Nottingham Forest 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • May 05, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Joe Lolley scored the only goal as Bolton's time in the Championship came to an end with defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Wanderers, whose relegation was confirmed two-and-a-half weeks ago, played their part in a typical end-of-season clash at the City Ground but they ended the campaign by suffering a sixth consecutive defeat - excluding their cancelled fixture against Brentford - and their only goal during that run was an own-goal against Ipswich Town.

After a fortnight of uncertainty following the Easter Monday defeat at Blackburn Rovers, Phil Parkinson managed to gather a patched-up squad for the journey to Nottingham and made six changes to the side that began last time out at Ewood Park.

Ben Alnwick, Mark Beevers, Joe Williams, Luca Connell, Sammy Ameobi and Clayton Donaldson all dropped out, allowing for Remi Matthews, Jonathan Grounds, Will Buckley, Joe Pritchard, Gary O'Neil and Josh Magennis to make their respective returns.

There were also places amongst the substitutes for Jake Turner, as well as youth prospects Jack Earing, Chiori Johnson and Ronan Darcy.

The first chance of the afternoon fell the way of the visitors, with Magennis, who has been linked with a summer move away from the Trotters, just failing to get the telling touch to a dangerous cross from O'Neil.

Forest's first shot on goal arrived moments later, with Sam Byram flicking the ball beyond Matthews only to see it cleared off the line by Jack Hobbs on his return to the City Ground.

Pritchard saw a strike from the edge of the box charged down, before a 25-yard piledriver from Magennis was gathered at the second attempt by Luke Steele in the home goal.

Lolley tried a similar attempt at the other end, only to find the gloves of Matthews, but he did find the net just before the half-hour as Wanderers were once again found guilty of poor defending.

They failed to deal with a routine ball into the box and allowed the ball to run through to Lolley, who took it down on his chest before drilling low past Matthews at his near post.

There was little else to tell as the first half ticked to a close, although Harry Brockbank was required to clear from under his own crossbar as a free-kick from Matty Cash seemed destined to bend into the far corner.

Both managers resisted temptation to make changes at the interval - with Forest leading 1-0 - and it was Bolton who had the first chance following the restart as Andrew Taylor saw a goalbound effort blocked by Ryan Yates.

Magennis was next to try his luck, firing high over the crossbar from range as the clock ticked past the hour, shortly before Taylor came to the rescue to deny Lewis Grabban a certain goal at the other end.

Adlene Guedioura came off the bench to bring Matthews into action with 15 minutes to play, before controversy struck as Hobbs - facing his former side - appeared to have a shot blocked by a hand inside the Forest box. Referee Oliver Langford ignored the protests and ordered play to continue.

Magennis had the final chance of the afternoon, heading a cross from O'Neil straight into the arms of Steele, as he ended the campaign as Wanderers' leading goalscorer - despite not scoring in any of his last 36 league outings for the club.

Defeat means Bolton finish the season in 23rd position, one point ahead of bottom-club Ipswich Town. They will return to action in August as a League One club, barring any potential punishments for failing to fulfil their fixture list and surving winding-up petitions at the High Court.

Nottingham Forest: Steele, Wague, Milosevic, Robinson, Byram, Carvalho (Appiah 84), Yates, Osborn, Lolley (Murphy 67), Grabban (Guedioura 75), Cash
Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Figueiredo, Watson, Yacob
Goals: Lolley 28

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Taylor, Grounds, Hobbs, Brockbank, Buckley, Connolly, Pritchard (Earing 77), O'Neil, Noone (Darcy 70), Magennis
Subs Not Used: Turner, Little, Oztumer, Donaldson, Johnson

Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 27,578

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Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Cheltenham Town 46 82
2 Cambridge United 46 80
3 Bolton Wanderers 46 79
4 Morecambe 46 78
5 Newport County 46 73
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