Peterborough United 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 14, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Ivan Toney scored the only goal as Peterborough United stepped up their pursuit of automatic promotion with victory over Bolton.

Toney, who went into the afternoon as the leading goalscorer in League One, racked up his 15th of the season midway through the first-half at the Weston Homes Stadium, sending a diving header beyond Remi Matthews from a Louis Reed cross.

They had chances to add to their lead throughout but a combination of poor finishing and desperate defending from the visitors meant the floodgates remained closed - with Posh claiming a 1-0 win their play deserved.

Keith Hill made five changes to the side that started against Accrington Stanley on Tuesday, as Adam Chicksen, Liam Bridcutt, Luke Murphy, Joe Dodoo and Daryl Murphy came in at the expense of Adam Senior, Sonny Graham, James Weir, Dennis Politic and Chris O'Grady.

Hill has rotated personnel but remained loyal to an adaptation of a 4-2-3-1 formation during his time in charge of Wanderers. Therefore, it came as a surprise to see the visitors begin with a back five - Bridcutt joining Josh Earl and Yoan Zouma in central defence, with Chicksen and Josh Emmanuel operating as wing-backs.

The first chance of the afternoon arrived with 10 minutes on the clock and fell the way of the home team, with Toney heading a corner from Reed straight into the arms of goalkeeper Remi Matthews.

Reed was the provider again on 19 minutes, this time seeing another corner find the head of former Trotters defender Mark Beevers. His header bounced into the ground, though, before rising up and over the crossbar.

The deadlock was broken four minutes later, however, as Toney took advantage of some slack defending from Emmanuel to head a cross from Reed back across goal and into the far corner to make it 1-0 to Peterborough.

Their lead should have been doubled moments later, but Matthews reacted well to deny Toney before Mohamed Eisa's follow-up was blocked by a defender.

Bolton's first venture forward arrived eight minutes before the break, but Ronan Darcy couldn't keep his shot down after he had latched on to a pass from Daryl Murphy inside the box.

Wanderers were fortunate not to concede again on 41 minutes as Eisa sent the ball goalwards, only to see his effort deflect up onto the body of Toney as it seemed destined for the net.

The final chance before the interval also fell the way of the hosts, with Dan Butler's free-kick picking out the head of Beevers. After knocking the ball back across the face of goal, Eisa's first-time effort crashed back off the underside of the bar to ensure the deficit remained at one going into the break.

No substitutions were made as the players returned for the second period, which began on somewhat of a quiet note.

Almost 10 minutes had been played when the first moment of attacking intent arrived, with Toney seeing a shot cleared off the line by Earl after referee Peter Wright had turned down appeals for a penalty by Eisa.

Earl was alert to the danger once again on the hour, putting his body on the line to block an attempt from Butler, before Toney headed over from the resulting corner.

Dodoo came close to levelling for Bolton on 63 minutes, sending his header from a Thibaud Verlinden corner over the top of Christy Pym's goal, shortly before a burst forward and cross from Emmanuel was glanced just wide of the far post by an advancing Luke Murphy.

Murphy tried his luck again with just under 15 minutes to play, with Pym making a routine save to thwart the midfielder, while Dodoo whipped a 25-yard free-kick over the bar from the next attack.

Chicksen saw a low drive charged down in the latter stages, before the final effort of the game ended in disappointment for Wanderers as Dodoo's tame strike from the edge of the box was easily gathered by Pym.

Defeat for Bolton - a third in their last four outings in all competitions - leaves them five points adrift at the foot of the League One table and means they will spend Christmas Day bottom of the pile.

Next up for Hill's side is a home meeting with Southend United next Saturday, when they will look to close that gap to two points ahead of a Boxing Day trip to Sunderland.

Peterborough United: Pym, Thompson (Mason 14), Beevers, Kent, Ward, Reed, Woodyard, Butler, Tasdemir (Maddison 74), Eisa (Jones 75), Toney
Subs Not Used: O'Malley, Bennett, Barker, Burrows
Booked: Eisa
Goals: Toney 23

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Chicksen, Earl, Bridcutt, Zouma (O'Grady 56), Emmanuel, L Murphy, Lowe, Darcy (Verlinden 56), Dodoo, D Murphy
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Wright, Boon, Senior, Graham
Booked: L Murphy, Bridcutt

Referee: Peter Wright
Attendance: 6,965

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Bolton Wanderers 18 39
2 Portsmouth 18 39
3 Oxford United 18 36
4 Stevenage 20 36
5 Peterborough United 19 35
View Full Standings >>


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