Aston Villa 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 02, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's desperate search for an upturn in fortunes continues, after they were beaten 2-0 at Aston Villa on Friday evening.

Goals in each half from Jack Grealish and James Chester proved to be the difference at Villa Park, on an evening where Wanderers once again failed to seriously threaten the opposition goal - now failing to score in seven of their last nine games.

Having gone 11 games without victory prior to kick-off, Bolton boss Phil Parkinson made five changes to the side that lost at home to Hull City last Saturday as Andrew Taylor, Jason Lowe, Will Buckley, Craig Noone and David Wheater returned at the expense of Josh Vela, Lloyd Dyer, Christian Doidge, Mark Beevers and Marc Wilson.

Once the action had got underway at Villa Park, it took the hosts just two minutes to fashion out a shooting opportunity - with John McGinn firing high and wide after Wanderers had failed to deal with a routine ball forward.

The deadlock was broken just two minutes later though, as Grealish, identified during the week as Villa's key man by Parkinson, rounded Alnwick before slotting home.

The move began when Tammy Abraham received possession with his back to goal. After selling a dummy to David Wheater, his pass split Jack Hobbs and Joe Williams, allowing Grealish to touch the ball beyond Alnwick before slotting into the empty net.

Albert Adomah came close to doubling the advantage on 14 minutes, cutting in from the left-hand side before bending a shot wide of the far post, shortly before Erhun Oztumer forced Orjan Nyland into action for the first time as he got on the end of a cross from Buckley.

Bolton came even close to equalising midway through the half as Oztumer's corner was headed towards goal by Hobbs. With the ball heading towards the far corner, and with Nyland beaten, James Chester somehow managed to get back to clear off the line.

Villa's goal was leading a charmed life at this stage and they were fortunate to escape again on 25 minutes, with Nyland claiming the ball off the toe of Clayton Donaldson after dropping an initial cross from Oztumer.

The hosts were back on the attack before the half-hour, however, with Grealish forcing Alnwick into a low save, moments before Chester headed home a free-kick only to be denied by the assistant referee's offside flag.

After showing signs of nervousness earlier in the game, Nyland produced an outstanding save to tip away a goalbound header from Donaldson, while there was to be just one final chance before the break as McGinn headed into the side netting for Villa after Alnwick could only punch clear a cross from Jonathan Kodjia.

With the players back out for the start of the second period, Villa could have made it 2-0 within 20 seconds of the restart but Abraham couldn't make the necessary contact to tap in from close range after Kodjia had turned away from Pawel Olkowski.

Bolton were on the attack moments later, with Noone being denied an equaliser by the legs of Nyland, but it was Villa who were to have the ball in the net shortly before the hour as they effectively put an end to the game as a contest.

A free-kick from Grealish caused panic in the Bolton defence, where a suspiciously offside Chester stole in ahead of Olkowski to head past Alnwick from close range.

It wasn't until the final 20 minutes that another chance of note arrived, with Kodjia volleying over for Villa just moments before Adomah sent an acrobatic attempt over the crossbar.

Noone fired wide from distance at Wanderers made a rare venture forward on 73 minutes, while Grealish suffered a similar fate at the other end for the home side.

Substitutes Doidge and Dyer both came close to reducing the deficit in the closing stages, while Josh Magennis prodded wide from a Wheater knockdown in the final minute, as the Trotters slipped to another defeat on the road that places them precariously above the relegation zone ahead of the weekend fixtures.

Bolton's next action in in eight days' time, when Swansea City are the visitors to the University of Bolton Stadium.

Aston Villa: Nyland, Hutton, Tuanzebe, Chester, Taylor, Adomah (Bolasie 73), McGinn, Hourihane, Kodjia, Grealish (Whelan 90), Abraham (Hogan 81)
Subs Not Used: Bunn, Jedinak, El Ghazi, El Mohamady
Goals: Grealish 4, Chester 57

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Taylor, Hobbs, Wheater, Olkowski, Buckley (Dyer 68), Lowe, J Williams, Noone, Oztumer (Doidge 78), Donaldson (Magennis 70)
Subs Not Used: Matthews, Beevers, Vela, Grounds
Booked: Olkowski, Wheater, Noone

Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 30,802

Football betting site Betway

Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Exeter City 2 1
20 Tranmere Rovers 2 1
21 Bolton Wanderers 2 0
22 Oldham Athletic 2 0
23 Grimsby Town 2 0
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone