Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Barrow

  • August 08, 2023 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton made the second-round of the Carabao Cup for a third successive season, as they beat Barrow 1-0 at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Zac Ashworth scored the only goal, marking his first Wanderers start in style by curling home a delightful free-kick just before the half-time break.

Ian Evatt promised changes ahead of kick-off and duly responded by retaining the services of just three players to started against Lincoln City this past Saturday.

Jack Iredale, Josh Dacres-Cogley and club captain Ricardo Almeida Santos were in from the off once again, while full debuts were handed to Ashworth, Will Forrester, Paris Maghoma, Carlos Mendes Gomes, Dan Nlundulu and goalkeeper Joel Coleman.

Wanderers began strongly and had their first sight of goal with less than two minutes on the clock. Cameron Jerome and Nlundulu combined just outside the Barrow penalty area, with the latter then seeing his goalbound strike parried away by Paul Farman in the Bluebirds' goal.

Iredale, who opened the scoring last time out, came close to a repeat when his volley from a Maghoma corner was deflected away shortly afterwards, before George Ray made a timely block to deny Maghoma after he had been fed by George Thomason.

Maghoma then turned provider, momentarily appearing to have put Mendes Gomes in the clear, but the former Luton Town forward couldn't quite get the ball out from under his feet before a tracking defender made the interception.

Bolton were fortunate to escape when Ray headed wide from a Dean Campbell corner on the quarter-hour, but the hosts were soon back on the attack as Jerome was thwarted by Farman, who was unaware of an offside flag in the build-up.

Maghoma curled wide after stepping in from the left flank on 25 minutes, shortly before the Trotters were awarded a free-kick in dangerous territory as Nlundulu was brought down on the edge of the box.

The resulting set-play was deflected behind as Maghoma's effort clipped a man in the wall, but it didn't take long for Barrow to provide yet another reminder that they were well and truly in the tie.

Former Wanderers loanee Tom White was looking to make his mark against his former employers, although his strike took a nick off Courtney Duffus before rolling wide of Coleman's post.

Maghoma failed to trouble Farman as he took aim from distance with what many presumed would be the final attacking move of the half, which proved to be false as the home side broke the deadlock just before the end of the regulation 45 minutes.

After Ray was booked for tugging the shirt of Jerome, debutant Ashworth stood over the resulting free-kick and subsequently curled a delightful attempt into the corner to make it 1-0 - a lead Wanderers would hold going into the half-time interval.

There were no changes to either side as the players returned for the second period, which began with Iredale firing well wide of the target from distance within four minutes of the restart.

For all of their possession - almost 80% at this particular stage - Wanderers were struggling to find a way through a resolute Barrow defence, with Dacres-Cogley seeing an effort similar to Iredale's before him fly off-target from range.

Evatt looked to change that just after the hour when Jerome's number was up, allowing for Dion Charles to make his way into the game as a substitute.

Aaron Morley, Kyle Dempsey and Victor Adeboyejo would soon follow - Nlundulu, Maghoma and Mendes Gomes withdrawn - but it wasn't until the 83rd minute that the next chance of note arrived, with Adeboyejo soon closed down by a magnitude of defenders as he looked to shoot on the turn.

Adeboyejo did get an attempt away in the final minute of normal time, curling wide from just outside the area, and he would have one final sight of goal inside seven added minutes, only to find Farman positioned correctly to make a routine save.

The final whistle was met with a sight of relief from many inside the ground, who, despite the comfortable nature of the performance, were left a little frustrated at the lack of a scoreline which reflected that.

Nevertheless, Bolton will be in the hat for the second-round, which will be drawn live on Sky Sports television on Wednesday evening.

Next up for Evatt's side is a trip to Cheltenham Town this coming Saturday, when Wanderers will look to maintain their 100% start to the campaign.

Bolton Wanderers: Coleman, Iredale, Santos, Forrester (Jones 84), Ashworth, Thomason, Maghoma (Morley 73), Dacres-Cogley, Mendes Gomes (Dempsey 74), Nlundulu (Adeboyejo 74), Jerome (Charles 64)
Subs Not Used: Baxter, John, Williams, Sheehan
Booked: Thomason, Mendes Gomes, Iredale, Coleman
Goals: Ashworth 44

Barrow: Farman, Warren, Feely (Worrall 80), Ray, Canavan, Tiensia (Newby 80), Foley, White (Spence 65), Campbell (Garner 65), Gotts, Duffus (Acquah 80)
Subs Not Used: Lillis, Bray, Reeve, Etaluku
Booked: Ray, Warren, Feely, Spence

Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Attendance: 4,871

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