Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Fleetwood Town

  • August 15, 2023 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL:

Victor Adeboyejo scored a first-half hat-trick as Bolton beat Fleetwood Town, but the headlines will sadly be directed elsewhere following red cards to both Dion Charles and Ian Evatt.

Adeboyejo, who scored just three times in 18 appearances following his reported £500,000 arrival from Burton Albion in January, notched a 14-minute brace at the Toughsheet Community Stadium, adding to the goal he scored on the opening day to equal that total from last season in just four outings this term.

He would go on to complete a hat-trick eight minutes before the break, becoming the first Wanderers player to net three times in the opening 45 minutes since Fredi Bobic did so against Ipswich Town in April 2002, to send the hosts in with a commanding 3-0 advantage.

Things would turn sour after the restart, though, with Charles dismissed midway through the second-half for a second bookable offence, after which Evatt was shown a straight red card by referee Tom Nield for making his protestations known to the fourth official after seeing a replay of the incident.

Former Trotters loanee Josh Earl would pull one back in stoppage-time for the visitors, putting a further damper on an otherwise superb evening for the Whites, leaving Adeboyejo harshly missing out on the limelight.

After fielding the same team at the start of both league fixtures prior to the visit of Fleetwood, Evatt made two changes on this occasion as George Thomason - fresh from signing a new contract after rejecting a transfer to Bristol City - and Paris Maghoma came in as both Aaron Morley and Josh Sheehan dropped to the substitutes' bench.

Early goals have become a welcome addition to Bolton's league campaign thus far and it took them just three minutes to break the deadlock. Charles dropped into a pocket of space 30 yards from goal and spread the play to Maghoma, whose low ball from the right gave Adeboyejo the simple task of slotting in from close range for 1-0.

Fleetwood had an early chance of their own with 10 minutes played, but Nathan Baxter was alert to fist clear a goalbound free-kick from Scott Robertson.

Baxter was superb again moments later as Town threatened from another free-kick, this time denying Jack Marriott at point-blank range after the ball had been headed back across the face of goal.

It proved to be a vital stop as, on 14 minutes, Adeboyejo would get his and Bolton's second goal of the evening.

This time, it was Ricardo Almeida Santos who orchestrated the move, playing a long diagonal pass from halfway into the path of Josh Dacres-Cogley, whose first-time touch across the six-yard box presented Adeboyejo with an almost carbon-copy of his opener as the home side took a 2-0 lead.

Kyle Dempsey headed wide from a Randell Williams corner midway through the half, while Josh Vela came close to reducing the deficit against his former side after he sprung the offside trap, only for Baxter to stand tall and make another fine stop.

Adeboyejo would then enter the history books eight minutes before the break, once again finding himself on the end of a cross from Dacres-Cogley to fire past Jay Lynch from six yards and make it 3-0 to the Trotters.

Bolton would take their three-goal cushion into the break, after which they returned with one change in personnel as Thomason was withdrawn and Sheehan came on in his place.

Fleetwood would make two substitutions of their own, with Marriott and Cian Hayes off; Ryan Graydon and Danny Mayor the duo replacing them.

Town boss Scott Brown thought his side had pulled one back within six minutes of the restart as Promise Omochere swept a strike past Baxter, but the referee's assistant had already raised his flag for an offside.

Baxter was called into action again just after the hour, this time pushing away a curling effort from Mayor, before making another outstanding stop from the resulting corner as Earl was left wondering how he hadn't scored.

It was then Wanderers' turn to be left frustrated as Adeboyejo scored what he thought was his fourth goal of the night, converting from an Aaron Morley cross, but he had the same realisation as Omochere before him, with an offside flag ruling it out.

Controversy then struck as Charles, already on a yellow card for a foul in the opening period, appeared to briefly obstruct goalkeeper Lynch, who, in retaliation, had a petulant kick out at the Whites forward.

It isn't yet known whether Charles' obstruction or a moment of dissent was to blame, but referee Nield wasted no time in issuing a second yellow and the hosts were down to 10 men.

Attention would then turn to the dugout as Evatt, in conversation with Brown, was issued with a straight red card for which it would later emerge was down to a 'misuse of technology' - with the manager making his protestations known after analysing video footage of the Charles incident from pitchside.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Bolton never looked like surrendering their lead and therefore it came as somewhat of a blow in added time when Earl rose to head home a corner from Junior Quitirna - the first goal conceded by the home side this season.

The final whistle should have been cause for celebration and the opportunity for Adeboyejo to bask in the spotlight, but, instead, boos echoed around the Toughsheet Community Stadium as referee Nield was unceremoniously escorted off the field of play.

Suspensions for both Charles and Evatt will see them miss Saturday's home clash with Wigan Athletic, as Wanderers look to pick up a first league win over their near neighbours in just shy of nine years.

Bolton Wanderers: Baxter, Iredale, Santos, Jones, Williams (Ashworth 69), Thomason (Sheehan 45), Maghoma (Mendes Gomes 70), Dacres-Cogley, Dempsey (Morley 59), Adeboyejo (Nlundulu 70), Charles
Subs Not Used: Forrester, Jerome
Booked: Thomason, Charles, Ashworth
Sent Off: Charles
Goals: Adeboyejo 3,14,37

Fleetwood Town: Lynch, Johnston, Nsiala, Earl, Rooney, Vela, Robertson (Patterson 74), Broom (Quitirna 80), Hayes (Mayor 45), Omochere (Asamoah 80), Marriott (Graydon 45)
Subs Not Used: McMullan, Teale
Booked: Johnston, Broom Omochere, Vela
Goals: Earl 90+4

Referee: Tom Nield
Attendance: 18,485

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Portsmouth 19 42
2 Bolton Wanderers 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