Bolton Wanderers 3-0 Southend United

  • November 28, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Eoin Doyle scored twice as Bolton moved to within a point of the play-offs with a 3-0 victory over Southend United at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Leading at the break courtesy of Nathan Delfouneso's 6th goal of the season, Doyle doubled the advantage on 65 minutes by firing home from the penalty spot after he had been fouled inside the Shrimpers box.

The Irishman made it 3-0 with nine minutes to play, tapping from an outstanding Alex Baptiste cross, sealing a comprehensive win for Ian Evatt's side who move up four places to 9th in the League Two table.

After sticking with the same side for each of the last three league games, Evatt once again named an unchanged starting line-up as the Trotters looked to win five consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since March 2017.

They started brightly and should have gone ahead inside six minutes. After Doyle had seen a shot blocked, Antoni Sarcevic picked up possession, jinked his way beyond two defenders before lifting a strike over the top of Mark Oxley's goal.

The home side were dealt a blow moments later as Andrew Tutte went down unopposed inside his own half and was deemed unfit to continue, meaning Tom White was brought on in his place with just 12 minutes played.

Ali Crawford volleyed over from 20 yards after Doyle's attempted knockdown to Delfouneso was only partially cleared, shortly before Jason Demetriou fired over for the visitors as they broke into the final third for the first time.

The Shrimpers were back on the attack just after the half-hour, as Tim Dieng beat Ricardo Santos in the air and Terrell Egbri forced a save out of Matt Gilks.

The visitors came close to taking a lead from the resulting corner, with Demetriou's cross to the edge of the area being volleyed narrowly wide by Alan McCormack.

Gilks was called into action again nine minutes before the break as Brandon Goodship turned away from the attention of Ryan Delaney, only to shoot straight at the Wanderers goalkeeper when finding himself clean through.

Delfouneso and Doyle both had the ball in the net long after an offside flag had been raised in the closing stages of the half, but Wanderers did find a way through before the half-time whistle as Delfouneso headed home an outstanding cross from Baptiste in stoppage time to make it 1-0 to the home side.

The teams returned unchanged for the second period, which began with Demetriou forcing Gilks into a fine save after Egbri's cross wasn't completely dealt with by Santos.

Sarcevic thought he had been fouled moments later and was booked for his protests by referee John Busby, and Southend continued to get the upper hand on 56 minutes when Egbri surged forward from midfield before drilling just past the far post.

Mark Oxley saved from Doyle just after the hour as he connected with a Crawford corner, but the Wanderers forward would have the bragging rights from the next attack as he was brought down by John White and referee Busby pointed to the spot.

Doyle took responsibility from 12 yards and made no mistake, sending Oxley the wrong way by making it 2-0 to the hosts.

Delfouneso had the ball in the net just over a minute later, only to have his celebrations cut short by an offside flag yet again.

Bolton could count themselves fortunate not to concede with just under 20 minutes to play as Shaun Hobson headed a Kyprianou free-kick over from close range, with Gilks nowhere near.

The game was put beyond any doubt on 81 minutes, with Doyle tapping a Baptiste cross home from close range to make it 3-0 and add some gloss to the scoreline.

A moment of history was made with four minutes remaining as the introduction of Jamie Mascoll, Brandon Comley and Ronan Darcy saw Bolton make five substitutions in a competitive fixture for the very first time.

There was still time for further goalmouth action - first, Emile Acquah was denied by an acrobatic save from Gilks, before Doyle fired high and wide at the other end as he went in search of a hat-trick.

Four minutes of added time passed by without further incident as Wanderers racked up a fifth successive win for the first time since March 2017.

They will have the opportunity to make it six when they return to action next at home to Port Vale next Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Delaney, Santos, Baptiste, Jones (Mascoll 85), Tutte (White 12), Sarcevic (Comley 86), Kioso (Darcy 86), Crawford (Isgrove 75), Delfouneso, Doyle
Subs Not Used: Crellin, Greenidge
Booked: Sarcevic, White
Goals: Delfouneso 45+1, Doyle 65(pen),81

Southend United: Oxley, Bwomono, White, Hobson, Kyprianou (Clifford 82), Olayinka, McCormack (Sterling 66), Dieng, Demetriou, Egbri (Taylor 82), Goodship (Acquah 82)
Subs Not Used: Seaden, Phillips, Rush

Referee: John Busby

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