Bolton Wanderers 0-2 West Bromwich Albion

  • January 21, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton slumped deeper into relegation woe on Monday, as they were beaten 2-0 by West Bromwich Albion at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Jay Rodriguez and Sam Field scored in each half, as the Baggies wrapped up a routine victory that moved them to within three points of the automatic promotion place in the Championship.

Much of the attention was on the home supporters, however, who regularly voiced their discontent towards club owner and chairman Ken Anderson, with some reports suggesting upwards of 4,000 were present at a pre-match gathering outside the ground.

Unfortunately, a small minority continued their unrest inside, resulting in tennis balls being thrown onto the pitch prior to kick-off, as well as a female member of stewarding staff being left requiring medical treatment following an alleged assault.

Little attention was paid to the team news when it was announced an hour prior to kick-off, but manager Phil Parkinson made four changes to the side that lost at Bristol City last time out as Andrew Taylor, Clayton Donaldson, Gary O'Neil and Jack Hobbs took the places of Will Buckley, David Wheater, Josh Magennis and Jonathan Grounds.

Josh Vela was left out of the squad entirely after his partner went into labour with the couple's first child - providing an opportunity for academy graduates Joe Pritchard and Luca Connell to take up places amongst the substitutes.

With the action inside the stadium eventually underway, it was the home side who created the first opportunity as a cross from the left-hand side by Craig Noone was glanced narrowly wide of the far post by the head of O'Neil.

West Brom responded well and came close to breaking the deadlock themselves when Dwight Gayle lashed wide from just inside the box.

The visitors did have the ball in the net on 19 minutes though. A free-kick from Chris Brunt was headed back across goal by Craig Dawson, where Rodriguez was left unmarked to nod home from a matter of inches to make it 1-0 to the Baggies.

Sammy Ameobi tried to fashion an equaliser within 60 seconds of play resuming, only to slice an effort high and wide of the target, shortly before Noone failed to get a telling touch following a clever piece of trickery from Donaldson.

Luke Murphy volleyed wide just before the half-hour, moments before Ameobi tried his luck once again with a thundering drive that was somehow tipped behind by the outstretched glove of Sam Johnstone in the visiting goal.

West Brom came close to doubling their advantage before the break, with Gayle seeing a free-kick from 30 yards clip the top of Ben Alnwick's crossbar, but they were made to settle for 1-0 as the sides went in at the break.

Bolton tried something a little different in the early stages of the second period, with O'Neil bending a shot wide of the far post after collecting a short corner from Noone.

The visitors were also dangerous from set-pieces themselves though, with Ahmed Hegazi volleying over from a Field corner just before the hour.

The game was over as a contest with 15 minutes to play, as a through ball from Rodriguez was dummied superbly by Gayle, allowing Field to run clean through the prod beyind a stranded Alnwick to make it 2-0.

Buckley, on as a substitute for Murphy, headed just wide as Bolton looked for an immediate response, shortly before Dawson lashed a volley across the face of goal at the other end.

Magennis, also on from the substitutes' bench, forced Johnstone into a smart save with a close-range header in added time, but that was the closest Wanderers came to scoring on a night where off-field events will dominate the headlines.

Parkinson's side return to action on Friday, when they face Bristol City in an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Ashton Gate.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Taylor, Beevers, Hobbs, Olkowski, Lowe, Murphy (Buckley 69), Ameobi, O'Neil, Noone (Pritchard 82), Donaldson (Magennis 69)
Subs Not Used: Matthews, Wilson, Wheater, Connell
Booked: Olkowski, Donaldson

West Bromwich Albion: Johnstone, Holgate, Dawson, Hegazi, Gibbs, Harper (Adarabioyo 90+3), Barry, Brunt (Field 26), Robson-Kanu (Sako 85), Rodriguez, Gayle
Subs Not Used: Bond, Bartley, Leko, Hoolahan
Booked: Holgate, Barry
Goals: Rodriguez 19, Field 75

Referee: David Webb
Attendance: 14,750

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 26 27
20 Milton Keynes Dons 27 25
21 Tranmere Rovers 25 22
22 Southend United 26 13
23 Bolton Wanderers 24 7
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