Fleetwood Town 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 07, 2021 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/a71b3

Bolton's slide down the League One table continued on Tuesday night as they were beaten 3-0 by Fleetwood Town at Highbury Stadium.

Trailing to a 6th-minute opener from Ged Garner, Wanderers struggled to get back on level terms and were reduced to 10 men with 17 minutes to play as Ricardo Almeida Santos was sent off for a professional foul.

To compound matters, Harrison Biggins doubled Town's lead within four minutes of that dismissal and got himself on the scoresheet yet again two minutes later to condemn the Trotters to a heavy defeat.

After Kieran Lee scored the only goal in a Papa John's Trophy victory over Fleetwood last Tuesday, Ian Evatt made two changes to the Wanderers team that started that game as Elias Kachunga and Santos returned in place of the benched Xavier Amaechi and Alex Baptiste.

The visitors were playing in to Storm Barra in the opening 45 minutes and it therefore came as little surprise to see them fall behind inside six minutes as Danny Andrew raced away from Liam Gordon to advance into the penalty area, where his low cross into the six-yard box was bundled home by Garner.

It wasn't until the 18th minute that Wanderers' first chance of the evening arrived and when it did, it was Gordon who received possession from Oladapo Afolayan before seeing his effort blocked by an oncoming defender.

Bolton were back on the attack moments later and were awarded a free-kick for a foul by Paddy Lane on Afolayan, from which the latter's bending cross was glanced wide by an offside Kachunga.

Hardly renown for their set-piece deliveries under Evatt, they continued to provide Wanderers with their most likely route back into the game and they came close yet again midway through the half as Declan John's corner was headed narrowly wide by Will Aimson.

Evatt's side thought their persistance had paid off on 24 minutes as Eoin Doyle put the ball in the net but the Irish forward was denied by an offside flag as he pounced on a parry from Alex Cairns, who had made a smart save to thwart George Johnston.

Carl Johnston sent a volley over the top as Fleetwood pressed forward on the half-hour, shortly before Callum Morton capitalised on a slip from Aimson to run clean through, only to see his goalbound attempt saved by the legs of Joel Dixon.

Afolayan struck a free-kick into a wall and George Thomason forced Cairns into a routine save, but that was all the first-half had to offer as Bolton went in trailing at the break.

There were no changes to either side as the players returned for the second period, which began with Tom Clarke heading wide as he connected with a free-kick from Andrew.

Thomason stole the ball from Jay Matete shortly before the hour and fed Afolayan. After advancing into the area, he squared for Doyle whose first-time attempt was straight into the gloves of Cairns.

Garner should have put the game beyond doubt three minutes later as he went clean through on goal, only to roll his strike beyond the far post with Dixon beaten.

Kachunga was denied by Cairns as Bolton continued to push for an equaliser but their hopes were dented on 73 minutes as Morton went down under a challenge from Santos, giving referee Sebastian Stockbridge little option but to brandish a red card for a professional foul.

Andrew wipped the resulting free-kick just past the post but it wasn't long until Fleetwood added some gloss to the scoreline, netting twice in the space of three minutes to make the points safe.

First, Morton and Garner combined to give Biggins a tap-in for 2-0, moments before the Cod Army hit Wanderers on the break and Biggins had the simple task of slotting in a third.

There were no further moments of note as the hosts comfortably saw out time to pick up three vital points in their pursuit to avoid relegation, while Wanderers fail to score in a fifth consecutive away league game for the first time in two-and-a-half years.

They hit the road again this coming Saturday, when they face Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium.

Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Johnston, Clarke, McLaughlin, Andrew, Biggins, Matete (Boyle 90+1), Lane (Baggley 90+1), Hayes (Johnson 67), Garner, Morton
Subs Not Used: Crellin, Morris, Clark, Conn-Clarke
Booked: Hayes, McLaughlin
Goals: Garner 6, Biggins 77,79

Bolton Wanderers: Dixon, Aimson (Amaechi 68), Santos, Johnston, John, Lee, Thomason, Gordon, Afolayan, Kachunga, Doyle (Baptiste 74)
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Delfouneso, Tweedley, Conway, Pettifer
Sent Off: Santos

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge
Attendance: 3,279

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 >>

Poll

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