Portsmouth 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • October 30, 2021 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/f065f

John Marquis scored the only goal as Portsmouth beat Bolton, who struck the woodwork on three separate occasions on a frustrating day at Fratton Park.

Marquis scored six minutes after half-time to give Pompey a first win in five games, while Wanderers' winless run extends to five after they failed to score for the eighth time in their last 12 league outings.

Oladapo Afolayan, Declan John and Eoin Doyle all hit the goal frame, although that perhaps didn't tell the whole story as the visitors registered just one shot on target all afternoon.

After coming back from two goals down to salvage a remarkable point in a 2-2 draw with Gillingham last time out, Ian Evatt made two changes to his Wanderers side as Nathan Delfouneso and Will Aimson made their first league starts of the season ahead of Josh Sheehan and George Johnston.

With the action underway, it was the hosts who fashioned the first opportunity as Marcus Harness won possession deep in Trotters territory before seeing his cross from the right headed wide by Ronan Curtis with six minutes played.

Both sides enjoyed plenty of the ball but rarely troubled their opposite backlines, with Wanderers having to wait until the 20th minute for their first opening of the afternoon.

Joel Dixon's long clearance was brought under control by Lloyd Isgrove, who then fed the ball to Delfouneso. After working a yard of space down the right-hand side and picking out the run of Kieran Lee, his cross into the six-yard box was cleared from under the crossbar just as Doyle had looked set to pounce.

The visitors then registered their first shot of the afternoon as Afolayan cut inside from the left, shifted the ball to his right foot and dragged an attempt a couple of yards wide of Gavin Bazunu's right-hand post.

Dixon made his first save of the game midway through the half, denying Curtis after he had worked himself a yard of space, shortly before Wanderers struck the woodwork for the first time.

A well-worked free-kick eventually saw the ball arrive at the feet of Afolayan. Now on the right flank, he drifted inside before taking aim from 30 yards, only to see his goalbound effort tipped onto the bar and behind by a full-stretch Bazunu.

Aimson went down inside the box from the resulting corner and made an appeal to the referee's assistant, but the officials weren't interested in awarding a penalty and play resumed from the goalkeeper's kick.

Bolton continued to threaten with 10 minutes of the half remaining. Elias Kachunga threaded a ball through to Delfouneso on the right, whose first-time cross towards the far post was cleared by Mahlon Romeo with Doyle waiting for a tap-in just behind.

Evatt's side would have the final chance of the opening period, with John twisting and turning his way into the Portsmouth box before seeing his drive cannon back off the outside of the post and behind - meaning the two teams went in goalless at the break.

There were no changes in personnel as the sides returned for the second period, which quickly saw the hosts go on the front foot.

After Delfouneso had clipped Marquis, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild's free-kick was headed wide by Sean Raggett, but it wasn't long until the deadlock was broken.

Curtis did well to step away from Isgrove to advance into the box, where his low cross was flicked home by Marquis despite the best attempts of a flapping Dixon.

Marquis looked set to double Portsmouth's advantage on 55 minutes, stepping inside two challenges before seeing his low effort blocked by the legs of the Trotters goalkeeper.

Bolton found a way beyond the Pompey defence soon after the hour as Isgrove latched on to a pass from MJ Williams, only for his low cross to be diverted wide by Kachunga at the near post.

Hackett-Fairchild shot high and wide midway through the half, moments before Ricardo Almeida Santos put his body on the line to deny Shaun Williams a certain goal.

Bolton made a double change as Johnston and Harry Brockbank replaced Isgrove and Aimson in defence, but they were not the attacking changes that over 1,000 visiting supporters had wanted to see.

As such, it was a case of more of the same as Wanderers were pinned back inside their own half as Curtis cut inside before seeing a low drive gathered by Dixon.

Both teams had chances as the game entered the final 10 minutes, with John seeing a strike blocked for Wanderers, before Curtis sliced an attempt horribly wide at the other end.

The visitors then struck the woodwork for a third time as Brockbank's cross from the right was headed goalwards by Doyle. The ball found a way beyond Bazunu, who was relieved to see it clip the bar on its way over the top.

Four minutes were added for stoppages at the end of the game, but there were to be no further chances as Portsmouth ran down the block to get back on the winning trail.

Bolton, meanwhile, are without a win in five and will look to end that run when they travel to Rochdale in the Papa John's Trophy this coming Tuesday.

Portsmouth: Bazunu, Romeo, Raggett, Ogilvie, Brown, Tunnicliffe (Thompson 40), Williams (Morrell 78), Harness, Hackett-Fairchild, Curtis, Marquis (Hirst 90+4)
Subs Not Used: Bass, Freeman, Jacobs, Azeez
Goals: Marquis 51

Bolton Wanderers: Dixon, John, Aimson (Johnston 72), Santos, Isgrove (Brockbank 72), Lee, Williams, Kachunga, Afolayan, Delfouneso (Sheehan 56), Doyle
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Thomason, Baptiste, Gordon

Referee: Craig Hicks
Attendance: 16,231

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
14 Charlton Athletic 21 26
15 Cambridge United 21 26
16 Bolton Wanderers 21 26
17 AFC Wimbledon 19 24
18 Lincoln City 20 21
View Full Standings >>

Poll

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