Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 24th Aug 2019 15:59
James Norwood’s 19th minute penalty has given Town a 1-0 half-time lead at Bolton Wanderers.
Kane Vincent-Young was handed his Town debut at right-back with Janoi Donacien dropping to the bench, while skipper Luke Chambers was back at centre-half alongside James Wilson with Luke Woolfenden rested and among the subs.
Manager Paul Lambert returned to a 4-4-2 system with Alan Judge making his first League One start of the season on the left of midfield - although given the freedom to roam - and Gwion Edwards on the right.
Cole Skuse and Flynn Downes continued in the centre, while Kayden Jackson rejoined James Norwood up front. New loan signing Anthony Georgiou was again on the bench having made an impressive debut against AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday.
Bolton’s side included four of their five senior players, keeper Remi Matthews and midfielders Luke Murphy, James Weir and Jason Lowe, who captained.
Town kicked off in front of a very sparse home crowd with large sections of the ground closed and the game quickly moved into a pattern of the Blues pressing inside the Bolton half and Wanderers occasionally looking to break.
In the eighth minute Vincent-Young tricked his way into the area from the right via a number of Fabian Wilnis-esque stepovers and sent over a cross which Norwood couldn’t divert towards goal.
A minute later, Edwards crossed from the same flank and Norwood’s header wasn’t powerful enough to test Trotters keeper Matthews.
On 13 Judge, Skuse and Norwood made a mess of a freekick 30 yards out they’d obviously worked on on the training ground with the striker closed down by Ronan Darcy before he was able to get a shot in after the Irishman had rolled it back to him.
Three minutes later, Norwood wasn’t too far away from getting a touch to a low Vincent-Young ball across the six-yard area as the Blues continued to dominate.
Keeper Matthews wasn’t seriously threatened until the 18th minute when Edwards played a clever ball in to the right of the area for Jackson, whose shot the former Norwich youngster palmed wide at the near post.
But following the resultant corner the Blues took the lead. Bolton failed to clear and as Skuse tried to lift the ball over Harry Brockbank it struck the young defender’s arm and referee Kevin Johnson pointed to the spot. Brockbank was booked for his protests.
After a brief discussion between Norwood and Judge, the striker, who missed a spot-kick at Peterborough last week, slammed his third goal in three games straight down the middle and into the net.
The goal woke up the home support, who evidently felt hard done by regarding the penalty and Wanderers briefly enjoyed a spell in the Town half but without threatening.
Town continued to push, Judge curling a freekick over the bar in the 27th minute, then a minute later, after the former Brentford man had been caught in possession on the edge of his own box, Callum King-Harmes hit a low shot which deflected wide.
Norwood should have made it 2-0 in the 29th minute, Downes playing the ex-Tranmere man in but Matthews was off his line quickly to block from the Town number 10.
A minute later, Edwards sent Vincent-Young away on the right and the former Colchester man cut back to Judge, whose scuffed shot was almost turned in by Downes, however, the midfielder was just unable to direct it goalwards at the far post.
Norwood was again denied by Matthews in the 33rd minute, the keeper sticking out a hand as the striker tried to flick over him after the ball had run into his path as Edwards was tackled.
The crowd and the Bolton players were becoming more and more frustrated with referee Johnson, although they could have had little genuine complaint regarding Yoan Zouma’s lunge at the back of Edwards’s ankles on 36, while DeMarlio Brown-Sterling appeared to go down very easily under the attention of Kenlock as his side broke with the Town left-back the only player in the Blues’ half.
Norwood shot powerfully over on the turn inside the box in the 38th minute before James Weir wasted a 25-yard freekick for the Trotters, blazing high and wide from a decent position to the right of the box.
There was a bigger scare for Town on 42 when King-Harmes broke away down the right and after Kenlock slipped was able to cross. However, Vincent-Young, who had had a decent first 45 minutes for Town at both ends of the field, slid in to cut it out.
Judge scraped a shot wide in the final scheduled minute of the half after Norwood had guided a Tomas Holy long kick in his direction.
And that was the final action of a half the Blues had unsurprisingly dominated but without turning their ascendancy and chances into goals.
While he will have been pleased to score his penalty after his miss at Peterborough, Norwood will have gone in disappointed not to have added to his goals with Matthews twice thwarting him in one-on-ones, while the keeper had also prevented Jackson from grabbing his second goal of the season.
Bolton had threatened rarely with Town errors leading to their more dangerous moments, as has been the case in most opposition opportunities in the opening weeks of the season.
Nevertheless, they never seriously looked like scoring and a second Town goal in the second half should be enough to put the game to bed with further goals likely as the Bolton youngsters tire.
Bolton: Matthews, White, Zouma, Brockbank, Lowe (c), Weir, Murphy, Graham, King-Harmes, Brown-Sterling, Darcy. Subs: Alexander, Boon, Brown, Senior, Lockett, Richards, Riley.
Town: Holy, Vincent-Young, Chambers (c), Wilson, Kenlock, Skuse, Downes, Judge, Edwards, Jackson, Norwood. Subs: Norris, Donacien, Rowe, Dozzell, Woolfenden, Georgiou, Huws. Referee: Kevin Johnson (Weston-super-Mare). Att: 5,454 (Town: 760).
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