Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Tranmere Rovers

  • February 01, 2020 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/dec6d

Bolton registered a first win in eight games as they swept aside Tranmere Rovers with a comfortable 2-0 victory at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Dennis Politic opened the scoring inside two minutes, before Chris O'Grady turned Wanderers' second-half dominance into a goal by adding a second shortly after the hour - the 100th league strike of his career.

The Trotters not only picked up three points for the first time since before Christmas, but a clean sheet was their first on home soil since a 1-0 success over Milton Keynes Dons in November - a run stretching back seven outings.

Following on from a disappointing display in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers, Keith Hill made two changes to his Bolton side for the visit of Rovers as O'Grady and debutant Kean Bryan came in at the expense of Liam Edwards and Ronan Darcy, both of whom were named amongst the substitutes.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the hosts and also brought about the opening goal, with Daryl Murphy's cross into the box being knocked down by Luke Murphy for Politic to smash past Scott Davies with a volley from the edge of the box.

Wanderers continued their impressive start and almost doubled their lead on six minutes as Daryl Murphy shot into the arms of Davies after his initial attempt had been charged down by Rovers defenders.

O'Grady headed over from a Politic cross moments later, before Tranmere's first effort of the afternoon ended with Connor Jennings rolling a shot straight into the arms of Remi Matthews.

Rovers should have levelled on the quarter-hour as Alex Woodyard put Morgan Ferrier clean through on goal, but he fired over from close range when it had looked easier to find the net.

James Vaughan shot over from distance midway through the half, before Toto Nsiala put his body on the line to deny Kieron Morris a likely equaliser.

Politic drilled a strike inches wide on 27 minutes, while a 25-yard free-kick from Morris at the other end was gathered with ease by Matthews.

O'Grady could have doubled the home side's advantage before the break, only to see his goalbound effort bounce away off the back of Calum Woods, as Wanderers were made to settle for a one-goal lead going into the interval.

There were no changes as the players returned for the second half, which began with Politic smashing a free-kick into a Tranmere wall after Luke Murphy had been felled.

Ethan Hamilton's search for a first Trotters goal continued when he dragged an attempt wide on 53 minutes, before Harvey Gilmour was thwarted by Josh Emmanuel at the other end as he looked to level from the edge of the penalty area.

Daryl Murphy whipped a strike from the 18-yard line just wide on the hour, but Bolton didn't have to wait too much longer for their dominance to pay dividends.

After a miscued shot from Hamilton bounced awkwardly in the Tranmere box, O'Grady turned and volleyed first time past Davies to make it 2-0 and add an air of comfort to the home support.

Hamilton continued to test the opposition goalkeeper, next seeing a shot from an acute angle headed over the crossbar, shortly before Brandon Fleming saw a cross-cum-shot roll across the six-yard box and behind.

Nsiala headed over from a Fleming corner as the clock entered the final 10 minutes, while Daryl Murphy headed with three minutes to play from an Emmanuel cross.

Politic fired over in the latter stages before being substituted to a standing ovation, which was also afforded to the entire team at the full-time whistle.

Perhaps Bolton's most composed display of the season had been rewarded with three points, but a late victory for Southend United means they remain five points adrift at the foot of the League One table.

Hill's side are back in action next Saturday when they face Coventry City at the St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Fleming, Bryan, Nsiala, Emmanuel, Lowe, L Murphy, Hamilton, O'Grady, Politic (Darcy 90+2), D Murphy
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Bunney, Faal, Dodoo, Edwards, Graham
Booked: Bryan
Goals: Politic 2, O'Grady 64

Tranmere Rovers: Davies, Caprice, Feeney (Nelson 90+2), Woods, Wilson, Morris, Gilmour, Woodyard, Jennings (Danns 67), Ferrier, Vaughan
Subs Not Used: Pilling, Potter, McCullough, Perkins, Walker-Rice

Referee: Scott Oldham
Attendance: 13,044

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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 >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone