Cardiff City 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • February 13, 2018 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/fda6a

Bolton tasted defeat for the first time in four games, as first-half goals from Armand Traore and Sean Morrison gave Cardiff City a comfortable victory in the Welsh capital.

The Bluebirds took the lead on 34 minutes at the Cardiff City Stadium, as Traore twisted and turned inside the Wanderers box before looping a shot into the far corner of the net.

The points were sealed before the break, as Morrison, who had seen an initial header saved by Ben Alnwick, reacted quickest to fire home on the rebound.

Phil Parkinson made three changes to the Bolton side that started against Fulham on Saturday, as Filipe Morais and Adam Le Fondre came in at the expense of both Mark Little and Zach Clough, while Reece Burke made his first appearance since returning on loan from West Ham United as David Wheater dropped to the substitutes' bench.

Meanwhile, Gary Madine, who completed a transfer deadline day switch from Wanderers to Cardiff, was unavailable to face his former club after breaking his nose in Friday's draw at Millwall.

With the action underway, it took less than two minutes for the hosts to create their first goalscoring opportunity as Junior Hoilett rounded Alnwick before seeing his cutback cleared by Mark Beevers.

Marko Grujic curled wide of the far post moments later as the Bluebirds continued their dominant start, although Derik Osede did come close for the visitors at the other end with a drive from the edge of the box.

Alnwick was alert to parry away a goalbound effort from Morrison on the quarter-hour, shortly before Sammy Ameobi dragged a shot wide of the near post against his former club.

Yanic Wildschut, on as an early substitute for the injured Jamie Ward, shot straight into the arms of Alnwick on 19 minutes as he looked to make an immediate impact on the game, before the same player caused panic when his cross was headed away by Beevers, with the follow-up from Hoilett bringing another stop out of the Bolton goalkeeper.

Beevers was then involved in an attacking sense, glancing a free-kick from Morais wide of the far post on 27 minutes, but it was Cardiff who found a way through 11 minutes before the break as they found a way through a crumbling Wanderers defence.

After the Trotters had failed to deal with a routine throw into their box, the ball fell at the feet of Traore. Despite having his back to goal, the Senegalese left-back turned before sending a looping strike beyond Alnwick and into the far corner to make it 1-0.

Callum Paterson wasted the chance to double their advantage four minutes before the break, but it wasn't long until the ball hit the net once more - with Morrison reacting quickest to fire past Alnwick, after his initial header had been saved, ensuring the hosts went in 2-0 up at the interval.

With a disappointing first-half display behind them, Wanderers made a change at the start of the second period as Wheater came on in place of Burke.

Unfortunately for the visitors, Cardiff set the tone within five minutes of the restart as Bruno Ecuele Manga saw a header crash back off the crossbar with most inside the stadium ready to celebrate a third goal.

Hoilett saw a shot blocked by Beevers as the clock ticked towards the hour, while Kenneth Zohore hit the rebound straight into the arms of Alnwick, moments before a rare Bolton attack ended with Le Fondre dragging an effort wide of the far post.

Desperate to inject some fresh attacking intent into his struggling side, Parkinson replaced Derik Osede with Clough for the final 21 minutes. The on-loan Nottingham Forest forward was involved immediately, latching on to a pass from Morais, but his low cross in search of Le Fondre was comfortably cleared by Morrison.

Grujic curled wide of Alnwick's goal with 17 minutes to play, moments before the Wanderers goalkeeper was forced into tipping over a stinging drive from Hoilett.

He was beaten on 82 minutes, with Hoilett once again rounding the 'keeper, but Beevers was in the right place at the right time to make the block and keep the score at 2-0.

Cardiff substitute Anthony Pilkington shot into the side-netting inside two added minutes for stoppages, but there was to be no further action as Bolton slipped to a dismal defeat and fully justified their place at the bottom of the Championship away table.

Luckily for them, however, home form means they occupy 19th position in the complete league standings, ahead of Saturday's trip to Queens Park Rangers.

Cardiff City: Etheridge, Peltier, Morrison, Manga, Traore, Paterson, Grujic, Ralls, Hoilett (Bamba 88), Zohore (Pilkington 84), Ward (Wildschut 13)
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Bennett, Feeney, Damour
Goals: Traore 34, Morrison 44

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Burke (Wheater 46), Dervite, Osede (Clough 69), Henry, Vela, Morais, Ameobi (Walker 86), Le Fondre
Subs Not Used: Howard, Little, A Taylor, Karacan
Booked: Beevers

Referee: Tim Robinson
Attendance: 16,013

Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
17 Nottingham Forest 33 37
18 Reading 32 33
19 Bolton Wanderers 33 33
20 Birmingham City 33 30
21 Hull City 32 29
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