Bristol Rovers 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • October 22, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton picked up their first win of the season, with Luke Murphy and Daryl Murphy on target as Wanderers took all three points from their trip to Bristol Rovers.

Winless in 20 games prior to kick-off - a run stretching back to March - the Trotters stormed out of the blocks at the Memorial Stadium and went ahead inside 15 minutes courtesy of Luke Murphy's first goal for the club.

Rovers had their moments and struck the woodwork on more than one occasion, but Wanderers doubled their advantage through Daryl Murphy midway through the second period and saw out time with ease to claim their first victory under Keith Hill.

After slumping to a disappointing 3-1 defeat at home to Rochdale on Saturday, Wanderers boss Hill made four changes to his starting line-up as Josh Earl, Luke Murphy, Chris O'Grady and Joe Dodoo took the places of Adam Senior, Sonny Graham, Dennis Politic and Thibaud Verlinden.

With the action underway, it was the hosts who began the brighter of the two sides as Alex Rodman's early cross was headed goalwards by Victor Adeboyejo, who brought a low save out of Remi Matthews.

A rush of blood from Matthews almost cost the visitors moments later, as he came rushing to the edge of his box only to lose out to Tom Nichols. The Rovers forward chipped the ball over the Wanderers goalkeeper, only to see his effort bounce narrowly wide of the target.

Bolton's first attempt arrived with five minutes played, with Jason Lowe bringing a stunning save out of Anssi Jaakkola after Dodoo's cross could only be cleared to the edge of the box.

The Trotters remained on the attack and came close to breaking the deadlock 60 seconds later, with Ali Crawford clipping the post after he had been thread through by O'Grady.

Daryl Murphy saw an attempt deflect behind for a corner, before turning provider for Crawford - whose first-time strike was kept out by Jaakkola.

Bolton did take the lead on 15 minutes, though, as Luke Murphy played a neat one-two on the edge of the Rovers penalty area before calmly slotting into the corner to make it 1-0.

Ed Upson volleyed wide as Rovers looked to get back on level terms midway through the half, before Dodoo saw a cross turned behind by Rodman just as Daryl Murphy looked set for a simple tap-in.

Clarke, undeterred by his earlier miss, volleyed over just after the half-hour, shortly before trying another drive from range that was this time well held by Matthews.

Upson had one final chance for the home side before the break but he dragged his shot wide from 20 yards, ensuring the visitors took their one-goal advantage into the interval.

There were no changes to either side as the players returned for the start of the second period, which began with Crawford bending a free-kick from range just wide - with Dodoo almost stealing in unmarked at the far post.

That set-piece came either side of two challenges which resulted in yellow cards for Rovers players, the latter of which resulted in treatment being provided to Yoan Zouma.

The hosts wasted the chance to level just before the hour when Michael Kelly's free-kick deflected into the path of Alfie Kilgour, whose first-time effort from inside the box flew harmlessly over the crossbar.

Bolton should have doubled their lead on 63 minutes but Crawford instead submitted his attempt for miss-of-the-season, poking wide from close range with the goal at his mercy after Jaakkola had spilled a shot from Daryl Murphy.

Fortunately for both Crawford and Wanderers, it was 2-0 just five minutes later as the midfielder played Daryl Murphy clean through on goal and he made no mistake in slotting home to register his first in Trotters colours.

With Matthews beaten, Upson clipped the bar with a free-kick for Rovers inside the final 15 minutes, while Crawford volleyed wide at the other end after Dodoo had knocked down a cross from Adam Chicksen.

A frustrated Adeboyejo lashed wide on 84 minutes, while Rodman and Kelly also failed to test Matthews as the home supporters began to filter out of the ground.

Josh Emmanuel had the final effort of the evening, shooting narrowly over the top as the game entered stoppage time, but the two-goal cushion proved to be enough as Bolton saw out time to pick up maximum points for the first time in seven months.

Hill's side will look to go back-to-back when they hit the road again on Saturday, with a trip to Lincoln City on the horizon.

Bristol Rovers: Jaakkola, Davies, Craig, Kilgour, Rodman, Ogogo (Bennett 77), Upson, O Clarke, Kelly, Adeboyejo, Nichols (Smith 60)
Subs Not Used: van Stappershoef, Little, Leahy, Menayese, Hargreaves
Booked: Nichols, Ogogo

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Chicksen, Earl, Zouma, Emmanuel, Lowe, L Murphy, Crawford, Dodoo, O'Grady, D Murphy
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Weir, Hall, Boon, Senior, King-Harmes
Booked: L Murphy
Goals: L Murphy 15, D Murphy 68

Referee: Trevor Kettle
Attendance: 7,244

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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