Bolton Wanderers 3-2 Southend United

  • December 21, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton hit three goals in a league game for the first time in 19 months as they beat fellow strugglers Southend United 3-2 at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Wanderers had trailed inside 10 minutes as Harry Lennon - who would later be stretchered off - headed home unmarked to put the visitors ahead.

Joe Dodoo equalised for the hosts nine minutes before the break, before Luke Murphy put them in front in first-half stoppage-time with an outstanding volley that flew into Nathan Bishop's bottom corner.

The Trotters extended their lead on 64 minutes when Daryl Murphy pounced on a mistake to run clear and slot home, although Timothee Dieng set up a tense finish by making it 3-2 with a header with nine minutes to play.

Bolton boss Keith Hill made two changes to the team beaten at Peterborough United last time out, with Jake Wright and Thibaud Verlinden taking the places of Adam Chicksen and Yoan Zouma.

Liam Bridcutt once again began in central defence, with Luke Murphy, Jason Lowe and Ronan Darcy utilised in midfield.

Eight minutes were on the clock when the first chance of the afternoon arrived, with Stephen McLaughlin heading wide for Southend as he got on the end of a cross from Lennon.

The ball was in the net two minutes later, though, as Lennon rose unmarked to connect with a Sam Mantom corner and head the visitors into the lead.

The Shrimpers were on top at this stage and came close to doubling their lead on 13 minutes as Lennon stretched only to narrowly miss a connection with Mark Milligan's low cross.

Lennon stayed down in clear discomfort as play continued but referee Ben Toner halted the action to allow medical personnel onto the field. The defender would receive treatment for upwards of five minutes before leaving on a stretcher with a serious looking lower leg or ankle injury.

Stephen Humphrys saw a strike deflect behind once play had resumed, before a spell of inactivity from both sides resulted in the majority of possession being held in the midfield.

Bolton's first real chance came just after the half-hour, with Lowe shooting over after a cross from Josh Emmanuel was only half cleared.

Wanderers had suddenly burst into life and were back on level terms with 36 minutes played, as Dodoo took down a loose ball on his chest before volleying into the bottom corner of Bishop's goal to make it 1-1.

Hill's side would then go in ahead at the break, as Luke Murphy took a cross down on his chest before volleying home for 2-1 - in very similar style to Dodoo's earlier strike.

Southend boss Sol Campbell was furious in the immediate aftermath of Murphy's goal, as the assistant referee had raised a flag earlier in the move. Referee Toner overruled the decision as an offside offence had not occurred, before issuing a yellow card to Campbell for his protestations.

With the action back underway following the break, Humphrys sent an acrobatic attempt behind within three minutes of the restart.

Emmanuel burst forward and bent a shot over the crossbar just before the hour, moments before Dodoo took down a cross from Darcy before slicing his attempt high and wide of Bishop's goal.

It would soon be 3-1 to Bolton, however, as Daryl Murphy pounced on a mistake in the United defence to run clean through on goal and dink the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

Murphy headed wide from a Verlinden cross as he looked to add to his tally, before a resurgent Southend looked to get themselves back in the game.

McLaughlin headed over from a Mantom corner on 72 minutes, before Mantom and Humphrys were both wasteful as they shot off-target.

Dieng reduced the deficit with nine minutes to play, heading in from a free-kick after taking advantage of slack defending from the hosts once again.

A looping cross from Milligan threatened to bring an equaliser in added time but Remi Matthews made the claim to ensure Wanderers picked up maximum points after conceding the opening goal for the first time since March 2017.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Earl, Wright, Bridcutt, Emmanuel, Lowe, L Murphy, Darcy (O'Grady 85), Verlinden (Graham 90+3), Dodoo, D Murphy
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Chicksen, Politic, Edwards, Senior
Booked: Earl, Wright
Goals: Dodoo 36, L Murphy 45+2, D Murphy 64

Southend United: Bishop, Bwomono, Dieng, Kiernan, Lennon (White 18), Milligan, McLaughlin, Demetriou (Hooper 62), Mantom, Goodship (Rush 80), Humphrys
Subs Not Used: Oxley, Cox, Hamilton, Hutchinson
Goals: Lennon 10, Dieng 81

Referee: Ben Toner
Attendance: 12,055

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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 >>


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