Plymouth Argyle 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • October 19, 2021 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's worrying slump in form continued on Tuesday as they were beaten 3-0 by Plymouth Argyle at a sodden Home Park.

The Pilgrims stormed into a 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes, with Brendan Galloway opening the scoring on six minutes before Conor Grant doubled the advantage.

Wanderers offered very little in terms of an attacking threat but did look likely to reduce the deficit as the second-half wore on, only for their efforts to count for nothing when Ryan Broom lashed home in stoppage time as Argyle capitalised on the horrendous conditions to net a comical third.

With Saturday's 4-0 defeat at the hands of Wigan Athletic still fresh in the memory, Ian Evatt made three changes as Alex Baptiste started in place of the suspended Ricardo Santos.

Lloyd Isgrove and Kieran Lee were both recalled, as Antoni Sarcevic and Eoin Doyle were dropped to the substitutes' bench. George Johnston was given the captain's armband.

If Wanderers were looking for a quick response to their weekend loss, they got off to the worst possible start as Plymouth opened the scoring inside just six minutes.

The visitors struggled to deal with a routine corner into the box, where Dan Scarr headed the ball back across the face of goal for Galloway to prod home from close range.

Bolton responded brightly and were denied as Michael Cooper threw himself at the feet of Oladapo Afolayan, moments before Argyle won another corner as Joe Edwards saw a strike deflect behind.

The resulting set-piece was played short and worked into the path of Grant, who took aim from 25 yards and found the bottom corner of Joel Dixon's net to make it 2-0 with only 15 minutes on the clock.

Dixon made his first save of the evening to deny Ryan Hardie on 19 minutes, shortly before a speculative strike from Josh Sheehan at the other end forced Cooper into his first meaningful save of the night.

Ryan Broom, Jordan Garrick and Hardie all saw strikes charged down midway through the half, while Grant drilled wide as the clock approached the half-hour.

Panutche Camara curled an effort straight into the gloves of Dixon with seven minutes of the half to play, and the Wanderers goalkeeper was alert to prevent it from becoming 3-0 before the break as he got down low to push away a shot from Edwards that appeared to be sneaking in at the near post.

The teams emerged unchanged for the second period, which began with Cooper saving from Afolayan, who was soon booked by referee Keith Stroud for dissent.

64 minutes were on the clock by the time the next chance of note arrived and when it did, it fell the way of the home side as Garrick broke free of Liam Gordon before crossing for Camara, whose volley came back off the inside of the post.

Camara then turned provider for Hardie, whose first-time strike was saved by Dixon, shortly before a collision involving Afolayan and Cooper left the Plymouth goalkeeper requiring treatment for a head injury.

Bolton then spurned a glorious opportunity to get themselves back into the game as Sarcevic latched on to a flick from Afolayan, advanced into the penalty area but failing to hit the target, as his chipped attempt over Cooper bounced agonisingly wide of the post.

Both teams then struggled to retain possession in the final 15 minutes as torrential rain in Devon caused momentary concern that the game would unable to be finished.

Wanderers continued to play their passing game and were almost caught out when a back-pass from Gordon failed to roll through to Dixon, with Hardie nipping in ahead of the goalkeeper before squaring for Edwards to chip over the top.

Sheehan brought a full-stretch save out of Cooper with a 20-yard free-kick, but it was Plymouth who were to net the final goal as substitute Danny Mayor pounced on Baptiste's pass back to Dixon. After rounding the 'keeper, the ball held up on the now saturated pitch but Broom kept the attack alive and lashed into the roof of the net to sum up a miserable evening for Evatt's side.

The Trotters have now lost three consecutive games without scoring a goal for the first time since September 2020 and they will look to end that slide when they host Gillingham at the University of Bolton Stadium this coming Saturday.

Plymouth Argyle: Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Galloway, Edwards, Camara (Mayor 72), Houghton, Broom, Grant, Hardie, Garrick (Jephcott 80)
Subs Not Used: Burton, Gillesphey, Agard, Randell, Law
Booked: Galloway
Goals: Galloway 6, Grant 15, Broom 90+4

Bolton Wanderers: Dixon, Gordon, Johnston, Baptiste, Brockbank, Lee (Sarcevic 62), Williams, Afolayan, Sheehan, Isgrove (Kachunga 66), Bakayoko (Doyle 66)
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Delfouneso, Aimson, Thomason
Booked: Bakayoko, Afolayan, Lee

Referee: Keith Stroud
Attendance: 12,813

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 >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston