Bolton Wanderers 0-4 Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • April 21, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Wolverhampton Wanderers secured the Championship title as they swept aside a poor Bolton team with a 4-0 victory at Macron Stadium.

First-half strikes from Barry Douglas and former Trotters loanee Benik Afobe had sent the visitors in at the break with a two-goal advantage, while Diogo Jota and a penalty from Conor Coady after the restart gave Wolves the most comfortable of wins on an afternoon where they were rarely required to break out of second gear.

Sunderland's defeat at home to Burton Albion means they will be playing League One football next season, and Bolton know they must halt a run of just one win in 11 games in their final two outings if they are to avoid the same fate on May 6.

After drawing 2-2 at Barnsley last time out, Phil Parkinson made two changes to his Wanderers side as Will Buckley and Jon Flanagan were recalled at the expense of Reece Burke, who dropped to the substitutes' bench, and Mark Little, who missed out completely.

There were chances for both teams inside the opening five minutes, with Afobe drilling wide for Wolves just moments before Darren Pratley's glancing header from a Filipe Morais free-kick went narrowly wide of John Ruddy's far post.

The home side looked dangerous in the early moments and came close to breaking the deadlock once again on six minutes, as Morais' piledriver from a narrow angle flashing across the face of goal and just over the angle of post and crossbar.

Appeals for a penalty went unheard when Antonee Robinson took a tumble inside the Wolves box, shortly before Pratley registered Bolton's first effort on target with a half volley that rolled straight into the waiting arms of Ruddy.

Wolves were denied the opener when Mark Beevers put his body on the line to block Afobe on 15 minutes, but they weren't kept out for much longer as they made it 1-0 from the very next attack.

Afobe was once again involved, with his shot forcing a low stop out of Ben Alnwick. However, his parry fell kindly at the feet of Douglas, who had the simple task of slotting home to start the celebrations amongst the away support.

Adam Le Fondre volleyed straight at Ruddy as Bolton looked to respond, while both Beevers and Sammy Ameobi failed to get the telling touch to another Morais free-kick with the goal at their mercy.

Wolves were back on the attack shortly after the half-hour and came close to doubling their advantage when Jota saw a header cleared off the line by Morais, moments before Alnwick spread himself to deny Helder Costa as he looked to catch the Trotters goalkeeper out at his near post.

The visitors did get a second goal on the stroke of half-time though, as a routine long-ball from the back set Afobe on his way. After outpacing both Beevers and David Wheater, the on-loan forward rounded Alnwick on the edge of the box before slotting into the empty net.

There were no changes to either side as the players came back out for the start of the second period, which began with Wolves receiving the first yellow card of the afternoon as Danny Batth tugged the shirt of Le Fondre on the edge of the box.

Morais clipped the ball narrowly over the bar from the resulting free-kick, but things would soon become much worse for the Trotters as the visitors made it 3-0 through Jota, who nonchalantly chipped the ball over an onrushing Alnwick after the Bolton defence had backed off in their own half.

Le Fondre thought he had pulled one back against his former club moments later, but Coady cleared his shot off the line with Ruddy a beaten man, while Ruben Neves drilled an effort over the crossbar from 30 yards at the other end.

Afobe and Wheater shot wide at each end as the clock ticked beyond the hour, but the scoring wasn't over as Wolves made it 4-0 with 24 minutes still to play.

In the aftermath of Wheater clearing a header from Afobe off the line, the Wolves forward was sent to ground by Karl Henry, giving referee Keith Stroud no option but to point to the spot.

Coady took responsibility for the penalty-kick and made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Alnwick the wrong way with the ball rolling into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

With Josh Vela and Craig Noone already on as substitutes, Parkinson threw Zach Clough into the action for the final 10 minutes but there was never any threat of a consolation as Bolton slipped to a fifth defeat in six games.

Defeat leaves Bolton watching on anxiously, with just two points separating themselves and the bottom three. Victory for Barnsley at Nottingham Forest in midweek would see the Trotters drop into the relegation zone, ahead of next weekend's crucial six-pointer at Burton Albion.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Wheater, Flanagan, Pratley (Vela 58), Henry, Buckley (Noone 65), Morais, Ameobi, Le Fondre (Clough 79)
Subs Not Used: Howard, A Taylor, Wilbraham, Burke
Booked: Wheater

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ruddy, Batth, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Neves, Saiss (N'Diaye 81), Douglas, Costa, Afobe (Bonatini 68), Jota (Gibbs-White 68)
Subs Not Used: Norris, Bennett, Miranda, Hause
Booked: Batth
Goals: Douglas 16, Afobe 45+1, Jota 53, Coady 66(pen)

Referee: Keith Stroud
Attendance: 19,092

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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