West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • August 04, 2018 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/48f32

Josh Magennis and Yanic Wildschut scored on their debuts, as Bolton picked up an opening-day victory at West Bromwich Albion.

Having won just one of their previous 48 away games at Championship level, few gave Wanderers hope against a side that was playing Premier League football last season.

Magennis opened the scoring inside 18 minutes at The Hawthorns, heading home from a Sammy Ameobi cross, but the Baggies were level in first-half stoppage time when Harvey Barnes bent an unstoppable long-range effort beyond Ben Alnwick.

The visitors won it in the final minute of normal time, however, when a corner was headed towards goal by David Wheater and Wildschut turned to poke home from close range.

With a new season comes new faces and an early look at the Wanderers team sheet proved exactly that, with debuts handed to summer arrivals Jason Lowe, Luke Murphy, Pawel Olkowski and Magennis.

The visitors were on top in the early exchanges, with Magennis and Ameobi looking particularly lively on the break - although the latter was forced off for several minutes after a heavy collision with Baggies full-back Kieran Gibbs.

It was the home side who created the first shooting opportunity, however, with Barnes stepping away from Lowe before seeing a low drive held comfortably by Alnwick.

The Trotters broke the deadlock on 16 minutes though, with Ameobi getting away from his marker down the right-hand side before crossing for Magennis, who got between two central defenders to head past Sam Johnstone from close range

They came within a matter of inches of doubling their advantage from the next attack, with a corner from Josh Vela being headed narrowly wide by Mark Beevers.

West Brom burst into life midway through the half, with Allan Nyom's long-range strike flashing just wide, shortly before a deflected effort from Matt Phillips went behind.

Ahmed Hegazi headed over for the hosts as the clock reached the half-hour, while Wheater saw a header of his own fall into the waiting arms of Johnstone at the other end.

Hal Robson-Kanu and Jay Rodriguez both headed off-target as frustrations began to grow for the side that were playing Premier League football last season, and it was Wanderers who came closest to scoring again when a wicked cross from Vela was just too far ahead of Will Buckley.

That proved vital as, inside three added minutes for stoppages, West Brom pulled level as Barnes cut in from the right-flank before sending a curling strike high into the corner of Alnwick's net to ensure the teams went in level at the break.

There were no changes to either side as the players came back out for the start of the second period, although Wanderers were forced into an early change as Ameobi was forced off with an apparent knee injury - with Craig Noone on in his place.

West Brom began the stronger of the teams, with both Barnes and Robson-Kanu threatening, but neither side was able to test their opposition goalkeepers.

That changed in the 66th minute, however, as the Baggies were denied a lead when Hegazi's header was somehow clawed up and over the crossbar by an outstanding Alnwick save.

At the other end, an expert cross from Noone picked out the head of Magennis. His goalbound effort was well saved by Johnstone, while follow-up attempts from Noone and substitute Gary O'Neil were charged down.

Phillips lashed wide for West Brom with little over 10 minutes remaining, shortly before Jake Livermore fired high and wide.

The scoring wasn't over for the afternoon though, as Bolton won it in the final minute of normal time when a corner from Vela was headed towards goal by Wheater, where Wildschut was alert to prod home on the turn.

There was to be a late scare, however, as Hegazi struck the crossbar in the final minute of added time, but it was Parkinson's side who held on to claim all three points - which sees them surpass the total they accumulated in their opening 11 games of last season.

Wanderers occupy 3rd position in the Championship at full-time, and return to action next Saturday when they welcome Bristol City to the University of Bolton Stadium.

West Bromwich Albion: Johnstone, Nyom, Bartley, Hegazi, Gibbs, Phillips, Livermore, Brunt, Barnes (Burke 76), Rodriguez, Robson-Kanu
Subs Not Used: Myhill, Morrison, Townsend, Barry, Adarabioyo, Harper
Booked: Brunt
Goals: Barnes 45+1

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Olkowski, Lowe, Murphy (O'Neil 60), Vela, Buckley (Wildschut 78), Ameobi (Noone 50), Magennis
Subs Not Used: Williams, Little, Le Fondre, Hobbs
Goals: Magennis 18, Wildschut 89

Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 25,901

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Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
16 Queens Park Rangers 13 17
17 Stoke City 13 16
18 Bolton Wanderers 13 16
19 Reading 13 12
20 Rotherham United 13 12
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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