Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Swindon Town

  • January 14, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton spurned the chance to close the gap at the top of League One, after Swindon Town came from behind to beat Wanderers 2-1 at Macron Stadium.

With defeats for Sheffield United, Bradford City and Rochdale, the Trotters had the chance to move to within three points of the league leaders, as well as extending the gap on the chasing pack.

After a goalless first half, they went ahead within three minutes of the restart when David Wheater volleyed home from a Jay Spearing corner.

Bolton pushed forward in search of a second goal, which failed to arrive, and Swindon were level on 65 minutes as Ben Gladwin smashed home from 25 yards.

Both sides went in search of a late winner but it was the visitors who claimed it, when Yaser Kasim was picked out unmarked at the far post to volley past a helpless Ben Alnwick in the final minute of normal time and bring an end to Wanderers' seven-match winning run on home soil.

Following on from last Saturday's 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in the FA Cup, Parkinson named an unchanged side to face the Robins, as the hosts went in search of an eighth successive home win in league competition for the first time since April 2013.

They started brightly and would have got off to the perfect start, but Lawrence Vigouroux got down well to keep out a goalbound strike from Zach Clough inside the opening 90 seconds.

Clough was on the attack again moments later, bringing Vigouroux into another fine stop, before James Henry was just off-target as he got on the end of a flick from Gary Madine at the end of a neat move which also involved both Mark Beevers and Jay Spearing.

Swindon edged ahead in the possession statistics as the half progressed but they failed to test Alnwick in the Wanderers goal, just as the hosts struggled to enjoy success in the final third themselves.

It wasn't until the 36th minute that the game was brought back to life, after Madine had been bundled over on the edge of the Swindon box. Clough took responsibility for the resulting free-kick, which forced Vigouroux into a diving save at his near post.

Islam Feruz had the visitors' only clear chance on goal in the final minute of the half, but he was denied by a combination of Andrew Taylor and Alnwick as the two sides went in scoreless at the interval.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Bolton taking the lead inside three minutes of the restart.

After Vigouroux had done well to parry a strike from Madine and then tip away a rebound from Clough, he was beaten from the resulting corner as Wheater connected with a Spearing corner to volley expertly into the net via the underside of the crossbar.

With momentum now on their side, Wanderers went in search of a second and it almost arrived five minutes later, only for Vigouroux to get down low to turn Henry's diving header behind at his near post.

Madine then fired over from distance, allowing Swindon to make their first substitution of the game and it wasn't long until the visitors were back on level terms.

Good work from Luke Norris on the left saw the ball break to Gladwin, who took one touch before firing past Alnwick from 25 yards to bring the score level at 1-1.

The turnaround should have been complete on 69 minutes but Kasim somehow fired over when picked out unmarked six yards from goal.

They were almost made to rue that miss when, just 60 seconds later, Henry pounced on a mistake in the Swindon defence before shooting against the base of the post, moments before Josh Vela saw a volley deflected over the top.

Both sides were now going in search of a winner, leaving large gaps in midfield as a result, and Swindon would surely have gone ahead on 77 minutes when Charlie Colkett found himself clear through on goal, but an outstanding sliding challenge from Beevers ensured the scores remained level.

Henry dragged a shot wide as the clock ticked into the final five minutes, but there was to be one last goal at the Macron as the visitors completed the turnaround to steal all three points.

With Kasim unmarked at the far post, Swindon worked themselves into the Wanderers box before standing a ball up to the forward, who volleyed home in the final minute of normal time to spark wild scenes behind the goal.

Jamie Proctor was introduced moments later, while Wheater also joined the attack for four minutes of stoppage time, but Bolton failed to find a way through as Swindon retained possession to pick up a rare away win.

Defeat for Bolton means they stay six points adrift of Sheffield United at the top of the League One table, while victory for Scunthorpe sees them move five points ahead as they remain in second place.

Wanderers return to action on Tuesday, when they face Crystal Palace in an FA Cup third round replay. Victory at Selhurst Park would set up a mouth-watering fourth-round clash at home to Manchester City at the end of the month.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Wilson (Proctor 90+1), Spearing, Thorpe (Clayton 76), Henry, Vela, Clough, Madine
Subs Not Used: Turner, Moxey, C Taylor, Osede, Trotter
Booked: Wheater, Beevers
Goals: Wheater 48

Swindon Town: Vigouroux, Kasim, Jones, Branco, Dabo, Goddard, Thomas, Colkett (Murray 90+5), Gladwin, Feruz (Hylton 60), Norris
Subs Not Used: Henry, Rodgers, Smith, Stewart, Delfouneso
Booked: Branco, Kasim
Goals: Gladwin 65, Kasim 89

Referee: Mark Heywood
Attendance: 13,955

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 >>


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