Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Shrewsbury Town

  • December 26, 2016 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL:

Bolton recorded a ninth successive win at Macron Stadium for the very first time, as David Wheater hit a double in a 2-1 victory over Shrewsbury Town.

Having won on each of their previous eight outings on home soil, a run dating back to October 4, Wanderers began the afternoon going in search of an achievement last completed in March 1995, when Bruch Rioch's side won nine en route to promotion to the Premier League.

They broke the deadlock with 24 minutes on the clock, as Wheater opened his account for the afternoon by prodding home a Jay Spearing corner from close range. He doubled his tally four minutes later, picking out the far corner after getting on the end of a free-kick as the hosts looked set to cruise to all three points.

Shrewsbury were much better value after the break, however, and set up a tense finish when Junior Brown pulled one back with six minutes to play, but Bolton held on to move to within two points of league leaders Scunthorpe United.

Despite seeing a five-match winning run come to an end with defeat at Chesterfield nine days ago, Phil Parkinson opted to stick with the same team as they looked to bounce back to winning ways.

They had the better of the opening exchanges and could have gone ahead inside five minutes, but Jayson Leutwiler was in the right place at the right time to keep out a deflected header from Tom Thorpe.

Shrewsbury's first chance arrived on 11 minutes, but they too failed to find the breakthrough. Good hold-up play from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake brought Mat Salder into play. He put Ian Black through on goal, but Ben Alnwick raced off his line to make the block and keep the game goalless.

It wasn't long until supporters were on their feet though, and it was the home fans that were celebrating on 24 minutes when Wheater found the net at the second attempt.

After getting on the end of a corner from Spearing, Wheater's initial attempt was kept out by a combination of Leutwiler and the post, but he reacted quickest to meet the loose ball and fire into the empty net to make it 1-0 to the home side.

Wanderers doubled their lead four minutes later and it was that man again, as Wheater was left unmarked at the far post from a Spearing free-kick and he expertly picked out the corner with the confidence of a seasoned forward player.

There was little to call between then and the break, as Bolton took their two-goal advantage into the interval, prompting Salop boss Paul Hurst into a change - as Shaun Whalley replaced the injured Ebanks-Blake for the start of the second period.

The hosts struggled to get into the tempo of the game during the early exchanges following the restart and were fortunate to keep their two-goal cushion when they survived a scramble inside their own six-yard box.

Louis Dodds fired over on the half-volley as the clock ticked towards the hour, shortly before Jack Grimmer escaped the attention of Zach Clough down the Shrewsbury right before cutting the ball back when it seemed easier to score - with his pass failing to pick out either Waring or Brown.

Home supporters saw appeals for a penalty turned down when the ball appeared to strike Dominic Brown on the arm on 63 minutes, moments before Leutwiler somehow kept out a thunderbolt of a shot from Clough after it looked to have squirmed underneath his body and towards the net.

Shrewsbury thought they had been awarded a penalty when Mat Sadler went to ground under a challenge from Sammy Ameobi with 15 minutes to play, but the assistant referee had already raised his flag for an offside.

A tense finish was set up with 84 minutes gone though, as Brown reduced the deficit. After an outstanding strike from Sadler came back off the crossbar, Town continued their assault on the Bolton goal and Brown got inbetween both Wheater and Mark Beevers to head home unopposed from six yards.

The visitors were left outraged two minutes later when a cross from Dodds appeared to hit an arm inside the Wanderers box. Despite flagging for an offence, the assistant was overruled by referee David Webb as Bolton survived a major scare - with Salop's Abu Ogogo soon cautioned for dissent.

After cruising to all three points for the majority of the afternoon, Bolton survived one final scare in stoppage time when a fierce drive from Black flew straight into the arms of Alnwick, as Parkinson's side ended the afternoon with a 2-1 victory - their ninth successive at home in more than 21 years.

Wanderers will have the opportunity to make it the perfect 10 on New Year's Eve when they play host to table-topping Scunthorpe United, knowing another three points would take them above Graham Alexander's men.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Wilson, Thorpe, Spearing (Osede 81), Vela, Ameobi, Clough (C Taylor 89), Madine
Subs Not Used: Turner, Moxey, Anderson, Clayton, Henry
Goals: Wheater 24,28

Shrewsbury Town: Leutwiler, Sadler, Lancashire, Smith, Grimmer, O'Brien (Whalley 73), Ogogo, Black, Brown, Dodds, Ebanks-Blake (Waring 46)
Subs Not Used: Sears, Riley, Burton, Jones, Barnett
Booked: Ogogo
Goals: Brown 84

Referee: David Webb
Attendance: 16,238

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston