Colchester United 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • September 19, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Ian Evatt became the first boss to lose his opening four games in charge of Bolton, after they were beaten 2-0 at Colchester United.

Goals in each half from Tom Eastman and Jevani Brown gave the hosts victory at the JobServe Community Stadium, with both goals handed to them on a plate by shoddy Wanderers defending.

The loss means Evatt has created an unwanted piece of club history, with the only previous occurrence of a manager losing his first four games coming back in 1887 and 1888 when John Bentley's second spell in charge began in similar circumstances.

Having began the season with three consecutive defeats in all competitions, Ian Evatt made two changes to the side beaten by Forest Green Rovers last time out as Ali Crawford and Jak Hickman came in for injured duo Antoni Sarcevic and Reiss Greenidge.

Eoin Doyle captained the side in the absence of Sarcevic, as he went in search of his first goal since joining the club from Swindon Town over the summer.

Both teams had chances inside the opening five minutes, with Noah Chilvers seeing a shot blocked by Tom White for the hosts, moments before Liam Gordon blasted over at the far post as he raced to get on the end of a cross from Hickman.

Eastman fired wide and Chilvers struck narrowly over the crossbar as Colchester's bright start continued, while Gethin Jones cut in from the right flank before bending a left-footed effort just wide of Dean Gerken's post on 10 minutes.

Nathan Delfouneso twice saw strikes go narrowly wide as Wanderers upped their tempo, before Billy Crellin was called into action for the first time in the visiting goal as he kept out a stinging drive from Kwame Poku shortly before the half-hour.

Delfouneso then glanced a corner from Crawford across the face of goal with no Trotters player there to make a telling touch, shortly before Hickman delivered a wicked ball to the far post that once again failed to the capitalised on.

Then, with little over a minute of normal time to play before the break, Colchester broke the deadlock as a corner was flicked on by Brown and Eastman had the simple task of heading in unopposed from three yards - giving the home side a 1-0 lead at the interval.

There were no changes in personnel as the teams returned for the second period, which began with Wanderers believing they had found an equalising goal.

Rising highest to nod a cross from Brandon Comley into the net, Alex Baptiste's celebrations were cut short by an assistant referee who had raised his flag for an offside against the defender.

Jones headed a cross from Hickman back across the face of goal on 52 minutes but once again there were no Wanderers players making a move to prod the ball home.

Delfouneso showed excellent feet to work his way beyond two Colchester defenders moments later, only to be let down by his finish as a right-footed curler from the edge of the box flew over the bar and into the stand.

Gerken was then called into action for the first time midway through the second half, as Hickman picked out the run of Doyle, whose weak effort was easily collected by the United goalkeeper.

The game was effectively put to bed with 19 minutes to play as a long ball from the back saw Baptiste beaten for pace by Brown, who lifted a shot beyond a poorly-positioned Crellin to make it 2-0 and give Bolton a long way back.

Brown almost repeated the trick with 10 minutes later as he looked to make it 3-0, but this time the ball looped narrowly over the bar and clipped the stanchion behind the net.

Crawford forced Gerkin into a save late on with a free-kick from 25 yards but that was about as good as it got for Wanderers, who had been toothless in attack and lacking concentration at the back - all the ingredients of a team who could struggle if problems are not solved soon.

After two defeats in as many games at the start of the new League Two campaign, Bolton drop to 21st in the table which is their lowest-ever position in the EFL.

Evatt's side return to action next Saturday, when they host Newport County at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Colchester United: Gerken, Welch-Hayes, Eastman, Smith, Bramall, Chilvers, Stevenson, Poku (Harriott 67), Gambin (McLeod 83), Senior (Cowan-Hall 76), Brown
Subs Not Used: George, Sowunmi, Scarlett, Tovide
Booked: Chilvers
Goals: Eastman 44, Brown 71

Bolton Wanderers: Crellin, Gordon, Baptiste, Santos, Hickman (Lockett 76), Jones, Comley, White, Crawford, Doyle, Delfouneso (Mascoll 81)
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Taft, Darcy, Tutte, Brockbank
Booked: Comley, Jones

Referee: James Oldham

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Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
15 Colchester United 23 30
16 Port Vale 25 29
17 Bolton Wanderers 24 28
18 Harrogate Town 22 26
19 Scunthorpe United 24 26
View Full Standings >>


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