Bolton Wanderers 6-0 Sunderland

  • January 29, 2022 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton hit Sunderland for six on an afternoon where they recorded their biggest victory since moving to the University of Bolton Stadium.

Not since March 1997 had Wanderers scored six in a competitive fixture - when they beat Swindon Town 7-0 at their former Burnden Park home - and few could argue that they deserved it with their performance against the Black Cats.

Dion Charles opened the scoring with 19 minutes on the clock, before Oladapo Afolayan sent the hosts in with a two-goal cushion by adding a second three minutes before the break.

Charles was on the scoresheet again within six minutes of the restart, while Kieran Lee made it four shortly before the hour.

Danny Batth headed into his own net with five minutes to play, but there was more to come as Declan John volleyed into the corner on 88 minutes to cap an outstanding display from the Trotters.

Victory at Shrewsbury Town last time out gave Bolton back-to-back league victories for the first time since October and manager Ian Evatt opted to stick with the majority of the team that started at Montgomery Waters Meadow, with Oladapo Afolayan coming in for Amadou Bakayoko being the only change.

Despite the wide margin of victory that would later follow, it was actually a fairly tepid start to the game as both sides adapted to the blustery conditions inside the opening 15 minutes.

Then, with 19 minutes played, the deadlock was broken as James Trafford appeared to overhit a clearance but Charles took a gamble, got between defender and goalkeeper, and lofted the ball into the roof of the Sunderland net to make it 1-0.

Wanderers should have doubled their lead just three minutes later as Marlon Fossey broke free down the right flank before rolling the ball back for Lee, who somehow fired over from close range when it had looked easier to score.

The visitors had their first sight of goal on 26 minutes as Dennis Cirkin fired over from distance, while John saw a goalbound attempt blocked by the body of Carl Winchester as Fossey once again found time and space deep in Black Cats territory.

Trafford was called into action for the first time on the half-hour to make a routine stop from Elliot Embleton, before Afolayan drifted in from the left before curling inches wide of Thorben Hoffmann's far post at the other end.

Afolayan wasn't to be denied for much longer, though, as he started and finished a move which gave Bolton a 2-0 lead.

Picking up possession on the edge of his own box, Afolayan spread the play to Charles. After galloping down the right-hand side, he cut the ball back for Lee, who picked out Afolayan for a simple tap-in to round off an outstanding counter-attacking goal.

There were no changes as the two teams returned for the second period, which took just six minutes for the scoreline to alter once again.

Another fine team move in central and right-side of midfield culminated with Gethin Jones' sending a cross over to the far post, where Afolayan cushioned a header back into the six-yard box for Charles to volley low beyond Hoffmann to make it 3-0.

And it was four just before the hour as Charles this time turned provider, laying on a ball for Lee, whose dummy put Hoffmann on his backside and allowed him to stroke home his fifth goal of the campaign.

Embleton pounced on a poor pass from Ricardo Almeida Santos before scuffing wide as Sunderland made a rare venture forward midway through the half, shortly before Charles volleyed over at the other end as he went in search of a hat-trick.

Fossey was denied by Hoffmann as he went in pursuit of his first for the club, moments before Trafford was at his best to deny Jack Clarke in a one-on-one situation after he had pounced on a poor pass into midfield.

Content with the displays of his front-three, Evatt gave Lee, Afolayan and Charles the final 18 minutes to relax and watch on as Bakayoko, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Kieran Sadlier all entered the fray.

Bakayoko almost made it five with his first contribution, sticking out a leg to prod a free-kick delivery from John just wide.

But Bakayoko was to have a hand in a fifth goal on 85 minutes as his cross from the left caused momentary panic in the Sunderland defence, where Batth headed into his own net.

To make matters worse for the visitors, Wanderers added a sixth with two minutes to play as John, who failed to make a single appearance during a loan spell at the Stadium of Light in early 2020, struck a volley into the ground that bounced up and over Hoffmann before settling in the far corner.

Two minutes of stoppage time passed by without incident, with the final whistle ensuring the Trotters registered their biggest-ever win at their current home.

Their next challenge will be to maintain a level of consistency, as they host Cambridge United this coming Tuesday.

Bolton Wanderers: Trafford, Johnston, Santos, Jones, John, Morley, Williams, Fossey, Lee (Sadlier 72), Afolayan (Bodvarsson 72), Charles (Bakayoko 72)
Subs Not Used: Dixon, Aimson, Thomason, Baptiste
Booked: Bakayoko
Goals: Charles 19,51, Afolayan 42, Lee 59, Batth 85(og), John 88

Sunderland: Hoffmann, Winchester, Batth, Doyle, Cirkin (Pritchard 53), Evans, Neil (Clarke 53), Dajaku (Roberts 66), Embleton, Gooch, Stewart
Subs Not Used: Patterson, Flanagan, O'Brien, Hume
Booked: Doyle, Gooch

Referee: Stephen Martin
Attendance: 20,059

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