Bolton Wanderers 3-0 Lincoln City

  • August 05, 2023 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL:

Bolton recorded their biggest opening-day win in 12 years as they beat Lincoln City 3-0 at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Not since 2011 had Wanderers started a campaign in such style - when they won 4-0 at Queens Park Rangers in a Premier League term that ultimately ended in relegation - and it took them less than four minutes to put themselves in their way to three points.

Jack Iredale broke the deadlock by nodding home from an Aaron Morley corner, while Victor Adeboyejo doubled the advantage in similar style just before the hour as he headed in from a Randell Williams delivery.

Paudie O'Connor put through his own goal 16 minutes from time, turning a cross from Kyle Dempsey past goalkeeper Lukas Jensen, capping off a miserable afternoon for the visitors.

78 days since defeat at Barnsley saw them crash out of the Play-Offs, Bolton started the new season as one of the pre-season favourites for the title and manager Ian Evatt named just five players from the side that started that night at Oakwell.

Ricardo Almeida Santos, Aaron Morley, Dion Charles, Williams and Dempsey were the quintet to remain, as full debuts were handed to summer arrivals Nathan Baxter and Josh Dacres-Cogley. Paris Maghoma, Carlos Mendes Gomes, Will Forrester, Zac Ashworth and Dan Nlundulu, whose loan from Southampton was made permanent, were amongst the substitutes - with no place for goalkeeper Joel Coleman.

With more than 20,000 spectators in attendance, the majority were on their feet with a little over three minutes played as Morley's outswinging corner from the left was glanced, by Iredale, past Jensen to make it 1-0.

Jensen made his first save of the afternoon with 10 minutes played, parrying a low drive from Dempsey, while Lincoln's first venture forward came a minute later as Lasse Sorensen's ball across the face of goal was allowed to roll wide by a composed Baxter.

Charles curled wide midway through the half as the home side began to take control, shortly before Williams found himself deep in opposition territory only to see his goalbound effort deflect kindly into the gloves of a waiting Jensen.

Williams was involved again just after the half-hour, finding himself on the receiving end of a pass from Charles before curling narrowly wide from outside the box.

The wing-back should have hit the target with his next attempt, being picked out unmarked at the far post by Dacres-Cogley, but was unable to keep his header down with the goal at his mercy.

After a 45-minute period of dominance, Bolton were thankful to captain Santos in the final moments as he slid in to deny Ben House a one-on-one with Baxter on the edge of his own area.

No substitutions were made from a Wanderers perspective as the players returned for the second period, although the Imps did withdraw former Trotters loanee Tyler Walker - Reeco Hackett-Fairchild on in his place.

10 minutes went by before the first sight of goal arrived following the restart, with Charles seeing a shot on the turn bounce kindly into the path of Williams, whose follow-up was deflected on to the roof of the net.

The home side took a 2-0 advantage on 59 minutes, though, as Williams' corner from the right found Adeboyejo eight yards out, who made no mistake in planting a header into the net beyond Jensen.

Dempsey saw a strike deflect over at the midway point of the half, while Morley tested the handling skills of Jensen with a dipping free-kick as the clock entered the final 20 minutes.

Another goal would soon follow, however, as George Thomason released Dempsey down the left flank, whose low cross into the middle was put into his own goal by the unfortunate O'Connor.

The 3-0 scoreline would prompt Evatt into making a number of further changes as the game progressed, with Mendes Gomes, Maghoma and Nlundulu on for debuts, the latter two of whom would later go into the referee's book.

Eight minutes time was added at the end of the regulation 90, with new time keeping rules introduced into the EFL this campaign, but it made no difference on the eventual scoreline as Wanderers picked up their largest opening-day win on home soil since 2004.

The Trotters sit 3rd in the early League One standings, with Barnsley and Exeter City occupying the automatic promotion places, with their next taste of league action coming next Saturday with a visit to Cheltenham Town.

Before that, however, is the Carabao Cup first round this coming Tuesday when Barrow are the visitors to the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Baxter, Iredale, Santos, Jones, Williams, Morley (Maghoma 78), Sheehan (Thomason 73), Dacres-Cogley, Dempsey (Mendes Gomes 83), Adeboyejo (Nlundulu 77), Charles (Jerome 83)
Subs Not Used: Forrester, Ashworth
Booked: Sheehan, Maghoma, Nlundulu
Goals: Iredale 4, Adeboyejo 59, O'Connor 74(og)

Lincoln City: Jensen, Eyoma, Jackson, O'Connor, Sorensen, Erhahon, Mandroiu (Smith 81), Roughan, Hamilton (Makama 87), House, Walker (Hackett-Fairchild 45)
Subs Not Used: Wright, Duffy, Benn, Gallagher
Booked: House, Eyoma, Mandroiu

Referee: Will Finnie
Attendance: 20,143

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Bolton Wanderers 18 39
2 Portsmouth 18 39
3 Oxford United 18 36
4 Stevenage 20 36
5 Peterborough United 19 35
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2022/23 Player of the Year?
25.9% Conor Bradley
22.3% James Trafford
20.09% Dion Charles
10.05% Kyle Dempsey
6.82% Aaron Morley
6.45% Ricardo Almeida Santos
3.5% George Johnston
3.32% Eoin Toal
1.01% Kieran Lee
0.55% Gethin Jones