Bolton Wanderers 1-3 Carlisle United

  • October 07, 2023 | By Chris Mann
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Jordan Gibson scored a hat-trick as Carlisle United came from behind to win at Bolton for the first time in 46 years - winning 3-1 at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Wanderers went ahead in the 28th minute when a cross from Josh Dacres-Cogley was turned into his own net by Jon Mellish, and it looked like luck was in their favour when Nathan Baxter denied Joe Garner from the penalty spot seven minutes later after Kyle Dempsey had taken down Sean Maguire inside the box.

The visitors were level just before the interval, however, as Gibson converted from 12 yards after Eoin Toal was adjudged to have handled, and he would go on to net twice more - first with a deflected drive that looped into the far corner on 70 minutes, then completing a breakaway in stoppage-time after Baxter had been left stranded upfield at a corner.

With selection options still limited, Ian Evatt made just one change to the side that started against Stevenage on Tuesday as fit-again Victor Adeboyejo came in ahead of Dan Nlundulu, who was named amongst the substitutes.

Dempsey was handed the captain's armband in the continued absence of both Ricardo Almeida Santos and Gethin Jones, while Josh Sheehan would later assume responsibility when Dempsey was withdrawn in the second period.

The first chance of the afternoon arrived with five minutes on the clock as Toal and Dion Charles combined to release Randell Williams down the left-hand side. His low cross into the path of Adeboyejo was flicked goalwards, only for the intervention of a visiting defender.

Adeboyejo's early threat would then result in the first yellow card as former Wanderers defender Sam Lavelle was cautioned for a tug of the shirt, and the forward came close to breaking the deadlock again on the quarter-hour but just couldn't quite stretch out a leg far enough to convert a low drive from Will Forrester.

Carlisle's first attempt on goal came on the quarter-hour as Finley Back cut inside before shooting from distance, forcing Baxter into tipping the ball behind.

Baxter was required again three minutes later, this time making a routine stop on a deflected Garner effort, shortly before Tomas Holy made a stop at the other end to deny Sheehan from distance.

The deadlock was broken on 28 minutes, though, as a threaded pass from Forrester picked out the advancing run of Dacres-Cogley, whose low cross sparked panic and forced Mellish into putting the ball into his own net.

Carlisle immediately went in search of an equaliser and were awarded a penalty on 34 minutes as Maguire went to ground inside the box under a challenge from Dempsey, with referee Sebastian Stockbridge subsequently pointing to the spot.

Garner took responsibility from 12 yards but his strike down the middle was tame, allowing Baxter to make a save with his feet to keep his side ahead.

Baxter made another save five minutes later to deny Maguire on the turn, but he was beaten in the final minute of the regulation 45 after another penalty was awarded - this time for a needless handball by Toal.

Gibson would this time stand over the ball and picked his spot, finding the bottom corner despite the best efforts of an outstretched Baxter, making it 1-1 going into the break.

Carlisle were presented with a glorious chance to take a lead within four minutes of the restart as Maguire was put clean through, but his heavy touch allowed Baxter to close the gap and make a vital stop just as the forward entered the area to get a shot away.

It was Bolton who had the next sight of goal, with Forrester heading straight at Holy from a Williams corner, while Charles would then hit the side netting as he found himself on the end of a cross from Dempsey.

Baxter would then made an outstanding save on the hour, sprawling backwards to claw away a goalbound shot from Maguire, but he was finally beaten on 70 minutes as the tide turned - Gibson cutting in from the left before seeing an effort loop up off the leg of Forrester and into the far corner to make it 2-1.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson was introduced as a substitute and almost made an instant impact, chesting down a pass from Zac Ashworth before prodding across the face of goal.

Charles, who was celebrating his 28th birthday, would then receive a card from the referee after a clear dive in an attempt to win a penalty, but he almost made amends from the next attack, somehow directing a header goalwards from a narrow angle, with Holy making the stop at his near post.

With time running out, Wanderers were awarded a corner in the fifth minute of added time, only for a breakaway counter-attack to seal the game in favour of Carlisle.

Baxter had gone forward in a desperate attempt to level the scores, but Gibson took full advantage of the empty net to complete a hat-trick and give the Cumbrians a first win in Bolton since 1977.

Defeat sees Bolton drop to 6th in the League One table ahead of next weekend's international break. They return to action in two weeks' time, when Northampton Town provide the opposition at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Baxter, Iredale, Toal, Forrester, Williams (Ashworth 63), Thomason (Morley 55), Dempsey (Nlundulu 73), Dacres-Cogley, Sheehan, Adeboyejo (Bodvarsson 74), Charles
Subs Not Used: Coleman, Jerome, Matheson
Booked: Dempsey, Charles
Goals: Mellish 28(og)

Carlisle United: Holy, Back, Lavelle, Mellish, Armer, McCalmont, Guy, Moxon (Harris 89), Maguire (Ablade 69), Garner (Plange 89), Gibson
Subs Not Used: Andresson, Edmondson, Whelan, Robinson
Booked: Lavelle, McCalmont, Armer
Goals: Gibson 44(pen),70,90+5

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge
Attendance: 23,187

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