Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • August 03, 2019 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/c3f5d

Paul Smyth and Fred Onyedinma scored second-half goals as Bolton began life in League One with a 2-0 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers.

Phil Parkinson's side, which saw eight debutants take to the field in a league fixture for the first time in the club's history, were good value for the goalless scoreline for which they were cheered off at the break, but two lapses in concentration after the restart proved to be their downfall.

First, with 56 minutes on the clock, a rush of blood from goalkeeper Remi Matthews allowed Smyth to roll the ball into an empty net, before Onyedinma sealed the victory by heading home from close range nine minutes from time.

Of those aforementioned debutants, six were given the opportunity to impress from the off - with Liam Edwards, Yoan Zouma, Dennis Politic and Eddie Brown all stepping up a level to make their senior bows.

Josh Earl, signed on loan from Preston North End, and James Weir, a free agent most recently of Hull City, were drafted straight into the side having seen their respective moves ratified by the EFL.

With Jason Lowe taking responsibility of the captain's armband, the Trotters were greeted by a ferocious cheer from a travelling army of 1,660 supporters behind the goal - many of whom would be seeing the majority of the players turn out for the very first time.

Once referee Tom Nield had whistled for play to begin, it was the hosts who, perhaps unsurprisingly, created the first chance of the afternoon as Adebayo Akinfenwa held off the challenge of Edwards before shooting straight into the arms of Matthews.

After holding their own for much of the opening quarter-of-an-hour, Bolton were forced into an early change as Earl remained down following a collision with Smyth and had to be replaced by Joe White.

With the ball back in play, Wycombe had a glorious chance to break the deadlock as Akinfenwa played Alex Samuel clean through on goal. However, with only Matthews left to beat, Samuel dallied in possession and was denied by an outstanding sliding challenge from Zouma.

The hosts saw appeals for a penalty turned down on 20 minutes as Smyth went to ground inside the box, moments before Akinfenwa headed wide as he got on the end of a cross from Matt Bloomfield.

The Chairboys were getting closer by the minute and almost went ahead midway through the half, with Akinfenwa chesting the ball down to Smyth, whose half-volley flashed inches wide of the post.

Bolton's first chance arrived just after the half-hour, as a free-kick from Luke Murphy was headed up into the air. Weir was the quickest to react, but his sliced attempt was comfortable for Ryan Allsop in the Wycombe goal.

Politic was next to try his luck for the visitors, seeing a rasping drive from 25-yards fly just wide, while Smyth fired high and wide at the other end as the home side began to show their frustrations.

Having survived a penalty appeal earlier in the half, it was Bolton's turn to ask questions of the referee when Brown went to ground with five minutes before the break, but Nield once again ordered play to continue.

Matthews made another comfortable save to deny Akinfenwa, before Samuel shot over the crossbar in added time as the sides went in goalless at the interval - much to the delight of the travelling supporters, who once again made their appreciation known to the players as they left the field.

With the players back out for the start of the second period, it was Wycombe who came closest to opening the scoring when a corner was cleared to Bloomfield, who saw a goalbound effort blocked by the body of Brockbank.

Wycombe maintained their pressure and should have gone ahead two minutes later when Anthony Steward somehow headed wide from a corner, but the deadlock was broken on 56 minutes as a goalkeeping error allowed the hosts to open the scoring.

A long ball from the back prompted a foot race between Smyth and Brockbank, which the Trotters defender appeared to have under control. Matthews, however, had sprinted from his area and was beaten to the punch by Smyth, who sidestepped the goalkeeper and shot into the unguarded net from 25 yards.

Akinfenwa shot wide after getting on the end of a cross from Jack Grimmer just after the hour, before a host of substitutions interrupted the flow of the game - with the visitors introducing Ronan Darcy and debutant Callum King-Harmes in place of Erhun Oztumer and the injured Zouma.

Zouma had been a rock at the heart of the defence all afternoon and his departure was felt within a matter of minutes, with Wycombe taking full advantage by doubling their lead as Akinfenwa nodded a corner into the path of Onyedinma, who made no mistake from close range to make it 2-0.

Alex Pattison was denied by Matthews as he attempted to make it 3-0 in the closing stages, while Onyedinma and substitute David Wheeler also spurned chances to add to the scoreline.

The full-time whistle was once again greeted by a chorus of cheers from the travelling support, who applauded and chanted out of respect and admiration for their team.

Bolton's next outing sees them return to the University of Bolton Stadium, with a league clash against Coventry City scheduled for next Saturday.

Wycombe Wanderers: Allsop, Grimmer, El-Abd, Stewart, Jacobson, Pattison, Gape, Bloomfield (Freeman 79), Samuel (Wheeler 62), Akinfenwa, Smyth (Onyedinma 69)
Subs Not Used: Yates, Kashket, Phillips, Parker
Goals: Smyth 56, Onyedinma 81

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Earl (White 14), Edwards, Zouma (King-Harmes 77), Brockbank, Weir, Lowe, Murphy, Politic, Oztumer (Darcy 70), Brown
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Boon, Senior, Graham

Referee: Tom Nield
Attendance: 6,454

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 19 17
20 Tranmere Rovers 18 17
21 Milton Keynes Dons 19 14
22 Southend United 20 6
23 Bolton Wanderers 16 2
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Poll

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