Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Sheffield United

  • September 12, 2017 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/57c5f

Bolton's desperate search for a first point on home soil continues, after they were beaten 1-0 by Sheffield United at Macron Stadium.

Aside from victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, Wanderers went into the game having lost all three of their Championship outings in front of their own supporters and that run was extended to four as Cameron Carter-Vickers' first-half strike handed the Blades all three points.

Wanderers were better value than they had been in previous games but still failed to seriously threaten in the final third. They pushed desperately for an equaliser at the death and were almost punished when John Lundstream hit the crossbar in added time, but the solitary goal was all that was required as Phil Parkinson's side remain rooted at the foot of the division.

With the weekend loss to Middlesbrough still fresh in the memory, Wanderers started with five changes to their side as Stephen Darby and Derik Osede missed out through injury, while Darren Pratley, Filipe Morais and Craig Noone were dropped to the substitutes' bench.

Reece Burke and Mark Little slotted into the defence, with Will Buckley and Josh Cullen both recalled in midfield, while Adam Armstrong was handed another opportunity to impress alongside Gary Madine in attack.

Bolton started brightly and got shots in early, with Antonee Robinson seeing a strike blocked before Madine dragged a rebound wide of the target.

Sheffield United were also on the lookout for an opener and also came close inside the opening 10 minutes, with David Wheater putting his body on the line to block a goalbound effort from Billy Sharp.

Jamal Blackman was called into action for the first time midway through the half, but the Blades goalkeeper made simple work of a 35-yard shot from Madine - whose every touch was being booed by the visiting supporters high in the stand behind the goal.

Jem Karacan was next to try his luck for the hosts, heading wide following a neat move involving both Madine and Little, before Wanderers were forced into a substitution as Buckley's evening was cut short by injury on the half-hour - prompting Morais to come on in his place.

With the ball back in play, the deadlock was broken on 33 minutes and it came by way of the away side.

After seeing his initial strike charged down by three separate Bolton defenders, Carter-Vickers reacted quickest to prod the rebound high into Ben Alnwick's net via the inside of the post to make it 1-0 to United.

Carter-Vickers almost doubled the advantage three minutes before the break, once again finding himself unmarked deep in Wanderers territory, but Alnwick raced off his line to make the block and keep the deficit at one going into the break.

There were no changes to either side as the players emerged for the start of the second period, which began with the visitors coming agonisingly close to doubling their advantage as Sharp saw a looping header cleared off the line by a backtracking Wheater.

Armstrong's evening came to an end midway through the half, with Adam Le Fondre on to boost the hosts' attacking threat, before Aaron Wilbraham was also thrown into the mix in place of Robinson as Parkinson switched to a three-man attack for the final 15 minutes.

Wanderers were awarded a free-kick shortly afterwards as Madine was bundled over on the edge of the United box, but the resulting set-piece from Morais landed on the roof of the net.

Bolton were enjoying large spells in possession but lacked the quality to break down the visiting defence and they were almost caught on the counter-attack in stoppage time, as Lundstream beat Alnwick only to see his effort come back off the crossbar.

Fortunately for he and his team, it mattered not as Chris Wilder's side left Macron Stadium with all three points for the very first time.

Defeat means Bolton remain at the bottom of the Championship table, having accumulated just two points from their opening seven games. They return to action on Saturday, when they make the difficult trip to Portman Road - Ipswich Town the opposition.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson (Wilbraham 76), Beevers, Wheater, Burke, Little, Karacan, Cullen, Buckley (Morais 30), Armstrong (Le Fondre 67), Madine
Subs Not Used: Howard, Dervite, Noone, Pratley
Booked: Morais, Cullen, Madine

Sheffield United: Blackman, Carter-Vickers, Wright, O'Connell, Baldock (Basham 87), Coutts, Duffy (Lundstram 64), Fleck, Lafferty, Clarke, Sharp (Brooks 73)
Subs Not Used: Eastwood, Stevens, Freeman, Evans
Booked: Lafferty
Goals: Carter-Vickers 33

Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 14,346

Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Barnsley 7 7
21 Sunderland 8 6
22 Brentford 8 4
23 Birmingham City 8 4
24 Bolton Wanderers 8 2
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