Cheltenham Town 0-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 15, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Ryan Delaney scored a stoppage-time winner as Bolton beat Cheltenham Town in the first-ever league meeting between the two clubs.

After a scoreless 90 minutes at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium, Wanderers stole all three points in added time as Lloyd Isgrove's corner was flicked on by Ricardo Santos and Delaney sneaked in at the far post to tap in from close range.

Going into the game on the back of two consecutive defeats, Ian Evatt made two changes to the side beaten at Walsall on Saturday as Isgrove and Reiss Greenidge came in at the expense of Ali Crawford and the injured Peter Kioso.

With a crowd present at a Wanderers game for the first time this season, the visitors struggled to get going in the early stages as the Robins looked to make the most of their home advantage.

It took them less than five minutes to fashion out the first shooting opportunity, with Chris Hussey volleying wide after a cross from Alfie May was only partially cleared by Alex Baptiste.

Cheltenham came close again shortly afterwards, with Matt Gilks called into action for the first time to keep out George Lloyd's attempt from a Ben Tozer long-throw.

Bolton's first opportunity came on the quarter-hour as Tozer's wayward pass put Isgrove in the clear. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Isgrove looked to round Griffiths but he got down to claw the ball away. The Wanderers midfielder would regain possession before crossing low for Antoni Sarcevic, whose goalbound attempt couldn't quite find a way through a sea of players.

Isgrove was involved again on 19 minutes. This time he picked out the run of Eoin Doyle, who turned just inside the area before seeing a low drive roll narrowly wide of the far post.

Nathan Delfouneso was next to try his luck for the Trotters, getting on the end of a cross from Greenidge before firing over the top.

Cheltenham withstood that period of pressure and could have gone ahead themselves before the half-hour, with May twice being denied by Gilks before also seeing a lofted shot loop up and over the bar.

Doyle dragged a strike wide of goal on 37 minutes as the chances dried up in the latter stages of the half, which came to a close with the teams goalless.

Both managers stuck with their players as they returned for the second-half, which began with Charlie Raglan deflecting the ball behind after Doyle had connected with a wicked free-kick from George Thomason.

Wanderers soon found themselves defending a series of corners from the hosts as May twice came close to breaking the deadlock, before Lloyd was thwarted by Gilks after Raglan's shot from a Tozer throw had fallen kindly into his path.

Thomason and Doyle led a counter-attack shortly before the hour. It ended with the latter feeding the play to Greenidge, who cut inside from the left before seeing an attempt deflect into the arms of Griffiths.

Doyle went alone in the next attack but he too was denied by the Cheltenham goalkeeper, who was a spectator soon thereafter when the Irishman fired high and wide - much to the delight of the home support.

Chris Hussey was inches away from opening the scoring with just under 20 minutes to play, while a header from Doyle was once again kept out by Griffiths at the other end.

Just as it did in the opening 45 minutes, the half looked set to peter out but Bolton had other ideas as they completed a smash and grab in the first of three added minutes for stoppages.

Standing over a corner, Isgrove's near-post delivery was flicked on by Santos, allowing Delaney to steal away from his marker and slot into the net to give Evatt's side all three points.

Victory for the Trotters moves them up to 12th place in the League Two table, three points shy of the play-off places ahead of Saturday's game at home to Keith Hill's Tranmere Rovers.

Cheltenham Town: Griffiths, Raglan, Tozer, Boyle, Blair, Sercombe, Azaz (Sang 69), Chapman (Reid 84), Hussey, Lloyd (Williams 66), May
Subs Not Used: Bowry, Freestone, Chamberlain, Ebanks
Booked: Sang, Raglan

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Delaney, Santos, Baptiste, Greenidge (Mascoll 67), Thomason, Sarcevic, Jones, Isgrove, Delfouneso, Doyle
Subs Not Used: Crellin, Comley, Crawford, Hickman, White, Darcy
Goals: Delaney 90+1

Referee: Antony Coggins
Attendance: 1,685

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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3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston