Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 6th Apr 2019 17:14
Collin Quaner’s two first-half goals saw Town to a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers at the University of Bolton Stadium with Josh Emmanuel converting a late own goal for the home side. Quaner headed the Blues in front on 33, then added his second with a shot on the turn 11 minutes later. Town saw the game out largely comfortably after the break until a cross bounced off Emmanuel and over the line in the fourth and final minute of injury time.
Quaner, Emmanuel, James Collins, Teddy Bishop and Andre Dozzell all started as Paul Lambert made five changes from the team which lost 2-0 at home to Hull City last week.
James Bree, Trevoh Chalobah, Toto Nsiala and Kayden Jackson dropped to the bench, while Jon Nolan missed out through injury. Will Keane made the trip but was not included in the 18 along with Jonas Knudsen.
Emmanuel was making his second start of the season at right-back with Collins alongside skipper Luke Chambers at centre-half.
In midfield, Dozzell and Bishop were either side of Cole Skuse in a midfield which could become familiar next season in League One.
Alan Judge, fresh from signing his new contract, and Gwion Edwards were to the left and right of lone central striker Quaner up front.
Bolton were unchanged from the team which won 2-1 at QPR last weekend with the players having returned to training on Thursday following a 48-hour walkout in solidarity with unpaid off-field staff.
The squad remain unpaid, while there was no hospitality at the game due to the suppliers not having been paid and although the IT problems overnight were rectified Wanderers’ email system wasn’t working ahead of the match.
Town had the better of the opening stages but without testing Remi Matthews in the Wanderers goal.
On 12 Dozzell found Myles Kenlock on the left with a superb 30-yard ball but the left-back’s cross was met by a Bolton head in front of Edwards at the far post.
The Blues continued to see most of the ball and in the 16th minute Kenlock sent in another ball from the left towards Quaner. However, a Wanderers toe stabbed it away from him and the on-loan Huddersfield man required treatment for an ankle problem before continuing.
Keeper Bartosz Bialkowski required treatment on 24 after he was caught in the head by Gary O’Neil before eventually being able to continue.
The ex-Norwich man had sought to get on to a weak Chambers header back towards his keeper but the Polish international had seemed to have hold of the ball well before the Bolton man arrived, however, referee Peter Bankes gave O’Neil the benefit of the doubt.
The Trotters subsequently won a couple of corners and might have gone ahead on 27 when Will Buckley knocked the ball back from deep to Sammy Ameobi and the former Newcastle man’s backheel was deflected wide.
But Town began to get back on top and on 31 Joe Williams almost diverted Dozzell’s corner from the right into his own net, the ball just beating the outside of the post.
Moments later, Edwards tricked his way into space on the right of the area but his cross was cut out.
However, the 1,452-strong Blue army, replete with inflatables bouncing around the away end, didn’t have to wait too much longer for a goal.
In the 33rd minute skipper Chambers looped over a cross from the right and Quaner rose high to powerfully nod his second goal for Town past Matthews to the keeper’s left.
Having got their noses in front, the Blues went looking for another goal, Judge hitting a powerful strike from an angle on the right which Matthews grabbed at the second attempt.
However, Wanderers might well have levelled in the 36th minute when Andrew Taylor found Buckley with a cross from the right but the former Brighton man was only able to head weakly to Bialkowski.
The home side were forced into a change in the 41st minute when O’Neil was replaced by Luca Connell.
Seconds later, Ameobi threatened a the second time but his shot after a loose ball had fallen to him on the edge of the box was deflected wide.
A minute before the scheduled end of the half, the Blues doubled their lead with Quaner again the man on target.
Kenlock brought the ball in from the left and played a ball into the German’s feet. The striker took a touch and hit a shot on the turn which beat Matthews to his right and hit the inside of the post before nestling in the back of the net.
Neither side threatened again before referee Bankes’s whistle ended a half which couldn’t really have gone too much better for the Blues.
Town, who led by two goals at half-time for the first time under Paul Lambert having last been 2-0 in front at half-time at Birmingham in September, dominated possession for the most part as has become familiar in recent games and on this occasion were able to create the goals to make it count, Quaner finishing both his chances superbly to take his total for the Blues to three.
Bolton had only really threatened through Ameobi’s two blocked efforts and Buckley’s poor header and needed to improve significantly in the second half if they were to get the three points they required to close the gap to safety.
Five minutes after the restart the home side broke quickly following a Town attack and Pawel Olkowski found Buckley at the far post with a cross from the right but the one-time Sunderland man shot into the ground and over.
On 53 an Ameobi shot from the edge of the box looped up into Bialkowski’s arms with the Trotters taking the game to the Blues at the start of the half.
Bishop was replaced by Flynn Downes in the 62nd minute, then seconds later the Blues went agonisingly close to adding their third goal.
Quaner escaped down the right and sent in a low ball towards Judge, who slid in just after the ball had past him at the near post and Olkowski turned the ball out for a corner. Seconds later, Bolton swapped Taylor for Erhun Oztumer.
Downes was unable to direct a swirling Skuse cross on target before the Blues found themselves under real pressure for the first time but with skipper Chambers in particular making a number of important blocks.
On 72 sub Oztumer’s shot from the edge of the box flew through a crowd of players straight at Bialkowski.
Town, now looking a big threat on the counter-attack with Edwards and Kenlock both making strong breaks forward, switched the tiring Dozzell for Chalobah with 15 minutes remaining.
Two minutes later, Bolton replaced Buckley with Craig Noone, then Kayden Jackson took over from Edwards for the final eight minutes for the Blues.
Town had managed to weather the brief spell of pressure and the game rather petered out in the final minutes with the large travelling Blues support remaining in good voice and looking forward to next season, singing “Que sera, sera, we’re going to Shrewsbury…”.
Deep in injury time, seconds before the whistle, Bolton pulled a goal back. A cross from the right wasn’t dealt with by Bialkowski and the ball hit Emmanuel behind him and bounced towards goal. Collins appeared to have cleared it off the line before referee Bankes pointed to his wrist indicating that the goal-line technology had signalled a goal.
Keeper Bialkowski will have been disappointed to have missed out on a clean sheet, although finishing on the winning side for the first time this season will be some consolation the Polish international.
Moments after the restart the whistle was blown to confirm Town’s second away win of the season and only their fourth victory all season.
Having gained their two-goal lead in the first half the Blues were comfortable for the most part in the second with Bolton’s short-lived period of pressure repelled. Their goal when it came was slightly freakish in its nature.
Ultimately the victory means little in the context of Town’s season other than to put off relegation for a game or so and to end the 12-game winless run.
However, it does help to maintain the feelgood factor instilled by manager Lambert which so far has lacked wins.
The Blues remain 13 points from safety with six matches left to play. Their next fixture is at Brentford on Wednesday when it is possible for relegation to be confirmed if Town are defeated and a number of results elsewhere going against them.
Bolton: Matthews, Taylor (Oztumer 65), Beevers, Olkowski, Connolly, Wheater, Ameobi, Buckley (Noone 77), O’Neil (Connell 41), Williams, Magennis. Unused: Alnwick, Little, Donaldson, Wilson.
Town: Bialkowski, Emmanuel, Chambers (c), Collins, Kenlock, Skuse, Bishop (Downes 62), Dozzell (Chalobah 75), Edwards (Jackson 82), Judge, Quaner. Unused: Gerken, Nsiala, Bree, El Mizouni. Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside). Att: 17,811 (Town: 1,452).
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