Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 22, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Ben Brereton and Adam Armstrong scored in each half as Blackburn Rovers completed a first league double over Bolton since 2009/10.

Wanderers had the better of the early play at Ewood Park but fell behind on the half-hour when Brereton exchanged passes with Bradley Dack before slotting the ball beyond Ben Alnwick.

Armstrong doubled their advantage five minutes into the second-half, reacting quickest after Alnwick had saved from Joe Rothwell to slam the rebound into the roof of the net against his former loan club.

After relegation to League One was confirmed following defeat to Aston Villa on Good Friday, Phil Parkinson made three changes to his Bolton side as Mark Beevers, Craig Noone and Sammy Ameobi all returned at the expense of Will Buckley and the injured duo of David Wheater and Gary O'Neil.

Joe Muscatt, a youth arrival from Tottenham Hotspur in 2017, was named amongst the substitutes for the first time.

With the action underway at Ewood Park, it was Wanderers who created the first shooting opportunity as Ameobi held off his marker before firing just over the crossbar from the edge of the box inside two minutes.

Callum Connolly was next to try his luck for the visitors, heading over from a Noone cross, shortly before a deep cross from Luca Connell was just too far ahead of an advancing Clayton Donaldson.

Bolton were forced into a change with just 11 minutes on the clock, with Mark Beevers unable to continue and having to be replaced by Marc Wilson.

They continued to look the more likely goalscorers after that, with Connell forcing Jayson Leutwiler into a save, while a long-range attempt from Ameobi was charged down by a Blackburn defender.

Rovers' first chance arrived with 20 minutes on the clock, with Jack Rodwell shooting wide from distance, before Jack Hobbs was in the right place to deny Brereton after he had got the better of Wilson.

Donaldson then had two chances to break the deadlock - the first of which was blocked by a defender, before a second from distance was straight at Leutwiler.

Rovers would then open the scoring on the half-hour, with Brereton latching on to a pass from Dack before slotting beyond Alnwick for his first goal of the season.

The visitors were then forced into a second change as Joe Williams' afternoon came to an end - with Luke Murphy on in his place for the final six minutes of the half.

Former Bolton forward Armstrong then registered an attempt on goal, taking up possession from Dack before seeing a stinging drive blocked by Wilson.

Four minutes of added time was indicated at the end of the regulation 45, during which a cross from Andrew Taylor was only partially cleared and Murphy sent a first-time volley inches over the bar from 25 yards.

There were no further changes to either team as the players returned for the second period, which began with Armstrong seeing a shot blocked by Taylor for Rovers, while Ameobi brought a low save out of Leutwiler at the other end.

The ball was in the Wanderers net just five minutes after the restart, though, as Rothwell forced Alnwick into action after a cutback from Dack, only for Armstrong to lash home the rebound against his former club.

Leutwiler was called into action by Connolly as Bolton looked to get themselves back in the game, while Armstrong and Brereton both failed to add to the scoreline for the hosts.

Muscatt was handed a senior debut with 15 minutes to play, with Brockbank appearing to pick up a knock, moments before a speculative 40-yard attempt from Noone flew inches over the crossbar.

Elliott Bennett brought Alnwick into action with eight minutes remaining, before turning provider for Brereton - who headed off-target.

Noone twice volleyed over the Rovers crossbar in the closing stages, on an afternoon which ended with Wanderers losing for a club record 28th time in league competition this season.

Bolton remain 23rd in the Championship - four points above bottom-club Ipswich Town - and can no longer catch Rotherham United. They return to action on Saturday, when they step out at the University of Bolton Stadium for the final time this campaign against Brentford.

Blackburn Rovers: Leutwiler, Nyambe, Lenihan, Williams, Bell, Travis (Bennett 45), Rodwell (Buckley 65), Rothwell, Dack (Butterworth 76), Armstrong, Brereton
Subs Not Used: Raya, Graham, Mulgrew, Conway
Goals: Brereton 30, Armstrong 50

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Taylor, Beevers (Wilson 11), Hobbs, Brockbank (Muscatt 75), Noone, Connolly, J Williams (Murphy 39), Connell, Ameobi, Donaldson
Subs Not Used: B Williams, Oztumer, Buckley, Magennis

Referee: Andy Woolmer
Attendance: 14,496

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
15 Shrewsbury Town 26 30
16 Cambridge United 25 30
17 Bolton Wanderers 25 29
18 Lincoln City 25 28
19 Fleetwood Town 25 28
View Full Standings >>


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