Southend United 0-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 04, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Mark Beevers scored in stoppage time, as Bolton snatched victory at Southend United to move to within touching distance of promotion.

After a dogged display at Roots Hall, where both teams struggled to find that elusive breakthrough, Beevers struck in added time at the end of the game, lashing home from close range after the home side had failed to deal with a Filipe Morais corner.

Victory puts 10 points between Wanderers and 3rd-placed Fleetwood Town, who have just 18 points left to play for between now and the end of the campaign - starting with a trip to Oxford United on Wednesday.

Despite firing a blank at home to Chesterfield last time out, Phil Parkinson made just one change to the side that started three days prior as Gary Madine came back at the expense of the benched Chris Long.

The big forward, who had been sorely missed against the Spireites, was soon involved in the thick of the action, failing to hit the target inside three minutes after Adam Le Fondre had sold a dummy from a Morais cross.

Wanderers were back on the attack moments later but a heavy touch from Le Fondre provided Southend goalkeeper Christian Walton with an easy claim, shortly before the game was paused as Shrimpers defender Ryan Inniss stayed down after clearing a corner.

After several minutes of treatment on the field, Inniss was stretchered down the tunnel with what appeared to be a serious-looking shoulder injury. With his evening at an end, John White came off the substitutes' bench to take his place.

David Wheater came close to breaking the deadlock on 20 minutes, but his header from a Morais corner was inadvertently blocked by Le Fondre, moments before play was halted once again to allow Dorian Dervite to receive treatment for a bloodied nose.

Then, with the clock approaching the half-hour, both sides had efforts cleared off the line within a minute of each other.

First, Madine's header from a Morais corner was cleared to safety, before Wheater and Mark Beevers combined at the other end to deny Nile Ranger, after he had gotten the better of goalkeeper Mark Howard.

Bolton continued to push for the opening goal and came close again on 33 minutes, with Morais again the provider. This time, Madine rose to meet his cross and was unfortunate to see his header cannon back off the post.

Le Fondre volleyed over from close range three minutes later, as frustration began to surface for the Wanderers forward, who saw another chance come and go inside nine minutes of stoppage time.

With the final act of the half, Le Fondre's strike forced an outstanding save out of Walton. The loose ball deflected back off the legs of Michael Timlin and struck the outside of the post, as Southend found themselves fortunate to go in level at the break.

After receiving treatment for an injury late in the first-half, Madine failed to return for the start of the second period - with Max Clayton on to replace him.

The first chance after the restart fell the way of the hosts, with Howard more than equal to Simon Cox's strike from the edge of the box.

Will Atkinson and Timlin both shot off-target as the clock ticked towards the hour, while Stephen McLaughlin drilled an effort narrowly wide shortly afterwards as Southend enjoyed their best spell of the evening.

Bolton were soon back in business, however, and should have gone ahead with 18 minutes to go, but Walton made a superb stop to deny Clayton, who had raced on to a through ball from Le Fondre.

Southend then saw appeals for a penalty turned down when Ranger went to ground under a challenge from Wheater, but referee Charles Breakspear ordered play to continue.

That prompted an outburst of emotion from United boss Phil Brown on the sidelines and, after several warnings from the officials throughout the match, was sent to the stands - just as he was in the reverse fixture at Macron Stadium back in September.

From that point on, it looked as though the two sides would be made to settle for a point apiece. But that all changed in stoppage time, as Wanderers forced a corner when Walton saved superbly from Clayton.

Morais' cross into the box caused panic in the Southend box. The loose ball fell at the feet of Beevers, who kept his composure to fire into the corner and send the travelling supporters behind the goal wild in celebration, as they secured victory at the death.

The three points means Bolton close the gap on league leaders Sheffield United to three points and, perhaps more importantly, extends the gap over Fleetwood to 10 points as they appear to be moving in on promotion to the Championship.

Wanderers return to action on Saturday when they hit the road again. This time, they make the journey to Scunthorpe United.

Southend United: Walton, Demetriou, Thompson, Inniss (White 16), Timlin, Robinson, Atkinson, Wordsworth, McLaughlin (McGlashan 69), Cox (Fortune 83), Ranger
Subs Not Used: Bexon, O'Neill, Amos, Nouble
Booked: Ranger

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, Beevers, Wheater, Dervite, Moxey, Spearing, Pratley, Vela, Morais, Le Fondre, Madine (Clayton 46)
Subs Not Used: Turner, Karacan, Long, Osede, Henry, Wabara
Booked: Spearing, Pratley
Goals: Beevers 90+2

Referee: Charles Breakspear
Attendance: 9,340

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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