Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Norwich City

  • November 04, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton moved off the bottom of the Championship table by extending their unbeaten run to five games, beating Norwich City 2-1 at Macron Stadium.

After surviving an early onslaught, Wanderers took the lead against the run of play on 35 minutes as Darren Pratley's cutback was turned into the net by Gary Madine.

Adam Armstrong doubled the advantage five minutes later, with his bending strike from the edge of the box going in off the post, and although substitute Josh Murphy pulled one back for the Canaries in second-half stoppage-time, it was Wanderers who took all three points.

Having seen his side draw 3-3 at Sunderland on Tuesday, Phil Parkinson stuck with the same team for the visit of Norwich, who were looking to win on the road for a fifth successive league game - a milestone last achieved in November 1988.

They started poorly though, with the home side twice threatening inside the opening three minutes, with both David Wheater and Madine having early attempts on goal.

The visitors quickly found their stride, however, with Ben Alnwick called into action for the first time on nine minutes to deny Cameron Jerome at his near post.

Christoph Zimmermann was next to try his luck for the Canaries, shooting into the side-netting from a corner on 20 minutes, shortly before Armstrong somehow succeeded in heading over the crossbar when found unmarked eight yards from goal by the cross of Sammy Ameobi.

Having been provider in the previous attack, Ameobi then set his own sights on goal just after the half-hour, with his drive from the edge of the box rolling narrowly wide of Angus Gunn's far post.

Then, with 35 minutes played, the deadlock was broken. Good build-up play down the right-hand side from Ameobi and Mark Little eventually saw the ball rolled into Pratley inside the City box.

With his back to goal, Pratley swivelled and saw his low cross turned into the net from close range by Madine - for his fourth goal of the season.

That lead was doubled just five minutes later, as Little's cross from the right was taken down by Madine, allowing Armstrong to curl in from the edge of the box via the inside of Gunn's left-hand post, giving Wanderers a 2-0 lead going into the break.

With both sides unchanged as play resumed at the start of the second period, it was the home side that created the first shooting opportunity, with Madine firing wide inside five minutes of the restart.

Karl Henry netted his first goal since joining Wanderers in the midweek draw at Sunderland and thought he'd try his chances at a second on the hour, although his speculative volley from 25 yards was sliced horribly high and wide of the target.

Ameobi then failed to test Gunn with a free-kick and the subsequent rebound, after his initial attempt had struck the wall, while a rare City attack saw then hit the side netting midway through the half as Marley Watkins found a way through the home defence.

Norwich increased the tempo in the final 20 minutes as they looked for a way back into the game, with Alnwick saving comfortably from Jerome, moments before a wicked free-kick from the left flank flashed agonisingly across the face of goal before going behind.

Back at the other end, Little ran on to a through ball from Josh Vela before forcing a low save out of Gunn, shortly before Alnwick was the hero as he kept his clean sheet intact.

With substitute Murphy finding himself one-on-one with the Bolton goalkeeper, Alnwick made the save with his body before getting fortunate with a ricochet that saw the Norwich man's rebound roll wide of the empty net.

Jerome headed wide from the next attack, while Ameobi saw appeals for a penalty turned down at the other end, but there was to be further action before the full-time whistle as the visitors finally found a way past a resolute Alnwick.

After receiving the ball from Jerome, Murphy burst beyond Little inside the Wanderers box before arrowing a shot into the top corner to ensure the game ended 2-1.

Bolton's victory, only their second in league competition this season, sees them leapfrog Sunderland in the Championship table, as they go five unbeaten in at this level for the first time since December 2014.

With the international break now upon us, Wanderers return to action in 13 nights when they face Preston North End in a Lancashire derby at Deepdale.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Wheater, Little, Pratley, Henry, Vela, Ameobi, Armstrong (Buckley 68), Madine
Subs Not Used: Howard, Noone, Cullen, Osede, Darby, Hall
Booked: Henry, Pratley, Wheater, Beevers
Goals: Madine 35, Armstrong 40

Norwich City: Gunn, Pinto, Zimmermann, Klose, Stiepermann, Reed (Vrancic 68), Trybull (Murphy 63), Hoolahan, Maddison, Wildschut (Watkins 63), Jerome
Subs Not Used: McGovern, Husband, Martin, Hanley
Booked: Zimmermann, Vrancic
Goals: Murphy 90+4

Referee: Steven Martin
Attendance: 14,786

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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