Accrington Stanley 7-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 23, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton suffered their heaviest ever third-tier defeat as they were thrashed 7-1 by Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium.

Wanderers, in front of more than 2,600 travelling supporters, made the perfect start as Daryl Murphy put them ahead inside five minutes but they capitulated following the early dismissal of Josh Earl.

Colby Bishop equalised from the penalty spot on 15 minutes before grabbing his second 12 minutes later. Sean McConville then netted either side of the break to put Stanley 4-1 up, before Dion Charles and a brace from substitute Offrande Zanzala rubbed salt into the wound to complete a miserable afternoon for Keith Hill's side.

After coming off the substitutes' bench to play an influential part in last weekend's last-gasp victory over Milton Keynes Dons, Thibaud Verlinden was recalled to the starting line-up at the expense of Joe Dodoo in what was the only change.

With the action underway, it was the hosts who had the first sight of goal as Dion Charles saw a deflected volley from outside the box comfortably gathered by Remi Matthews.

But it was Wanderers who broke the deadlock on five minutes as Verlinden's trickery down the left allowed him to put a cross into dangerous territory, where Daryl Murphy pounced to fire home for the fourth consecutive league game - the first Trotters player to do so since Daniel Sturridge in February 2011.

Accrington looked to hit back almost immediately, with Bishop heading wide from a Jordan Clark cross, moments before Sean McConville struck over the crossbar after his initial free-kick was blocked.

Clark was denied by an outstanding challenge from Jake Wright on 13 minutes, but the game would turn in favour of the home side just a minute later as Earl conceded a penalty and was given his marching orders by referee Anthony Backhouse.

A lapse in concentration in the Bolton defence saw possession fall at the feet of Charles. Upon turning his marker, the Stanley midfielder had his shirt held by Earl and forced Backhouse to point to the spot. With no clear attempt to win the ball, Earl was adjudged to have been the last man and was sent from the field.

After dropping to 10 men, Liam Bridcutt was utilised as an emergency central defender in an experiment which would quickly fail for the visitors.

Stanley flooded the Bolton box on every venture forward and could easily have gone ahead when Ross Sykes hit a post, before McConville, Sam Finley and Clark all had efforts on goal.

They did eventually take the lead on 27 minutes, though, as Seamus Conneely crossed for Bishop to grab his second of the afternoon.

Daryl Murphy worked himself a yard of space before bending a shot wide on the half-hour, shortly before Stanley extended their lead as McConville latched on to a pass from Charles before slotting past Matthews for 3-1.

Chris O'Grady, who was booked earlier in the half, was sacrificed on 38 minutes to allow Yoan Zouma to enter the fray - a switch which saw Bridcutt move back into the midfield.

Trailing by two at the interval, Bolton began the second period poorly as McConville, Joe Maguire and Clark all wasted opportunities to add to the scoreline inside the opening five minutes following the restart.

They didn't have to wait too long before making it 4-1, however, as Clark rounded Matthews before squaring for McConville to tap into an empty net with 53 minutes on the clock.

Bishop headed at Matthews midway through the half, before a rare move into the final third from the visitors ended with substitute Dodoo headed narrowly over the top from a Bridcutt free-kick.

Charles made it 5-1 to Accrington with 15 minutes to play, lashing home from inside the box, before turning provider for substitute Zanzala to make it 6-1 with 10 minutes remaining.

A miserable afternoon for Bolton was completed in stoppage time when Zanzala turned home his second of the game, just seconds after Matthews had produced an outstanding save to deny McConville.

The final whistle was met with relief as the Trotters conceded seven for the first time in just shy of six years.

Next up for Wanderers - a return to the Wham Stadium for a Trophy tie against Accrington.

Accrington Stanley: Evtimov, Rodgers (Edwards 89), Sykes, Hughes, Maguire, Conneely, Clark, McConville, Finley, Charles (Pritchard 81), Bishop (Zanzala 76)
Subs Not Used: Savin, Sherif, Barclay, Diallo
Booked: Conneely
Goals: Bishop 15 (pen),27, McConville 33,53, Charles 75, Zanzala 80,90

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Chicksen, Earl, Wright, Emmanuel, Lowe, Bridcutt (Graham 81), L Murphy, O'Grady (Zouma 38), Verlinden (Dodoo 60), D Murphy
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Politic, Darcy, Senior
Booked: O'Grady
Sent Off: Earl
Goals: D Murphy 5

Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Attendance: 5,034

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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