Accrington Stanley 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 11, 2021 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL:

Bolton made it a club-record equalling six away league games without a goal as they were beaten 1-0 by Accrington Stanley.

Tommy Lee scored the only goal at the Wham Stadium, capitalising on a moment of hesitation in the Wanderers defence to head home with 20 minutes played.

With Will Aimson missing following a positive COVID-19 test, Ricardo Almeida Santos serving a one-match suspension and Liam Gordon dropped to the bench, Ian Evatt made three changes to the team beaten at Fleetwood Town.

Alex Baptiste was recalled to step into central defence, MJ Williams returned from injury to go into the midfield, and Adam Senior started at right-back just 48 hours after he was recalled from a loan spell at non-league York City.

It took less than four minutes for the first effort on goal to arrive, with Leigh setting his sights from distance but seeing his shot comfortably held by Joel Dixon in the Wanderers goal.

The visitors' should have gone ahead three minutes later as a cross from Elias Kachunga was flicked on my Oladapo Afolayan, although Eoin Doyle made a hash of his left-footed volley as his attempt was dragged well wide of the target.

Kieran Lee headed off the line as Ross Sykes rose to meet Sean McConville's corner on 14 minutes, shortly before Doyle latched on to an outstanding through ball from Afolayan before seeing his goalbound attempt saved by Toby Savin, who rose quickly to deny Declan John a certain goal from the follow-up.

Accrington broke the deadlock with 20 minutes played as Bolton once again showed their defensive frailties, failing to deal with a long ball from halfway and allowing Leigh to steal in ahead of Baptiste to nod beyond a stranded Dixon.

The Trotters went in search of an immediate equaliser and came close when Lee saw a strike charged down by Sykes midway through the half, shortly before Sykes found himself up at the other end heading a corner from McConville into the gloves of the visiting goalkeeper.

George Johnston volleyed over from a George Thomason set-piece with 10 minutes of the half to play, while Leigh was denied by Dixon in the opposite penalty area as he took aim from distance.

Three minutes of stoppage time was added at the end of the opening 45, during which Afolayan twice came close - first, clipping a free-kick narrowly wide of the far post, then cutting in from the right flank to see his effort parried behind by Savin.

From the resulting corner, Thomason's cross found Senior unmarked at the far post but he couldn't quite get over the ball and saw his header go into the stand behind the goal.

Despite trailing at the break, Evatt resisted temptation to switch his side around as the team emerged unchanged for the start of the second period.

With the action back underway, it was Bolton who looked the most likely to find the next goal as Afolayan clipped the roof of the net within five minutes of the restart.

Unfortunately, that was about as good as it would get for the visitors, who were fortunate not to go even further behind on 54 minutes when Jovan Malcolm had the ball in the net only to be penalised by referee Alan Young for a foul on Dixon.

John O'Sullivan headed wide midway through the half as he got on the end of a pass from former Bolton loanee Ethan Hamilton, shortly before Matt Butcher twice came close with strikes from distance that rolled inches wide of the Trotters goal.

Sykes headed an O'Sullivan corner wide in the latter stages, while six minutes of added time passed by without incident as Wanderers slipped to yet another painful defeat on the road.

They return to home soil next Saturday for a clash with Wycombe Wanderers, who were 1-0 winners over Evatt's side at Adams Park just three short weeks ago.

Wycombe Wanderers: Savin, Amankwah, Sykes, Nottingham, Rodgers, Malcolm (Butcher 70), Leigh (Woods 84), Coyle, Hamilton, McConville (O'Sullivan 49), Bishop
Subs Not Used: Trafford, Sherring, Mansell, Nolan
Booked: Amankwah, Coyle, Savin
Goals: Leigh 20

Bolton Wanderers: Dixon, John, Johnston, Baptiste, Senior, Williams, Thomason, Afolayan, Lee (Delfouneso 88), Kachunga, Doyle (Amaechi 66)
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Brockbank, Gordon, Tweedley, Pettifer

Referee: Alan Young
Attendance: 4,546

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