Bolton Wanderers 3-4 Burton Albion

  • January 01, 2020 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/c38ff

Bolton stormed into a two-goal lead but ultimately began the New Year in defeat, losing 4-3 at home to Burton Albion.

Wanderers took just five minutes to break the deadlock at the University of Bolton Stadium as Joe Dodoo smashed home following an individual run down the right-hand side, before he turned provider for Daryl Murphy to double the advantage six minutes later.

Albion pulled one back almost immediately through David Templeton and were on level terms by the 26th minute as Lucas Akins bundled home from close range.

Akins grabbed his second in first-half stoppage time to send the Brewers in 3-2 up at the break, after which the home side were reduced to 10 men as former Albion midfielder Luke Murphy was shown a second yellow card for a tug of a shirt.

Substitute Liam Boyce made it 4-2 to Burton with nine minutes remaining and despite a consolation from Dennis Politic, the Trotters couldn't salvage a point which they would have been disappointed with following their excellent start.

After registering a return of five points from their three games over the festive period with unchanged sides, injury to Liam Bridcutt and the suspension of Jason Lowe forced Keith Hill into two changes as James Weir and Adam Chicksen came in from the start.

Bolton burst out of the blocks and went ahead inside five minutes. Dodoo received possession just inside his own half and set out on a run down the right flank. Albion defender John Brayford looked to have done a job by sending the forward away from goal, but Dodoo lashed the ball beyond Kieran O'Hara at his near post to make it 1-0.

Thibaud Verlinden struck the outside of a post from the next attack, but Wanderers didn't have to wait too long to make it 2-0 as Dodoo's low cross from the right was tucked into the net by Daryl Murphy.

Albion reduced the deficit two minutes later as Templeton drilled a 25-yard strike past Remi Matthews, giving the watching crowd their third goal in just 13 minutes of football.

Verlinden volleyed wide midway through the half but the next goal was to be an equaliser, as Akins stole a yard on both Jake Wright and Josh Earl to bundle past Matthews from close range to make it 2-2.

Chicksen sent a half-volley over the crossbar as he looked to put the home side back ahead before the break, but it was Burton who would hold a lead as Akins turned away from Wright before scoring via the inside of Matthews' left-hand post.

It came somewhat of a surprise when neither manager opted for substitutions at the beginning of the second period, but Wanderers were forced into a tactical switch within four minutes of the restart as Luke Murphy was dismissed against his former employers after a tug of an Albion shirt earned him a second yellow card.

Daryl Murphy was sacrificed 10 minutes after the red card, with Will Buckley on for his first appearance since October - a move which saw Verlinden lead the attack, with Buckley occupying a place on the left and Dodoo remaining on the right.

Burton remained the more likely scorers, however, with Brayford, Boyce and Akins all coming close as the clock ticked towards the final 20 minutes.

Politic and Chris O'Grady were introduced in place of Verlinden and Dodoo for the final 15 minutes as Hill looked to inject some fresh legs into his team and they thought they had drawn level on 77 minutes, only for Politic to see a goal ruled out for offside after O'Hara had spilled a deflected drive from Weir.

A hammer blow was to arrive four minutes later, as Boyce pounced on some loose defending from Bolton to turn and score for his second to make it 4-2.

Politic pulled one back with a 25-yard thunderbolt three minutes later to make it 4-3, before Ronan Darcy spurned a glorious opportunity to earn a draw in stoppage time by volleying over from six yards after he had been picked out with a far-post cross from Chicksen.

Defeat means Bolton yet again failed to move off the foot of the League One table, after falling two points behind fellow strugglers Southend United.

Wanderers are not in action on Saturday due to FA Cup ties across the country, with their next action being away at Rochdale in 10 days' time.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Chicksen, Earl, Wright, Emmanuel, Weir, L Murphy, Darcy, Verlinden (Politic 76), Dodoo (O'Grady 76), D Murphy (Buckley 58)
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Brockbank, Edwards, Graham
Booked: L Murphy, Buckley
Sent Off: L Murphy
Goals: Dodoo 5, D Murphy 11, Politic 84

Burton Albion: O'Hara, Brayford, Nartey, Buxton, Hutchinson, Sbarra (Daniel 82), Edwards, Fraser, Sarkic (Quinn 61), Akins, Templeton (Boyce 68)
Subs Not Used: Garratt, Beardsley, Hart, Sharman-Lowe
Booked: Fraser
Goals: Templeton 13, Akins 26,45+1, Boyce 81

Referee: Scott Oldham
Attendance: 11,918

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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
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