Burton Albion 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 28, 2018 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/ff64d

Bolton dropped deep into relegation trouble on Saturday, as they were beaten 2-0 by Burton Albion in a bottom-of-the-table affair at the Pirelli Stadium.

Wanderers went into the game knowing victory could have secured their status in the second-tier for another campaign but they will instead face an anxious final day clash with Nottingham Forest, where a win will not necessarily prevent a drop into League One.

The Trotters have been in desperate form since returning from the international break and it was no different against Albion, who cruised to success due to first-half goals from Hope Akpan and Lucas Akins, as Nigel Clough's side moved level on points with Barnsley - who were 2-0 winners at home to Brentford.

Having lost 4-0 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out, Phil Parkinson made three changes to the Bolton side as Andrew Taylor, Dorian Dervite and Craig Noone came in at the expense of Antonee Robinson, David Wheater and Will Buckley, all of whom were named amongst the substitutes.

With the action underway, it was the visitors who created the first opportunity as a low cross from Sammy Ameobi flashed across the face of goal with neither Noone nor Adam Le Fondre able to convert.

Burton responded well and registered their first shot on goal with eight minutes played, although Ben Alnwick was alert to the danger by plucking a long-range strike from Akpan out of the air with ease.

Le Fondre broke free before seeing a shot deflect behind moments later, while also seeing a volley clear the crossbar from a narrow angle as the clock ticked towards the midway point of the half.

Bolton continued to threaten, with Karl Henry next to shoot wide of Stephen Bywater's goal, but it was the home side that broke the deadlock on 28 minutes as Akpan stole in ahead of Dervite before lashing into the top corner.

Akins saw a header turned behind by Alnwick as Burton looked to double their advantage, but the ball was in the net from the resulting corner. Having twice seen shots blocked, Akpan directed the ball into the path of Akins to slid in to make it 2-0.

Marvin Sordell, who was part of the Wanderers squad that was relegated from the Premier League in 2012, came close to adding a third before the break, before referee Graham Scott's half-time whistle was greeted with a chorus of boos from the away support.

Bolton came back out for the start of the second period having made a double substitution, with both Buckley and Filipe Morais on in place of Jon Flanagan and Derik Osede.

Their introduction saw Ameobi move into a central position alongside Le Fondre, with Pratley dropping back into a holding midfield role, but the changes failed to have the desired impact as Wanderers continued to struggle in the final third.

Noone, Buckley and Le Fondre all saw efforts come and go as the game approached the hour, while Morais came agonisingly close to reducing the deficit with a 25-yard free-kick that flashed inches wide of the post.

Liam Boyce tested the palms of Alnwick, while the Trotters goalkeeper was alert to deny Jacob Davenport from the next attack, moments before a fingertip save from Bywater denied the visitors a certain goal as Buckley looked to get on the end of a cross from Morais.

Sordell, Luke Murphy and Boyce all looked to add to Burton's lead but failed to find a way through, while Taylor thumped a volley wide of the target at the other end inside the final five minutes.

Aaron Wilbraham, on as a substitute for Henry, saw hopeful appeals for a penalty turned down in stoppage time - with time something Bolton no longer have on their side.

Defeat sees Parkinson's side drop into the bottom three for the first time since February. To ensure survival next weekend, they must beat Nottingham Forest on home soil and hope results elsewhere involving Burton, Barnsley, Birmingham City and Reading all go in their favour.

Burton Albion: Bywater, Brayford, Naylor, McFadzean, Turner, Davenport (Buxton 87), Sordell, Murphy, Akpan, Akins, Boyce (Bent 89)
Subs Not Used: Campbell, Allen, Flanagan, Samuelsen, Sbarra
Booked: McFadzean
Goals: Akpan 28, Akins 36

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Dervite, Flanagan (Morais 46), Osede (Buckley 46), Henry (Wilbraham 72), Pratley, Noone, Ameobi, Le Fondre
Subs Not Used: Howard, Vela, Robinson, Wheater
Booked: Pratley, Beevers

Referee: Graham Scott
Attendance: 6,535

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
8 Burton Albion 13 19
9 Oxford United 12 18
10 Bolton Wanderers 13 18
11 Accrington Stanley 12 16
12 Portsmouth 12 15
View Full Standings >>

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