Bolton Wanderers 1-3 Preston North End

  • March 03, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Sean Maguire scored twice on his first appearance since November, as Bolton were beaten 3-1 by Preston North End at Macron Stadium.

Maguire, who had been out of action for four months with a knee injury prior to the fixture, came off the substitutes' bench to net twice inside the final 13 minutes as North End came from behind to claim a comfortable victory.

Tom Barkhuizen had earlier brought the visitors level, after they had trailed to Mark Beevers' 12th-minute opener for Wanderers - who remain in relegation trouble with just 11 games left to play.

Having drawn 0-0 at Norwich City in their most recent outing, Wanderers began the afternoon with two changes to the side that started at Carrow Road, as Tyler Walker and fit-again Josh Vela came in at the expense of Reece Burke and Adam Le Fondre.

With the action underway in a blustery Lancashire derby, it was Preston who created the first shooting chance of the afternoon. It fell the way of Billy Bodin, who found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Ben Alnwick, who stuck up a hand to make the save and keep the game goalless.

The deadlock was broken on 12 minutes, though, and it happened at the other end of the field. Filipe Morais' corner was headed goalwards by Dorian Dervite, who was denied by 'keeper Declan Rudd, but Beevers reacted quickest to poke home the rebound for his first goal of the season.

Beevers came close to a second from the next attack, nodding another Morais corner across the face of goal, only to see his effort cleared off the line by Greg Cunningham.

Barkuizen forced Alnwick into a save midway through the half as the visitors looked to get themselves back on level terms, but that was about as entertaining as it would get for either set of supporters as the half petered out with the hosts 1-0 up at the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Bolton having the first opportunity.

A neatly worked corner from Morais resulted in Vela being picked out unmarked on the edge of the Preston box, but his effort was high over the crossbar as the chance was wasted.

In fact, it would serve as a turning point as North End drew level just three minutes later. Callum Robinson was afforded too much time in the middle of the park, allowing him to thread a ball beyond Dervite and into the path of Barkuizen, who slotted beyond an exposed Alnwick for 1-1.

Barkuizen then turned provider, heading over the top of the Wanderers defence just two minutes later to Robinson, whose effort lacked the composure required to test Alnwick at his near post.

Bolton had struggled to make in impact since the restart but could have gone back ahead shortly before the hour, with Sammy Ameobi shooting wide on his 50th appearance for the club.

Jan Kirchhoff, on in place of Jem Karacan, almost marked his debut with an instant goal when he headed straight into the arms of Rudd on 65 minutes, moments before the visitors introduced the eventual matchwinner.

With 13 minutes to play, North End completed the turnaround as Robinson got away from Morais down the left-hand side before crossing low for Maguire to turn home from close range.

Vela was denied an equaliser at the other end, with Rudd's parry back into the penalty area narrowly evading Darren Pratley, but the game was put beyond any doubt in stoppage time as Maguire netted his second of the afternoon.

Barkuizen, who had been a constant thorn in the side of Bolton, escaped the attention of Antonee Robinson before picking out Josh Harrop. His shot was blocked but fell kindly at the feet of Maguire, who calmly slotted home to give Preston a deserved 3-1 victory.

Defeat for Bolton does little to the overall league standings. They remain 19th in the table, four points and three places above the relegation zone, ahead of Tuesday's trip to fellow strugglers Reading.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Wheater, Dervite, Morais, Karacan (Kirchhoff 64), Pratley (Wilbraham 85), Vela, Ameobi, Walker (Le Fondre 64)
Subs Not Used: Howard, A Taylor, Burke, Clough
Booked: Beevers, Morais
Goals: Beevers 12

Preston North End: Rudd, Woods (Harrop 69), Huntington, Davies, Cunningham, Pearson, Gallagher (Earl 89), Bodin (Maguire 65), Browne, Barkhuizen, Robinson
Subs Not Used: Maxwell, Johnson, Spurr, Moult
Booked: Cunningham, Gallagher, Pearson, Maguire
Goals: Barkhuizen 53, Maguire 77,90+2

Referee: Peter Bankes
Attendance: 18,141

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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