Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Rochdale

  • February 14, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Mark Beevers scored eight minutes from time, as Bolton broke through a dogged Rochdale defence to secure a 1-0 victory at Macron Stadium.

In a game short on quality throughout, Beevers struck the decisive goal, prodding home from almost underneath the Dale crossbar, to ensure Phil Parkinson's side picked up back-to-back wins and move to within two points of the automatic promotion places with a game in hand.

The one setback from the game arrived in the celebrations that followed, however, with Jay Spearing receiving a 10th yellow card of the season for kicking the ball away, meaning he will miss the upcoming trips to Bradford City and Sheffield United.

Moving on from Saturday's win over Walsall, Wanderers started with the same team that took to the field against the Saddlers, with the only change to the squad seeing Dorian Dervite take up a place amongst the substitutes instead of Max Clayton.

The opening 45 minutes was desperately short on entertainment, with a series of corners the best it got for the home team, aside from a close call when Adam Le Fondre's clear run on goal was halted by an offside flag with nine minutes gone.

The first shooting chance arrived midway through the half, but Gary Madine failed to direct his header on target from an Andrew Taylor cross as Dale survived their first real test in the final third.

With 10 minutes to go until the interval, Bolton finally registered their first effort on target and they were unfortunate not to go ahead.

Spearing's corner was headed towards goal by Madine. Ben Wilson was beaten between the sticks, but Joseph Rafferty was alert to the danger and cleared the ball off the line.

Bolton recycled the ball back into the Rochdale box, with Le Fondre shooting on the turn, but his effort was blocked as the hosts looked to up their game in the closing stages of the half.

They went even closer moments later, with a goalbound effort from Liam Trotter striking the body of Mark Kitching on the line. Appeals for handball were present from the crowd, but referee Christopher Kavanagh wasn't interested and ordered play to continue.

Taylor's evening came to an end inside one added minute for stoppages, as an earlier hamstring injury caused him to drop to the floor. After a moment of treatment on the sidelines, he was replaced by Dean Moxey, just prior to the half-time whistle calling an end to the play.

There were no changes to either side as the players emerged for the start of the second period, which began with Kitching going into the referee's book for a pull on the shirt of Filipe Morais.

Rochdale, who failed to register a single shot on goal during the opening 45 minutes, almost went ahead within five of the restart, but Ian Henderson's effort from the edge of the Bolton box flashed inches wide of Ben Alnwick's right-hand post.

Alnwick was called into action for the first time from the next attack, this time keeping out Henderson's goalbound shot, before Derik Osede was in the right place at the right time to hook the ball away to safety.

Wanderers were next to try their luck, with Moxey the unfamiliar name trying his luck in the final third - but his cross-cum-shot rolled across the face of goal and just wide of Wilson's goal.

Bolton's second substitution came just after the hour, with Chris Long on in place of the tiring Le Fondre, but the alteration failed to have the desired impact, with a possession continuing to be shared in the middle of the park.

That all changed with eight minutes to play, however, as a scramble inside the Rochdale six-yard box resulted in the ball creeping over the line as Wanderers took a lead in scrappy circumstances.

A Madine header caused havoc, appearing to hit the underside of the crossbar before being off the line by Keith Keane. Beevers charged down the clearance, however, sending the ball goalwards. Despite the best efforts of Rafferty, the referee's assistant signalled for a goal and Wanderers were on their way to all three points.

Bolton almost grabbed a second in the final minute of normal time, as slack defending in the Dale defence almost resulted in an own-goal, but the one was to be enough for Wanderers, who move to within two points of second-placed Scunthorpe United with a game in hand.

Parkinson's side return to action on Saturday, when they face his former side Bradford City at the Northern Commercials Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Beevers, Wheater, Osede, A Taylor (Moxey 45+1), Spearing, Trotter (Thorpe 85), Morais, Vela, Le Fondre (Long 63), Madine
Subs Not Used: Howard, Dervite, Solomon-Otabor, Wilkinson
Booked: Spearing
Goals: Beevers 82

Rochdale: Wilson, Rafferty (Mendez-Laing 85), Canavan, Keane, Kitching, McGahey, Rathbone (Camps 85), Allen, Thompson (Vincenti 78), Andrew, Henderson
Subs Not Used: Logan, McNulty, Noble-Lazarus, Redshaw
Booked: Kitching, Keane, Vincenti

Referee: Christopher Kavanagh
Attendance: 13,313

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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