Stevenage 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 21, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton can finally begin to look up the League Two table after first-half goals from Eoin Doyle and Ali Crawford gave them victory at Stevenage.

Doyle opened the scoring with 14 minutes played at the Lamex Stadium, acrobatically volleying home after Antoni Sarcevic's initial attempt had been saved, before Crawford doubled the advantage nine minutes before the break by curling home from just inside the box.

Tom Pett reduced the deficit moments before the interval, firing into the top corner after Aramide Oteh had escaped the attention of Ryan Delaney, but there were to be no further goals in the second period as Wanderers racked up a third consecutive win for the first time in over a year to move up to 16th place and within four points of the play-offs.

Having made 11 changes for the midweek victory over Newcastle United U21 in the Papa John's Trophy, Ian Evatt reverted back to the same side that beat Salford City four days earlier as Wanderers went in search of three consecutive victories in all competitions for the first time in over 12 months.

The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges and created their first opportunity inside eight minutes, although Doyle's far-post cross was just too far ahead of Nathan Delfouneso at the end of a move which had also involved both Sarcevic and Peter Kioso.

Bolton didn't have to wait much longer to break the deadlock, however, as Doyle acrobatically found the net from close range after Stevenage goalkeeper Jamie Cumming had done well to parry away an initial attempt from Sarcevic.

Cumming was at his best to prevent the Trotters from doubling their lead five minutes later, first keeping out a goalbound header from Alex Baptiste before rising to his feet to deny Doyle his second of the afternoon.

Neither side looked particularly dangerous in the final third for a good quarter-hour - that was until 35 minutes were on the clock as Ricardo Santos couldn't quite rise high enough to nod in a Crawford free-kick.

It would be 2-0 just a matter of moments later though, as an outstanding counter-attacking move started by Bapiste saw Doyle and Gethin Jones combine to tee-up Crawford, who swept the ball home from just inside the box.

Pegg reduced the deficit for the hosts shortly before the break, giving Matt Gilks little chance by picking out the top corner after Oteh had muscled himself away from the attention of Delaney.

Wanderers took their one-goal advantage into half-time, prompting Stevenage boss Alex Revell to make a substitution as Danny Newton came on in place of Jack Smith. Bolton, meanwhile, remained unchanged.

The away side began the second period strongly, with Doyle forcing a save out of Cummings before a far-post cross from Sarcevic narrowly evaded the attention of both Doyle and Jones.

Gilks was called into action for the first time on 53 minutes as Arthur Read caused panic in the Bolton defence before seeing the ball break kindly to Newton, who saw a low drive kept out by the Trotters goalkeeper.

Andrew Tutte, Arthur Iontton and Pett all entered the referee's book as the game began to heat up in the middle of the park, while Newton headed inches wide of Gilks' post midway through the half as the hosts increased the pressure.

Jones tried to catch Cumming at his near post with a little under 20 minutes to play, only for the Boro goalkeeper to make a save, shortly before Pett was denied an equaliser as Gilks made an outstanding save to his right to prevent the ball from flying into the top corner.

Iontton curled a strike wide with 80 minutes gone, while the final chance of the afternoon fell the way of Bolton as Doyle saw a tame attempt claimed by Cumming.

Defeat for Stevenage leaves them three points from safety in the relegation zone, while a third consecutive win in all competition for Wanderers moves them up to 16th in League Two ahead of a midweek trip to Scunthorpe United.

Stevenage: Cumming, Hutton, Cuthbert, Marshall, Coker (List 81), Iontton, Smith (Newton 45), Read (Akinwande 81), Carter (Marsh 66), Oteh, Pett
Subs Not Used: Johnson, Vincelot, Prosser
Booked: Iontton, Pett
Goals: Pett 44

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Delaney, Santos, Baptiste, Jones, Tutte, Sarcevic, Kioso, Crawford (Isgrove 78), Delfouneso (Miller 76), Doyle
Subs Not Used: Crellin, Comley, Mascoll, Greenidge, Darcy
Booked: Tutte, Delaney, Sarcevic
Goals: Doyle 14, Crawford 36

Referee: Will Finnie

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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