Andrew Taylor once again saw penalty appeals turned down by referee Jeremy Simpson.

Paul Taylor curled wide for Peterborough in the last of four added minutes for stoppages, but it wasn't to matter as the hosts took all three points and condemned Wanderers to a first league defeat in six games.

Parkinson's side return to action on Saturday, when they face Millwall in the first of two home matches in the space of four days.

Peterborough United: McGee, Smith, Baldwin, Tafazolli, Hughes, Bostwick, Da Silva, Forrester (Edwards 85), Maddison, Nichols (Angol 70), Coulthirst (Taylor 69)
Subs Not Used: Tyler, Santos, Binnom-Williams, Moncur
Booked: Coulthirst
Goals: Smith 27

Bolton Wanderers: Howard (Alnwick 10), A Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Wilson, Thorpe (C Taylor 67), Trotter, Vela, Ameobi (Henry 85), Clough, Madine
Subs Not Used: Buxton, Moxey, Proctor, Osede
Booked: Trotter

Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Attendance: 4,780

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Bolton Wanderers 18 39
2 Portsmouth 18 39
3 Oxford United 18 36
4 Stevenage 20 36
5 Peterborough United 19 35
View Full Standings >>


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