Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Leeds United

  • December 15, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Patrick Bamford marked his return from injury with the only goal as Leeds United beat Bolton at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Bamford, who hadn't featured since August 31 because of a knee ligament injury, replaced Kemar Roofe with 61 minutes played and settled the contest five minutes later, getting in ahead of David Wheater before firing low into the bottom corner of Ben Alnwick's net.

Wanderers saw strong appeals for a penalty turned down when Kalvin Phillips appeared to foul Craig Noone inside the final 10 minutes, but that was as good as things got the home side who once again failed to register a single attempt on target.

Having stuck with the same side for each of the last two outings, Trotters boss Phil Parkinson made three changes for the visit of United - two of which were enforced upon him.

Sammy Ameobi and Mark Beevers missed out through suspension and injury, respectively, while Christian Doidge was dropped to the substitutes' bench. In their place came the trio of Josh Vela, Jack Hobbs and Josh Magennis, the latter of whom was searching for a first goal since September despite leading the club's scoring charts for the campaign.

An electrical problem, caused by the wintery weather in the region, caused lighting to become intermittent in the stands prior to kick-off, but the action was allowed to begin with normal service resumed shortly afterwards.

With the ball in play, it took just four minutes for the visitors to force Alnwick into action, as he made a comfortable save to stop a header from Pablo Hernandez.

Leeds enjoyed the lion's share of possession inside the opening 20 minutes without really carving open the Bolton defence, and it wasn't until the 21st minute that they found a way through - with Lewis Baker heading wide as he got on the end of a cross from Jamie Shackleton.

Will Buckley stole the ball from Baker moments later before closing in on Bailey Peacock-Farrell's goal, but he didn't quite have the pace or muscle to find a way past a backtracking Pontus Jansson who made the saving challenge.

Mateusz Klich was next to try his luck with a sliced attempt that brought a fumbling save out of Alnwick, before a combination of he and David Wheater turned the ball behind as the first-half drew to a close at 0-0.

There was one change to the Leeds team as they came back for the start of the second period, as Baker was replaced by Jack Clarke, while Wanderers came back out as they had ended the first.

Bolton began the half much stronger and came close to breaking the deadlock on 52 minutes, with Noone cutting in from the right-hand side before bending a shot narrowly wide of the target from the edge of the box.

Leeds were back on the attack shortly afterwards, with Phillips firing harmlessly over from distance, while Clarke marched away from Andrew Taylor before bringing Alnwick into action from close range.

Leeds went ahead on 66 minutes, however, as Hernandez slid a ball between Hobbs and Wheater, allowing Bamford to find space and time to slot past Alnwick to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Phillips headed wide on 70 minutes as Leeds looked to double their advantage, before three changes in the space of eight minutes saw Wanderers introduce Yanic Wildschut, Doidge and Erhun Oztumer in place of Buckley, Magennis and Joe Williams.

Parkinson's side had rarely threatened all afternoon but were denied a penalty with less than 10 minutes to play, as Noone pounced on a moment of slack defending before being felled inside the box by Phillips. Despite the protests of the home support, players and staff on the sidelines, referee Robert Jones ordered play to continue.

There were to be further chances for Bolton though, most notably with Hobbs seeing a goalbound header cleared off the line by Clark with four minutes to go, while Jason Lowe also dragged an effort wide in the closing stages.

In the end, it was another case of what may have been for Wanderers - whose winless run now extends to 12 games, while they have won just once in 18 outings dating back to August. Leeds, meanwhile, return to the top of the Championship table.

Bolton return to action next Saturday as they begin their festive schedule in the capital, when they face Brentford at Griffin Park.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Taylor, Hobbs, Wheater, Olkowski, Buckley (Wildschut 72), Lowe, J Williams (Oztumer 80), Noone, Vela, Magennis (Doidge 75)
Subs Not Used: Matthews, Donaldson, Wilson, O'Neil
Booked: Lowe, Noone

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Shackleton, Jansson, Phillips, Douglas, Forshaw, Hernandez (Halme 90+4), Baker (Clarke 45), Klich, Alioski, Roofe (Bamford 61)
Subs Not Used: Huffer, Roberts, Harrison, Davis
Booked: Douglas
Goals: Bamford 66

Referee: Robert Jones
Attendance: 17,484

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


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