Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Salford City

  • November 13, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Eoin Doyle marked his return from injury with a goal as Bolton beat Salford City at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Doyle, who had missed the last four games with a hamstring injury suffered against Cambridge United in October, took just 23 minutes to find the net, latching on to a pass from captain Antoni Sarcevic before firing low beyond City goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky.

Wanderers took that lead into the break and doubled their advantage midway through the second period as Jordan Turnbull lost his bearings and volleyed into his own net from the edge of the box after losing communication with Hladky.

With the nation following along live on Sky Sports television, Ian Evatt made four changes to the Bolton side beaten by Crewe Alexandra last time out as Matt Gilks, Gethin Jones, Andrew Tutte and Doyle all came in at the expense of Billy Crellin, Liam Gordon, Tom White and Ronan Darcy - all of whom were named amongst the substitutes.

Both sides enjoyed spells of possession in the early stages but it wasn't until the 13th minute that the first chance arrived, as Ash Hunter fired over from distance after being teed up by former Trotters captain Jason Lowe.

Tutte saw an attempt deflect behind at the other end as Bolton pushed forward for the first time on 17 minutes, shortly before Jones cut in from the left before seeing a weak strike roll into the waiting arms of Hladky in the City goal.

The deadlock was broken midway through the half, however, as Antoni Sarcevic won possession in midfield and played in Doyle, who took the ball in his stride before firing low into the corner to make it 1-0.

Salford looked to hit back four minutes later as Brandon Thomas-Asante tried his luck from 25 yards, but Gilks threw himself to his left to tip a goalbound strike over the bar.

Hladky was equal to a shot from Ali Crawford on the half-hour, moments before Sarcevic lashed a ball across the face of goal after turning his marker from a Peter Kioso throw-in.

Ian Henderson had cut a frustrated figure in the opening 45 minutes and fired high over the bar with his first sight of goal on 37 minutes, while Crawford also found the stands at the other end as he too went for a long-range spectacular.

Wanderers took their advantage into the half-time interval and seemingly unimpressed with what he had seen, Salford boss Ritchie Wellens made a double change as the players returned for the second period - Luke Burgess and Bruno Andrade coming on in place of George Boyd and Thomas-Asante.

Andrade's introduction almost paid immediate dividends as he capitalised on a slip in the Bolton defence, but he sliced his shot well wide of the target with only Gilks left to beat.

Lowe never found the net in his two years as a Wanderers player and he was presented with a glorious opportunity to score against his former club on 56 minutes, only for Kioso to put his body on the line to make an outstanding block on the edge of the area.

Sarcevic shot wide on the hour after Alex Baptiste had knocked a free-kick from Crawford into his path, shortly before Tom Clarke flicked a header narrowly wide as he connected with a set-play from Burgess.

Then, with 67 minutes on the clock, disaster struck for the visitors as a long ball from Jones, which was intended for Doyle, was unintentionally volleyed into his own net by Turnbull, who paid the ultimate price for a breakdown in communication with goalkeeper Hladky, giving the Trotters a 2-0 advantage.

Gilks used his feet to deny Ash Hunter three minutes after that goal, moments before Sarcevic wasted the chance to put the game beyond doubt when he chipped the ball over the bar from close range when he had options in Delfouneso and Crawford better placed in the middle.

Crawford found the stands with a strike from range with 10 minutes to play, while Sarcevic was denied once again by Hladky in the final minute of normal time.

There was still time on the referee's watch for substitute Shaun Miller to hit the target and although he couldn't add to the scoreline, it mattered little as Wanderers ended the game with a deserved victory that sees them rise to 15th in League Two ahead of the weekend fixtures.

Evatt's side are next in action on Tuesday evening, when they host Newcastle United U21 in their final group fixture of this season's Papa John's Trophy - with both clubs having already been eliminated.

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Delaney, Santos, Baptiste, Jones, Tutte, Sarcevic, Kioso, Crawford (White 83), Delfouneso (Isgrove 79), Doyle (Miller 73)
Subs Not Used: Crellin, Gordon, Hickman, Darcy
Goals: Doyle 23, Turnbull 67(og)

Salford City: Hladky, Bernard, Clarke, Touray, Boyd (Burgess 45), Threlkeld, Lowe, Hunter (Dieseruvwe 79), Henderson, Thomas-Asante (Andrade 45)
Subs Not Used: Evans, Eastham, Armstrong, Smith

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2020/21 Player of the Year?
56.86% Ricardo Santos
17.79% Matt Gilks
10.64% Alex Baptiste
9.94% Eoin Doyle
2.52% Antoni Sarcevic
1.54% Gethin Jones
0.42% Nathan Delfouneso
0.28% Ryan Delaney