Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Hull City

  • January 01, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Gary Madine was the match-winner once again, as Bolton celebrated their 500th game at Macron Stadium with a 1-0 victory over Hull City.

Scorer of the only goal in Saturday's win at Sheffield United, Madine repeated that feat with 20 minutes played against the Tigers - bending in a free-kick from 25 yards which left goalkeeper Allan McGregor clutching at thin air.

City were much improved after the break and could have levelled on multiple occasions, while Madine somehow spurned a chance to put some gloss on the victory in the latter stages when he headed over from practically under the crossbar.

Just 48 hours removed from his side's win at Bramall Lane, Trotters boss Phil Parkinson made four changes to his starting line-up for the opening game of 2018 - with Mark Little, Josh Vela, Will Buckley and Sammy Ameobi all returning at the expense of David Wheater, Josh Cullen, Filipe Morais and Adam Le Fondre, all of whom were named amongst the substitutes.

There was little to call in the early exchanges, before Wanderers' gameplan went out of the window when Karl Henry was forced off inside 13 minutes through injury - with Cullen on to replace him.

The on-loan West Ham United midfielder immediately found himself in the thick of the action, with his pass picking out the run of Madine, whose goalbound effort was blocked at close range.

Madine wasn't to be denied on 20 minutes though, as he grabbed his ninth goal of the season in spectacular style.

Having been awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal, Madine and Ameobi stood over the ball. With many expecting the latter to strike with his left foot, Madine took responsibility and bent a curling effort into the top corner, leaving McGregor with absolutely no chance.

Ameobi came close to doubling Wanderers' lead six minutes later, only for his glancing header to flash wide of the far post, while Ben Alnwick, on his 31st birthday, was called into action for the first time on the half-hour, denying Jarrod Bowen an almost certain equaliser.

With Henry already down and out, Bolton then lost captain Darren Pratley to injury, with Morais coming on in his place and forcing a tactical switch that saw Josh Vela drop in alongside Cullen in the holding midfield position.

Alnwick, who had denied Bowen moments earlier, was called into action again on 34 minutes, this time to parry away a free-kick from Jon Toral.

Mark Beevers saw a goalbound header blocked as he rose highest to meet a corner from Morais in the latter stages of the half, before the final effort before the interval saw Morais himself take a swipe at the target, only for his effort to land on the roof of the net.

There were no changes in personnel as the players came back out for the start of the second-half, which began with Hull left wondering just how they didn't get themselves back on level terms.

Unmarked at the far post, Bowen was picked out with the goal at his mercy. With the visiting supporters rising to celebrate, he could only succeed in striking the outside of the upright as the ball went out of play for a goal-kick.

Little had an effort blocked at the other end soon afterwards, before McGregory pulled off the save of the match to deny Bolton a second goal - pushing a near-post header from Morais behind for a corner.

After clearing the resulting corner, Hull hit Wanderers on the counter attack and would have drawn level through Markus Henriksen, but Alnwick stood tall until the final moment before making the block with his boot.

The Tigers then made a double substitution, bringing Fraizer Campbell and Seb Larsson on in place of Nouha Dicko and Kevin Stewart, but it was the hosts who continued to threaten as Antonee Robinson was next to bring a save out of McGregor with a half-volley from the edge of the box.

Morais fired over with little over 10 minutes remaining, moments before Beevers put his body on the line to deny Bowen inside the six-yard box at the other end.

Hull substitute Evandro was inches away from making contact that would have given them a late equaliser, before Madine somehow wasted the opportunity to seal the victory in added time when he got on the end of a cross from Adam Le Fondre, only to head over the bar from two yards.

Larsson dragged a shot wide of Alnwick's far post in the final moments, as time ran out on Hull and Bolton began the New Year with three points that sees them leapfrog Hull in the Championship table.

Wanderers take a break from league action until January 13, but they will step out at the Macron once again on Saturdat when they play host to Premier League side Huddersfield Town in the third round of the FA Cup.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Burke, Little, Pratley (Morais 33), Henry (Cullen 13), Vela, Buckley (Le Fondre 86), Ameobi, Madine
Subs Not Used: Howard, Wilbraham, Armstrong, Wheater
Booked: Vela, Alnwick, Le Fondre
Goals: Madine 20

Hull City: McGregor, Tomori, Dawson, Hector, Aina, Henriksen (Evandro 79), Stewart (Larsson 62), Toral, Irvine, Bowen, Dicko (Campbell 62)
Subs Not Used: Marshall, Diomande, Clark, Clackstone
Booked: Henriksen, Dawson, Campbell

Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 14,216

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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