Gillingham 0-4 Bolton Wanderers

  • March 14, 2017 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/94e2c

Bolton recorded back-to-back away wins for the first time since October, as they ran riot with a 4-0 victory over Gillingham at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Wanderers were on the front foot from the very first whistle and were ahead inside three minutes, as David Wheater headed home from a Filipe Morais corner.

Morais was the provider again, crossing for Adam Le Fondre to double the lead on the quarter-hour, before Mark Beevers made it three in first-half stoppage time, again the recipient of a Morais corner.

After claiming a hat-trick of assists in back-to-back games, Morais wasn't content with that and set up a fourth goal shortly after the restart, rolling the ball across the face of goal for Josh Vela to tap home and complete the scoring.

With Saturday's 4-2 victory at Fleetwood Town fresh in the memory, Phil Parkinson opted to stick with the same team that started at Highbury Stadium - with the only change seeing Chris Long return at the expense of Viv Solomon-Otabor on the substitutes bench.

Prior to their win last time out, Wanderers had struggled for form on the road, having gone three-and-a-half months without an away win, but they looked good in the early exchanges and came close to breaking the deadlock inside the opening minute, as Gary Madine fired over from a Morais corner.

The visitors did have the ball in the net two minutes later, however, with Morais once again involved. This time, his corner picked out Wheater at the far post. He directed the ball back across goal with his head, before wheeling away to celebrate as it found a way past Stuart Nelson for 1-0.

Bolton were by far the better side and almost doubled their advantage with nine minutes played, but Le Fondre's shot was just wide of the target after he had latched on to a poor clearance.

They came close again from the next attack, with Morais cutting inside from the right before drilling inches wide, moments before Nelson was on hand to keep out a volley from Le Fondre.

The on-loan forward, who netted a brace at Fleetwood three days earlier, made it goals in back-to-back games on the quarter-hour, as he stole a march on his marker to head a pin-point cross from Morais past Nelson to make it 2-0.

Gillingham's first shot in anger arrived on 20 minutes, but Joe Quigley couldn't direct his shot on target, much to the delight of the travelling supporters behind the goal.

Zesh Rehman twice tracked back to deny both Madine and Le Fondre, as the Gills desperately tried to remain in the game, while Wanderers' next chance came just after the half-hour, with Wheater misjudging the contact when he looked set to volley home from close range.

Ben Alnwick got down to keep out a free-kick from Bradley Dack in the latter stages of the half, but there was to be one last goal before the break and it fell the way of Bolton.

Morais, once again on corner duties, lofted the ball into the box, where Beevers took a gamble to head past Nelson and send the visitors in at the break with a commanding 3-0 lead.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began just as the first had ended - with Bolton adding to their lead.

Morais, with a hat-trick of assists already to his name, provided yet another opportunity for his teammates, crossing low for Vela, who had the simple task of slotting beyond Nelson from close range to make it 4-0.

With victory assured, Wanderers continued to press forward in search of further goals and were denied a fifth on 54 minutes when Le Fondre's flick found Madine, whose acrobatic effort was clawed behind by Nelson.

Madine headed behind from the resulting corner, shortly before Dorian Dervite tried to get in on the act - firing over as he too got on the end of a cross from Morais.

Bolton made their first substitution of the evening with 20 minutes to go, with Darren Pratley being replaced on his second outing since returning from a seven-month injury absence - Jem Karacan on in his place.

Madine soon followed his captain off the field, with Max Clayton given the final 12 minutes to impress. Within seconds of his introduction, he linked up in a one-two with Morais in a move which saw the latter fire over the crossbar.

Morais was afforded a standing ovation with six minutes remaining, as James Henry was introduced as Wanderers' third and final substitute.

Vela had the ball in the Gillingham net in the final minute of normal time, only to be denied by an earlier infringement, but it mattered not as the 517 visiting supporters left Priestfield with gleaming smiles on their faces.

Bolton remain in 3rd position in League One after their latest victory, a point behind Fleetwood Town with a game in hand. They return to action on Saturday, when they run out at Macron Stadium against Northampton Town.

Gillingham: Nelson, Ehmer, Rehman, Oshilaja, Muldoon, Hessenthaler, Dack, Byrne, Martin (Osadebe 86), McDonald (List 87), Quigley (Parker 62)
Subs Not Used: Holy, Dickenson, Cundle, Mbo
Booked: Muldoon, Byrne

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Beevers, Wheater, Dervite, A Taylor, Osede, Pratley (Karacan 71), Vela, Morais (Henry 85), Le Fondre, Madine (Clayton 78)
Subs Not Used: Howard, Moxey, Long, Trotter
Booked: Madine
Goals: Wheater 3, Le Fondre 15, Beevers 45+2, Vela 49

Referee: Tim Robinson
Attendance: 5,199

Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Reading 12 12
21 Birmingham City 13 11
22 Burton Albion 13 10
23 Sunderland 13 9
24 Bolton Wanderers 13 6
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2016/17 Player of the Year?
52.34% David Wheater
15.03% Mark Beevers
12.76% Gary Madine
10.81% Josh Vela
3.98% Jay Spearing
1.87% Andrew Taylor
1.26% Ben Alnwick
0.85% Liam Trotter
0.45% Mark Howard
0.41% Tom Thorpe
0.24% Lawrie Wilson