Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Lincoln City

  • February 22, 2022 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton struck twice inside the final 15 minutes as they beat Lincoln City to register a sixth consecutive home victory for the first time in over five years.

Not since the promotion winning side of 2016/17 had a Wanderers team achieved such form - when Phil Parkinson's side clocked up 10 successive wins on home turf between October and December 2016.

After a scoreless first-half, Ian Evatt's current side broke the deadlock eight minutes after the break as George Johnston headed in from a corner, but Lincoln were level on 65 minutes when Cohen Bramall's effort squirmed beyond James Trafford in the home goal.

The Trotters were visibly frustrated for much of the evening but restored their advantage 14 minutes from time through Kieran Sadlier's first for the club, before Amadou Bakayoko sealed the points with seven minutes to play as he tapped in from close range to make it 3-1.

With Saturday's 4-0 success over AFC Wimbledon in the rear-view mirror, Evatt made two changes for the visit of City as Will Aimson and MJ Williams returned to the team. Kyle Dempsey dropped out to sit amongst the substitutes, while Ricardo Almeida Santos was missing after his partner went into labour. Gethin Jones was handed the captaincy in Santos' absence.

Bolton enjoyed a bright start, enjoying plenty of possession inside the opposition half and coming close on two separate occasions as Oladapo Afolayan and Dion Charles had efforts at goal.

But it was Lincoln who should have been ahead on the quarter-hour as John Marquis pounced on a poor pass back to Trafford by Jones, but the goalkeeper stood tall to make a one-on-one save before Chris Maguire shot wide on the rebound.

Declan John fired a ball across the face of goal moments later that nobody could quite get on the end of, while Maguire brought another save out of Trafford on 20 minutes after he had been found in space by Anthony Scully.

Brooke Norton-Cuffy was next to try his luck for the Imps, shooting high over the crossbar shortly before the half-hour, before the final chance of the half fell the way of the hosts as Marlon Fossey's strike was blocked by the nether region of Ted Bishop.

There was a change to the Wanderers team as they returned for the second period, with Sadlier on in place of John after he had complained of a back spasm.

Bolton started on the front foot and came close within two minutes of the restart as Charles struck wide, although City weren't far off themselves at the other end as Morgan Whittaker lashed a strike inches wide of the post.

Josh Griffiths was called into action for the first time on 50 minutes to parry Charles' deflected attempt behind, but he was beaten three minutes later as Johnston scored his first goal at the University of Bolton Stadium - and his second of the campaign so far.

Aaron Morley's corner was flicked on at the near post by Jones, allowing the ball to sail all the way across goal for Johnston to head in unopposed at the back stick.

Fossey curled just wide as Wanderers went in search of a second soon after the hour, but it was Lincoln who were to hit the net next as Bramall drifted inside from the left before seeing a deflected effort find a way beyond the despairing dive of Trafford at his near post.

Dempsey replaced Afolayan on 74 minutes as Evatt seeked to push his side forward and the ball was in the Imps next just two minutes later, with Sadlier receiving the ball on the edge of the box before seeing a deflected drive fly beyond Griffiths to restore the home side's lead.

Morley curled over the bar from the edge of the area with 10 minutes to play but there was to be another goal for the Trotters, with Dempsey advancing and cutting the ball back for Bakayoko, who made no mistake from close range to notch his 10th of the campaign.

Charles and Williams entered the referee's book late on in what would prove to be a minor blot on a successful evening, with Bolton picking up three points despite not being at their free-flowing best.

The result doesn't move them any higher in the League One standings but does close the gap on 6th-placed Sunderland to five points with 12 games still to play.

Next up for Evatt's side is a trip to Stadium MK, with promotion-chasing Milton Keynes Dons providing the opposition this coming Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers: Trafford, Johnston, Aimson, Jones, John (Sadlier 45), Morley, Williams, Fossey, Afolayan (Dempsey 74), Bodvarsson (Bakayoko 60), Charles
Subs Not Used: Amaechi, Thomason, Baptiste, Gordon
Booked: Bakayoko, Charles, Williams
Goals: Johnston 53, Sadlier 76, Bakayoko 83

Lincoln City: Griffiths, Norton-Cuffy, Jackson, Poole, Bramall, McGrandles, Bishop (Fiorini 84), Whittaker (Cullen 84), Maguire, Scully, Marquis (Hopper 77)
Subs Not Used: Wright, Sanders, Sorensen, Robson
Goals: Bramall 65

Referee: Sam Allison
Attendance: 13,841

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