Bolton Wanderers 4-0 Solihull Moors

  • November 04, 2023 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL:

Bolton advanced into round two of the Emirates FA Cup for the first time in five seasons with a 4-0 victory over Solihull Moors, who finished the tie with 10 men.

After exiting the competition at the first hurdle in each of the last four campaigns, Wanderers avoided an upset against non-league opposition with a professional display that never really saw them come under any serious threat.

Ricardo Almeida Santos opened the scoring six minutes before the break, avoiding any half-time jitters, and Paris Maghoma effectively made the game safe by adding to that lead seven minutes after the restart.

Will Forrester headed in a third on 69 minutes before Dion Charles, who had seen a penalty saved with nine minutes remaining, atoned for his miss by completing the scoring on 87 minutes.

There was still time for Moors captain Jamey Osborne to pick up a second yellow card in the sixth minute of added time - a decision which was perhaps a little on the harsh side by referee Scott Simpson, who also showed a yellow card to manager Andy Whing for his protestations.

Ian Evatt, who entered the weekend without victory in his six previous FA Cup ties as a manager, a run which included defeat to Solihull in the fourth qualifying round of 2019, made five changes to the side that began at Charlton Athletic last time out.

Jack Iredale, Dan Nlundulu, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Forrester and Maghoma were all given starting rols, while Carlos Mendes Gomes was listed amongst the substitutes for the first time since picking up a hamstring injury almost two months ago.

Eoin Toal, Josh Sheehan, Josh Dacres-Cogley, Victor Adeboyejo and Charles all dropped to the substitutes' bench, with the remaining spots taken by Cameron Jerome, as well as B Team duo Luke Hutchinson and Matheson.

Predictably, Wanderers had the better of the opening 45 minutes, enjoying 63% of the possession, registering 11 shots of which four were on target, in comparison to the visitors' one effort which was off-target.

The first opening of the afternoon arrived with just four minutes played as Maghoma was threaded in on goal, but goalkeeper Tommy Simkin stood tall to make a block from the on-loan Brentford midfielder.

Solihull were awarded a free-kick moments later as George Thomason felled Joss Labadie on the edge of the area, but Osborne's subsequent effort flew over Nathan Baxter's crossbar.

Bolton received large spells of the ball as the half progressed, without really threatening in the final third. In fact, it wasn't until just after the midway point of the half that their next chance arrived, with Simkin saving from Nlundulu before Thomason fired over from the resulting corner.

Maghoma then came close to breaking the deadlock, seeing his curling attempt from distance crash back off the bar on 26 minutes, shortly before Gethin Jones met a far-post cross to force Simkin into another fine stop.

A neat move involving Nlundulu and Aaron Morley ended with Bodvarsson seeing a strike cleared, shortly before the opening goal arrived courtesy of the captain.

Moments after Santos had seen a goalbound header from a Morley corner deflect behind, the same combination worked to perfection on 39 minutes as another set-play was whipped into the box, where Santos powered in to make it 1-0.

Bodvarsson rolled a shot inches wide as Bolton looked to double their lead almost immediately, while Randell Williams then saw a cross turned towards his own goal by Kyle Morrison, who breathed a sigh of relief after the ball flew kindly into the gloves of his goalkeeper.

The hosts would take their one-goal advantage into the break, after which they returned having made one change as Santos was withdrawn and Toal was introduced in his place - with both players receiving game time after recent injury spells.

It took less than seven minutes for Wanderers to add to their lead, with Maghoma cutting inside and firing past Simkin, just seconds after Bodvarsson had seen a shot cleared off the line.

Morley forced Simkin into a stop moments later as the Trotters went in search of a third, and the goalkeeper made another fine save in the immediate aftermath to prevent Nlundulu from finding the net.

Baxter was called into action for the first time on the hour, denying Richard Stearman from the edge of the area, shortly before Mark Beck headed over after Baxter had misjudged a cross from James Clarke and left his goal gaping.

Solihull were enjoying their best period and came close again on 64 minutes, with Baxter this time made to save from Jack Stevens, but Bolton were soon back on top after Evatt injected some fresh legs into his side.

Mendes Gomes and Jerome came on in place of Maghoma and Nlundulu, and it took just two minutes for the hosts to register yet another effort on goal.

In this instance, it was Morley who turned and tested the gloves of Simkin, who appeared to be beaten from the follow-up but watched on as Iredale's rebound sailed narrowly over the top.

Jerome was denied a certain goal by Clarke midway through the half, but the Moors defence couldn't prevent a third from the resulting corner as Forrester rose highest to meet a delivery from Morley to put the tie beyond any doubt.

Bodvarsson's afternoon came to a close with just under 20 minutes to play as Charles was thrown into the mix, and he almost made an instant impact as he met a low cross to bring a save out of the visiting 'keeper.

Stevens and Forrester exchanged headed chances at either end, shortly before Matheson was handed an appearance as Jones was substituted with 14 minutes to play.

Matheson wasted no time in making his presence felt, playing Charles through within seconds of his introduction, before winning a penalty on 80 minutes from which Charles saw his strike parried behind by Simkin.

The Northern Ireland internationl wasn't to be denied an 11th goal of the season, however, lashing home on 87 minutes to make it 4-0 - becoming the first Bolton player to reach that such total in as few as 16 appearances since Nathan Blake in 1996/97.

Seven minutes of time was added for stoppages and that meant there was still time for further goalmouth action, but Morley couldn't hit the target with a free-kick after Williams had been hauled down on the edge of the box.

There was then a moment which would leave a sour taste in the mouths of the visitors as captain Osborne was dismissed in the final minute for a second bookable offence, after which manager Whing was also shown a yellow card by referee Simpson.

Victory for Bolton puts an end to four successive first-round exits in the competition, meaning they will be in the hat for the second-round draw when it takes place on Sunday afternoon.

Bolton Wanderers: Baxter, Iredale, Santos (Toal 45), Forrester, Williams, Thomason, Morley, Jones (Matheson 76), Maghoma (Mendes Gomes 65), Nlundulu (Jerome 65), Bodvarsson (Charles 71)
Subs Not Used: Hutchinson, Sheehan, Dacres-Cogley, Adeboyejo
Booked: Jerome
Goals: Santos 39, Maghoma 52, Forrester 69, Charles 87

Solihull Moors: Simkin, Craig (Brogan 69), Clarke, Morrison, Stearman, Newton, Maycock (Stevens 56), Labadie (Warburton 56), Osborne, Mafuta, Beck (Ryley 75)
Subs Not Used: Flahavan, Gordon, Kelly
Booked: Labadie, Craig, Osborne
Sent Off: Osborne

Referee: Scott Simpson
Attendance: 5,523

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