Bolton Wanderers 1-3 Rochdale

  • October 19, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton spurned a glorious opportunity to pick up their first win of the season, as Rochdale claimed a first-ever league victory at Wanderers.

Having failed to pick up maximum points in four previous visits to Burnden Park or the University of Bolton Stadium, the Trotters' hoodoo over their Lancashire neighbours looked set to continue when Thibaud Verlinden opened the scoring 11 minutes after the break.

Many expected that to provide a platform from which the Trotters could build upon, but Keith Hill's side inexplicably fell apart from that point on and Dale were level on 65 minutes courtesy of Callum Camps.

Oliver Rathbone fired the visitors ahead five minutes later, before substitute Fabio Tavares completed the scoring six minutes from time to ensure Bolton remain on minus eight points at the foot of the League One table - 20 from safety with more than six months of the campaign remaining.

After almost a fortnight without a game due to last weekend's trip to Burton Albion being postponed because of the international call-ups, Wanderers were refreshed and began the afternoon with two changes to the team that started against Blackpool on October 7.

The injured duo of Liam Bridcutt and Jack Hobbs both missed out, allowing Adam Senior and Sonny Graham to start on their respective returns to the squad.

Immediately from the kick-off, Aaron Morley set his sights on goal - striking the ball from the halfway line before seeing his effort land on the roof of the net, with Remi Matthews seemingly beaten between the sticks.

Wanderers responded brightly, with Senior heading wide from an Ali Crawford corner on four minutes, before Daryl Murphy headed straight into the body of Jay Lynch in the Rochdale goal as he got on the end of a cross from Adam Chicksen three minutes later.

Lynch made another claim on 11 minutes, this time plucking the ball out of the air whilst under pressure from Daryl Murphy, shortly before half-hearted appeals for a penalty were rejected by referee Antony Coggins when a shot from Jason Lowe struck the body of MJ Williams.

Rathbone dragged a shot wide midway through the half after being played in by Ian Henderson, before the latter was once again provider for Rhys Norrington-Davies, who dragged an effort wide of the target with 10 minutes of the half to play.

Rochdale ended the half the stronger, with Camps and Jimmy Keohane both wasting opportunities to break the deadlock as the sides went in level at 0-0.

There were changes to both teams as the players returned for the start of the second period, with Joe Dodoo replacing Dennis Politic for the hosts, while Luke Matheson came on in place of Keohane for the visitors.

Verlinden registered the first attempt on goal after the restart, collecting a crossfield pass from Crawford before seeing his deflected drive nestle in the gloves of Lynch.

Henderson smashed a half-volley over the crossbar at the other end, before the Trotters opened the scoring on 56 minutes.

Dodoo turned away from his marker on the right-hand side before whipping a cross towards the far post, where Verlinden arrived to head home from close range to make it 1-0.

The goal saw many supporters head for their pockets, grab their mobile phones and check the live league table - which showed their team on minus five points.

That momentary injection of belief was soon brought to a close, however, as Rochdale levelled on 65 minutes after a deflected drive from Camps found a way beyond Matthews.

Matthews was on hand to deny Camps a second with a bending free-kick, moments before Daryl Murphy was denied a certain goal at the other end by an outstanding block from Eoghan O'Connell.

60 seconds after that vital interception, the ball was in the back of the Bolton net as Rathbone's shot across the face of goal struck the inside of the post before rolling over the line.

Crawford and Lowe both failed to hit the target as the home side went in search of an equaliser, while Daryl Murphy had a goal ruled out on 79 minutes after Verlinden was adjudged to have committed a foul in the build-up.

Dale sealed the points with six minutes to play as substitute Tavares stole possession from Yoan Zouma and headed in at the second attempt, after Matthews had produced a stunning save to deny his original effort.

Luke Murphy shot wide in added time as Wanderers looked to reduce the deficit but it would prove to be a disappointing afternoon for Hill's side, who were booed off by a section of their supporters at the full-time whistle.

Bolton return to action on Tuesday evening, when they face Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium, before travelling to Lincoln City next Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Chicksen, Senior, Zouma, Emmanuel, Lowe, Graham (L Murphy 69), Crawford (O'Grady 80), Politic (Dodoo 45), Verlinden, D Murphy
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Weir, Earl, King-Harmes
Booked: Lowe, Zouma
Goals: Verlinden 56

Rochdale: Lynch, Keohane (Matheson 45), O'Connell, McShane, Norrington-Davies, Rathbone, Williams (Wilbraham 60), Morley, Camps, Henderson, Done (Tavares 72)
Subs Not Used: Wade, Andrew, Ryan, Baah
Booked: Rathbone, Morley, Camps
Goals: Camps 65, Rathbone 70, Tavares 84

Referee: Antony Coggins
Attendance: 13,828

Football betting site Betway

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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