Bolton Wanderers 0-2 Millwall

  • April 10, 2018 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/18746

Millwall ended a 45-year wait for an away win at Bolton, as they extended their unbeaten run to 16 games and moved into the Championship play-off places.

Not since November 1973 had the Lions won on Wanderers turf, when they claimed a 2-1 victory in a League Cup third-round replay at Burnden Park.

It was all too easy for them at Macron Stadium on Tuesday, however, as goals in each half from Tom Elliott and Ben Marshall sealed a comfortable three points that leaves the Trotters just two points clear of Saturday's opponents Barnsley in the battle against relegation.

Having suffered three consecutive defeats leading into the game, Phil Parkinson made six changes to his Bolton side as Andrew Taylor, Jon Flanagan, Sammy Ameobi, Craig Noone, Darren Pratley and Derik Osede were all recalled at the expense of Antonee Robinson, Mark Little, Reece Burke, Josh Vela, Jem Karacan and Aaron Wilbraham.

With the action underway, it took less than three minutes for Millwall to carve open the Wanderers defence and they would surely have broken the deadlock had Lee Gregory not slipped then clean through on Ben Alnwick's goal.

The hosts had their first chance of the evening shortly afterwards, with Pratley, Noone and Karl Henry all trying to stab the ball over the line from close range, only for Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer to keep it out before winning a free-kick for his side.

Noone then came within inches of scoring his first goal for the Trotters when he saw a long-range effort deflect agonisingly wide of Archer's left-hand post on 17 minutes, moments before David Wheater failed to connect with a dangerous set-piece delivery from the aforementioned Noone.

Adam Le Fondre pounced on a mistake to find himself one-on-one with Archer midway through the half, but with the angle narrowing he took one too many touches before being denied by a last-ditch sliding challenge from Jed Wallace.

Ameobi burst into life on the half-hour, beating two defenders down the left-hand side before lofting a cross towards the far post. After the ball was only half cleared, it fell kindly to Pratley on the edge of the box, who directed a volley straight at the Lions goalkeeper.

The deadlock was broken on 34 minutes though, with Elliott stealing in ahead of former Millwall defender Mark Beevers to nod home a cross from Marshall and give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Noone fired over in first-half stoppage time as Bolton looked to respond, but the home side were booed off the field at the break as supporters began to sense the realisation of just how much their team is struggling to remain in the Championship.

Neither manager opted to make a substitution as play resumed for the start of the second period and with little action happening at either end of the field, Parkinson made a double change shortly after the hour as Filipe Morais and Zach Clough came on in place of Osede and Noone.

Wanderers were dealt a hammer blow just two minutes later, however, as Millwall completed an outstanding counter-attacking move by making the score 2-0.

With Morais standing over a free-kick deep in Millwall territory, his delivery to the far post was poor and immediately set Mahlon Romeo off down the right flank. Having raced away from Clough over 80 yards, he burst into the Bolton box before cutting back for Marshall to power past Alnwick.

Archer almost fumbled a long-range attempt from Ameobi into his own net on 67 minutes as the home side looked to reduce the deficit, moments before he got away with another anxious moment after he parried a goalbound shot from Le Fondre back into his own box.

With a goal and an assist already to his name, Marshall was thwarted by Alnwick on 75 minutes, while a late effort from Henry failed to test Archer at the other end as the clock, and the patience of some supporters, ran out on Parkinson's team.

Defeat sees Bolton remain in 21st position, just two points clear of the relegation zone and Saturday's opponents - Barnsley.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Flanagan, Osede (Clough 61), Pratley (Vela 76), Henry, Noone (Morais 61), Ameobi, Le Fondre
Subs Not Used: Howard, Buckley, Robinson, Burke

Millwall: Archer, Romeo, Hutchinson, Cooper, Meredith, Wallace, Saville, Williams, Marshall (Onyedinma 90), Gregory (Cahill 86), Elliott (Morison 78)
Subs Not Used: Martin, Tunnicliffe, O'Brien, Shackell
Goals: Elliott 34, Marshall 63

Referee: Robert Jones
Attendance: 13,810

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Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Rotherham United 22 22
21 Reading 22 19
22 Millwall 22 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 22 18
24 Ipswich Town 22 14
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2017/18 Player of the Year?
53.85% Ben Alnwick
13.11% Sammy Ameobi
10.49% Karl Henry
8.39% Antonee Robinson
4.98% David Wheater
3.41% Mark Beevers
2.1% Mark Little
1.84% Josh Vela
1.57% Darren Pratley
0.26% Reece Burke