Aston Villa 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • September 30, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton fell to an eighth successive defeat, as they made it 11 games without a win from at the start of a league season - equalling a club record which has stood since 1902.

Wanderers, who have also failed to score in any of those eight losses, suffered their latest reversal at Villa Park, where a first-half penalty from Jonathan Kodjia proved to be the difference.

The Trotters did have two efforts cleared off the line in the second period, including one from Gary Madine in the final minute, while Villa ended the game with 10 men after Neil Taylor was dismissed for a poor challenge in Adam Le Fondre in added time.

Phil Parkinson made three changes to the Bolton side that started in defeat at Bristol City on Tuesday, with Jem Karacan, Sammy Ameobi and Adam Armstrong coming in at the expense of Craig Noone, Jeff King and the suspended Filipe Morais.

Wanderers started brightly at Villa Park, with Ameobi forcing goalkeeper Sam Johnstone into action inside the opening 10 minutes, moments before Armstrong curled a free-kick narrowly wide of the target after Karacan had been fouled 25 yards from goal.

Mark Little has just six goals in over 11 years as a professional footballer but came close to opening his account for the Trotters on the quarter-hour, firing over the crossbar after Ameobi had pursued a lost cause in the final third.

Villa's first chance arrived just before the half-hour, with referee Jeremy Simpson and one of his assistants undecided on an offside call. With play allowed to continue, the opportunity came to nothing, with the visitors able to clear the danger from a resulting corner.

Karacan skipped beyond three Villa defenders before dragging a shot wide as Bolton looked to increase the pressure on their hosts, who were soon launching an attack of their own as Kodjia broke the offside trap before getting his feet in a tangle and being unable to find a way past Mark Howard in a one-on-one situation.

The two came face-to-face once again on 39 minutes, with the Villa forward earning a penalty having been sent to ground by Mark Beevers. Kodjia took responsibility for the spot-kick and made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Howard the wrong way and watching on as the ball rolled into the net.

Bolton looked for an instant response, although Armstrong side-footed straight at Johnstone when played clean through, as they went in at the break trailing 1-0.

There were no changes to either side as the players came out of the tunnel for the start of the second-half, which began with Karl Henry seeing a shot charged down, shortly before David Wheater went into the referee's notebook for a late challenge on Kodjia.

With attacking action proving to be few and far between, Wanderers made two changes as the clock ticked towards the final 20 minutes - with Noone and Le Fondre coming on in place of Ameobi and Karacan.

They failed to have the desired impact, however, as it was Villa who almost doubled their advantage, with John Terry rising highest to head inches wide of Howard's post from a corner.

The hosts then made a double change, with Scott Hogan one of those to be introduced, and he almost made an instant impact, with Wheater sliding in to make a block to deny an almost certain goal.

Howard was called into action again on 79 minutes, this time reacting well to keep out Josh Onomah at his near post, while Madine was thwarted in his attempt to net an equaliser as his header was cleared off the line with five minutes remaining.

Villa were reduced to 10 men inside the four additional minutes at the end of the game, as Taylor was shown a straight-red card for a foul on Le Fondre, and Bolton almost capitalised with the final kick, as Madine saw yet another goalbound effort cleared off the line.

Once again, that elusive goal continues to frustrate Wanderers - who have now gone more than 11 hours of competitive football since Karacan netted in the Carabao Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday on August 22.

The Championship now takes a two-week break for the forthcoming international fixtures, after which Bolton return to action with a home clash against the side they last scored against - Sheffield Wednesday - on October 14.

Aston Villa: Johnstone, Elmohamady, Chester, Terry, Taylor, Snodgrass (Samba 89), Whelan, Hourihane, Adomah, Davis (Onomah 73), Kodjia (Hogan 72)
Subs Not Used: Steer, Bjarnason, Hutton, O'Hare
Booked: Whelan
Sent Off: Taylor
Goals: Kodjia 39(pen)

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, A Taylor (Robinson 85), Beevers, Wheater, Little, Henry, Pratley, Karacan (Le Fondre 69), Ameobi (Noone 63), Armstrong, Madine
Subs Not Used: Turner, Cullen, Burke, King
Booked: Wheater, Beevers, Henry

Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Attendance: 31,451

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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