Bolton Wanderers 5-2 Walsall

  • January 05, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Josh Magennis became the first Bolton player to score a hat-trick since September 2014, as they booked a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Not since Joe Mason against Rotherham United almost four-and-a-half years ago had a Wanderers player netted three times in a single game, with Magennis' treble ending his personal run of 18 games without a goal dating back to September.

Clayton Donaldson was also on target at the University of Bolton Stadium - his first for the club - while an own-goal from Jon Guthrie also helped seal the Trotters' passage into the next round for the first time in three seasons.

Still smarting from a 6-0 drubbing at Hull City on New Year's Day, Bolton boss Phil Parkinson took the opportunity to make five changes to the side that began at the KCOM Stadium - with Magennis, Craig Noone, Luke Murphy, Pawel Olkowski and Yanic Wildschut in for Donaldson, Sammy Ameobi, Marc Wilson, Gary O'Neil and Christian Doidge.

The first chance of the afternoon fell the way of the visitors, who almost took a lead inside three minutes when an inswinging corner from George Dobson clipped the top of Ben Alnwick's crossbar on it's way behind.

Walsall saw appeals for a penalty turned down when Andy Cook went to ground under a challenge from David Wheater moments later, while the Saddlers had another shout for a spot-kick rejected by referee Darren England when Matt Jarvis took a tumble under pressure from Olkowski from the next attack.

The League One side were more than a match for their Championship hosts in the early stages and deservedly went ahead on 19 minutes as Jarvis' cross from the left-hand side picked out Cook, who stooped to head into the far corner to make it 1-0.

Wanderers were suddenly brought to life and came close to an equaliser on 26 minutes, with Wildschut volleying wide as he got on the end of a cross from Olkowski.

Noone was next to try his luck for Bolton, receiving the ball from Jason Lowe before firing inches over the top from 25 yards on the half-hour.

Murphy then had two chances to bring the game level, the first of which ended with a goalbound attempt being blocked by Nicky Devlin, shortly before a far-post header from a Noone cross was plucked out of the air superbly by goalkeeper Liam Roberts.

With his team booed off by supporters at the half-time whistle, Parkinson made two substitutions as the players emerged for the start of the second period as Donaldson and Will Buckley came on Josh Vela and the an injured Wildschut.

Both sides had chances to alter the scoreline in the five minutes that followed the restart, with Murphy seeing a shot blocked for Bolton and Morgan Ferrier forcing a save out of Alnwick at the other end.

Wanderers thought they had equalised on 55 minutes as Buckley lashed home from close range, but the referee had already blown for a handball against the midfielder after the loose ball had ricocheted on to his right arm.

The visitors responded brightly and came close to doubling their lead through Cook, who outjumped Olkowski before forcing a smart save out of Alnwick.

Then, just as it did at Hull on New Year's Day, the game turned on a five-minute burst of goals. Wanderers were on the receiving end of a hiding at the KCOM Stadium, but this time it was they who rediscovered that scoring touch.

First, the Trotters pulled level on 58 minutes as Buckley's shot from a corner was blocked and Donaldson reacted quickest to poke the ball into the roof of the net on the turn.

Three minutes later, Bolton were ahead as Noone's cross was headed towards goal by Donaldson. His effort brought an outstanding save out of Roberts in the Walsall goal, but Magennis followed up to fire home from close range.

It would then become 3-1 as Noone's cross from the right caused panic inside the Saddlers box. Donaldson initially appeared to get a touch, but television replays confirmed the ball was turned past his own goalkeeper by the unfortunate Guthrie.

Walsall were back in the tie just five minutes later, though, as Dobson's speculative strike from the edge of the box took two deflections before finding a way past Alnwick - with Mark Beevers getting the final touch.

Guthrie, who had earlier looked to have handed Wanderers victory, then came within inches of an equaliser for the League One side, but he couldn't quite stretch enough after Ferrier's cross had been headed back across the face of goal by Cook.

Bolton should have put the game to bed with 15 minutes to play as Buckley was played clean through on goal, but he couldn't add a fourth as Roberts got down well to make the save.

Wanderers fans were given some breathing space five minutes later as Magennis netted his second of the afternoon, sending a thumping header home from a Noone cross for 4-2.

Walsall were determined to go down with a fight came almost reduced the deficit from the next attack, with Cook smashing a half-volley against the bar, but their resilience was broken on 87 minutes as Magennis completed his hat-trick.

After his initial attempt had come back off the inside of the post, Magennis remained alive in the box to slot home the rebound - his seven of the season - and put Parkinson's men into the hat for the fourth round.

Attention will now return to league action for Bolton, who step back out on to the field next Saturday with a trip to Bristol City.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Grounds, Beevers, Wheater, Olkowski, Lowe, Murphy (Connell 89), Wildschut (Donaldson 45), Vela (Buckley 45), Noone, Magennis
Subs Not Used: B Williams, Little, Oztumer, Hall
Booked: Magennis, Donaldson
Goals: Donaldson 58, Magennis 61,80,87, Guthrie 63(og)

Walsall: Roberts, Devlin, Martin, Guthrie, Leahy, Ismail (Kouhyar 75), Dobson, Kinsella, Jarvis (Morris 70), Ferrier, Cook
Subs Not Used: Dunn, Edwards, Johnson, Gordon, Osbourne
Booked: Ferrier
Goals: Cook 19, Beevers 68(og)

Referee: Darren England
Attendance: 5,506

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