Bolton Wanderers 3-6 Port Vale

  • December 05, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton conceded six goals at the University of Bolton Stadium for the very first time, on an afternoon when they were left humiliated by Port Vale.

Wanderers, who had lost just two of their previous 36 meetings against Vale, went into the game on the back of five consecutive victories in all competitions - a complete contrast to their visitors, who had lost five in succession.

The form book was completely shredded, however, with Vale scoring three goals in each half to condemn the Trotters to their heaviest defeat on home soil since a 6-0 loss to Manchester United in the early part of 1996.

After sticking with the same starting line-up for each of the last four league games, Ian Evatt made one enforced change as George Thomason made his senior league debut in place of the injured Andrew Tutte.

With the action underway, Wanderers struggled to match the intensity of their visitors and deservedly found themselves trailing by two goals inside the opening 10 minutes.

Vale broke the deadlock with just six minutes on the clock as Cristian Montano was afforded too much time and space on the left before crossing low for Manny Oyekele to tap home from inside the six-yard box.

Things could and should have got worse for the hosts moments later, with Matt Gilks twice at his absolute best to keep the visitors out.

First, Gilks made a fine stop to deny David Worrall, shortly before springing high to his right to tip a Montano header behind for a corner.

The ball was in the net from the next attack, however, as Leon Legge towered high above the Wanderers defence to head in with Gilks rooted to the spot.

Bolton reduced the deficit just two minutes later as Jones latched on to a pass from Nathan Delfouneso before curling beyond Scott Brown to register his first senior goal.

That seemed to spark Wanderers into life and they could have drawn level on 19 minutes as Eoin Doyle curled over from the edge of the box, shortly before the Irish forward headed wide at the far post after he was picked out by a superb cross from Peter Kioso.

A lapse in concentration allowed Montano a clear run on goal midway through the half, and Wanderers were once again thankful to Gilks as he made an important save with his shoulder in a one-on-one situation.

Vale found themselves clean through again just before the half-hour, with Devante Rodney racing away from Ricardo Santos before prodding wide of Gilks' far post.

Brown pushed away a goalbound strike from Doyle on 32 minutes, while Delfouneso headed narrowly over the top five minutes later with the Vale goalkeeper this time at full stretch.

Antoni Sarcevic fired over with five minutes of the half remaining, but it was Vale who were to find the net before the interval as they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Santos on Devante Rodney.

Tom Conlon took responsibility for the resulting spot-kick and made no mistake from 12 yards, drilling past Gilks to make it 3-1 at half-time.

Evatt resisted temptation to make any changes as the players returned for the second period, which began in the worst possible fashion as Worrall put Montano through to slide past Gilks within 60 seconds of the restart.

It was soon 5-1 as Worrall this time went alone, finding a gap at the near post to slide past Gilks, and it would become six shortly after the hour as Nathan Smith headed in from a corner.

Doyle reduced the deficit with a fine individual goal midway through the half, picking out the bottom corner of Brown's goal after taking down a ball from substitute Reiss Greenidge.

Oyeleke volleyed wide from distance as he looked to punish a poor clearance from Peter Kioso with 20 minutes to play, while both sides came close in the minutes that followed as Delfouneso and Conlon registered attempts on goal.

Lloyd Isgrove got his first in Wanderers colours to make it 6-3 with 12 minutes remaining, shortly before Kioso had the ball in the net only to be left frustrated by an offside flag.

Tom White clipped the crossbar on 85 minutes after Isgrove had laid the ball off 25 yards from goal, while final chances for either side failed to result in any further goals for Conlon and then Delfouneso at the other end.

Bolton's five-match winning run came to a crushing end with their first 6-3 defeat on home soil in 113 years. Their next opportunity to get back on the road to success comes next Saturday, when they face Walsall at the Banks's Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Delaney (Comley 54), Santos, Baptiste (Darcy 55), Jones, Thomason (Greenidge 55), Sarcevic (White 79), Kioso, Crawford (Isgrove 54), Delfouneso, Doyle
Subs Not Used: Crellin, Mascoll
Goals: Jones 11, Doyle 66, Isgrove 78

Port Vale: Brown, Mills, Legge, Smith, Fitzpatrick, Oyeleke (Burgess 88), Joyce, Conlon, Worrall, Rodney, Montano (Hurst 69)
Subs Not Used: Visser, Pope, Cullen, Brisley, Clark
Goals: Oyeleke 6, Legge 9, Conlon 42(pen), Montano 46, Worrall 50, Smith 62

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
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