Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Leyton Orient

  • January 30, 2021 | By Chris Mann
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Eoin Doyle scored his 10th goal of the season as Bolton ended a run of six games without victory by beating Leyton Orient at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Already leading courtesy of a 67th-minute own-goal from Orient's James Brophy, Wanderers doubled their advantage two minutes later as a low cross from Arthur Gnahoua found Doyle on the edge of the box, allowing the Irishman to find the corner and seal all three points.

The Trotters were rarely troubled by their visitors, who registered just one effort on target all afternoon, and although the win doesn't move Ian Evatt's side up the league table, they now have a 10-point gap between themselves and the relegation trapdoor.

After a week to recover from last Saturday's defeat at Tranmere Rovers - with a midweek clash at Mansfield Town postponed - Evatt named a surprising starting line-up that featured six changes from the side that started at Prenton Park.

Nathan Delfouneso, Harry Brockbank, George Thomason, Alex Baptiste, Kieran Lee and the aforementioned Gnahoua all came back into the team, which saw Gethin Jones, Andrew Tutte, Ali Crawford and Zack Elbouzedi drop to the substitutes' bench.

Ryan Delaney missed out through suspension, while injury to Antoni Sarcevic meant Doyle took the captain's armband.

Orient were comfortable 4-0 winners in the reverse fixture back in October and they had the better of the early play, with Dan Kemp heading wide from a Jobi McAnuff corner inside four minutes.

Former Wanderers forward Conor Wilkinson took up a place on the left-hand side and had the beating of Harry Brockbank in the early stages, with his first effort of the afternoon flying into the side netting when there were options better placed in the box.

Bolton's first chance of the afternoon arrived with nine minutes played as Gnahoua worked his way beyond two defenders on the left before crossing low to an unmarked Delfouneso, whose first-time effort was superbly tipped over the bar by Lawrence Vigouroux.

Chances were reduced to a premium as the half progressed, with McAnuff curling a free-kick over Matt Gilks' crossbar on 19 minutes for Orient before a low cross from Gnahoua took a touch of Lloyd Isgrove before being collected by Vigouroux in the visiting goal.

With three minutes remaining before the break, Doyle turned 30 yards from goal before seeing a speculative long-range attempt tipped behind.

From the resulting corner, Wilkinson's attempted clearance saw the ball strike Ricardo Santos full in the face before landing on the roof of the net.

Wanderers were awarded another corner at the end of one additional minute for stoppages but referee Sam Purkiss adjudged time to have expired, leaving manager Evatt frustrated as the sides vacated the pitch at half-time.

Despite the blustery conditions, there were no changes by either boss as the players returned for the second period, which began with Kemp dragging a shot wide of the post for the O's.

Hector Kyprianou received the ball from Wilkinson before seeing a 25-yard drive roll harmlessly into the gloves of Gilks on 54 minutes - which would prove to be the visitors' only effort on target all afternoon.

Orient should have taken a lead with 65 minutes on the clock as Brophy's corner was headed over by Ruel Sotiriou, a miss they would rue just moments later as they quickly fell behind at the other end.

Delfouneso had struggled to have the desired impact in the final third but his determination paid off midway through the half, with his low cross aimed for Brockbank being turned into his own net by Brophy.

There was some initial doubt surrounding the identity of the opening goalscorer, but there was no debating two minutes later as Gnahoua's precision pass to Doyle saw the Irish forward pick out the bottom corner for his 10th of the season - giving Bolton a 2-0 lead in the process.

Wanderers were content with allowing Orient to keep possession for much of the final 20 minutes, although they did have a chance to extend their lead with 12 minutes remaining as Doyle lashed over from the penalty spot after Brockbank's low cross had found him in space.

Elbouzedi and Declan John were introduced for the final 10 minutes - as Isgrove and Ben Jackson departing - and it didn't take long for their presence to be felt.

With Gilks collecting the ball from a Leyton Orient corner, a counter attack was launched as he threw it to halfway where Elbouzedi broke at speed, running into the final third before seeing a shot saved by Vigouroux.

Delfouneso shot off-target again in added time after latching on to a cut-back from Doyle, but it mattered not as Wanderers took all three points in comfortable fashion at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The win does nothing to lift Bolton up from 19th in the League Two table but 11 points now separates them from the bottom of the EFL, the same size of the gap between them and the automatic promotion places.

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Jackson (John 80), Baptiste, Santos, Brockbank, Lee, Thomason, Delfouneso, Gnahoua, Isgrove (Elbouzedi 79), Doyle
Subs Not Used: Jones, Comley, Crawford, Greenidge, Tutte
Goals: Brophy 67(og), Doyle 69

Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Ling, Akinola, Coulson, Brophy, McAnuff, Kyprianou (Freeman 76), Clay (Dayton 80), Kemp (Widdowson 59), Sotiriou, Wilkinson
Subs Not Used: Sargeant, Cisse, Turley, Sweeney

Referee: Sam Purkiss

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Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Salford City 29 45
8 Newport County 28 44
9 Bolton Wanderers 30 44
10 Carlisle United 26 43
11 Bradford City 28 40
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