Harrogate Town 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • October 03, 2020 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/abeda

Eoin Doyle and Nathan Delfouneso scored their first goals for Bolton, who ended a run of 13 games without a win by beating Harrogate Town at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The two summer arrivals, who had been specifically selected to spearhead the Wanderers attack this season, netted in each half as Ian Evatt picked up his first competitive win since becoming Head Coach back in July.

George Thomson netted a consolation on the hour, but the Trotters ran the clock down with a professional display which lifts them away from the early-season relegation zone - having last week dropped to their lowest-ever position in the EFL.

After becoming the first man in history to lose his opening five games in charge of Bolton, Evatt made five changes to the side that started against Newport County last time out as Ryan Delaney, Harry Brockbank, Antoni Sarcevic, Andrew Tutte and Jamie Mascoll were all selected to start.

George Taft, Jak Hickman, Brandon Comley, Tom White and Liam Gordon all dropped to the substitutes' bench, where they were joined by Ronan Darcy and recent signing Arthur Gnahoua - with no goalkeeper amongst them.

Wanderers started the game brightly but it was Harrogate who created the first opportunities of the afternoon, with Mark Beck coming close inside six minutes as he gambled at the far post to meet a header across the face of goal from Aaron Martin, only to see an offside flag raised against him.

Having been the provider moments earlier, Martin almost opened the scoring on 10 minutes as he got on the end of a cross from Ryan Fallowfield, only to see his header come back off Billy Crellin's right-hand post.

Bolton's first attack arrived just 60 seconds later as Delfouneso saw a goalbound shot deflect behind for a corner, from which Ali Crawford's delivery was flicked home by a near-post volley from Doyle, who made it 1-0 to the visitors.

Doyle almost doubled the advantage on the quarter-hour, outmuscling two Harrogate defenders and closing down on goal, only to see his strike cleared off the line by Dan Jones.

Thomson drilled wide at the other end as Town looked to get back on level terms, but it was Bolton who looked the more likely and they came close once again as Doyle looped a header over the bar from a Sarcevic cross.

Calvin Miller was afforded too much time and space, giving him a clear strike on goal which was parried away by Crellin on 27 minutes, and that was as close as either side came before the half-time interval.

There was one sour moment for Wanderers as Gethin Jones limped out of the action with an ankle injury, but they did take their lead into the break despite appeals for a penalty in added time as Thomson went down in the box.

No substitutions were made as the players returned for the second period, which began with Martin heading wide for Harrogate as he rose highest to meet a cross from Josh Falkingham.

Then, just as they did in the first-half, Bolton scored early as Delfouneso latched on to a through ball from Doyle before slotting through the legs of James Belshaw to give the visitors some breathing space at 2-0.

Town reduced the deficit back to one just four minutes later, however, as Thomson beat Crellin from close range, with referee Benjamin Speedie ignoring protests from multiple Bolton players who believed the ball had gone out of play in the build-up.

After a spell of inactivity in front of goal, Wanderers came close to adding a third when Sarcevic brought a smart save out of Belshaw with 17 minutes to play, while Crellin made an outstanding reaction save to deny Brendan Kiernan at the other end.

There were some nervous moments in the latter stages but Evatt's side ran down the clock in a professional manner to register a first win in competitive action since February.

They are back in action once more this coming Tuesday, when they travel to Shrewsbury Town in their second group game of this season's EFL Trophy.

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Smith, Hall, Jones, Thomson, Falkingham, Kirby, Miller (Walker 69), Beck (Stead 76), Martin (Kiernan 56)
Subs Not Used: Cracknell, Burrell, Kerry
Booked: Jones, Falkingham, Thomson
Goals: Thomson 61

Bolton Wanderers: Crellin, Delaney, Santos, Brockbank, Mascoll (Gordon 72), Tutte (Comley 76), Sarcevic, Jones (Hickman 43), Crawford, Delfouneso, Doyle
Subs Not Used: Taft, White, Darcy, Gnahoua
Booked: Gordon, Hickman
Goals: Doyle 11, Delfouneso 57

Referee: Benjamin Speedie

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