Bolton Wanderers 0-5 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 24th Aug 2019 16:58
Town hit the top of League One after thrashing crisis club Bolton Wanderers 5-0 at the University of Bolton Stadium with James Norwood and Kayden Jackson netting twice each and Gwion Edwards once. Norwood’s 19th minute penalty gave the Blues a half-time lead in a game they dominated from start to finish with Edwards adding the second on 50, Jackson scoring in the 60th and 64th minutes before the Town number 10 completed the scoring on 72.
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.
On a sweltering afternoon, Town kicked off in front of a very sparse home crowd with large sections of the ground closed.
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 both Skuse and Edwards played the ball against the arms of Bolton players as they sought to find space to shoot and following the second incident referee Kevin Johnson pointed to the spot. Trotters defender Harry Brockbank, the man who had been penalised, 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 further Town goals seemed likely after the break with the Bolton youngsters likely to tire.
Wanderers swapped Sonny Graham for Finlay Lockett ahead of the second half in which Norwood suffered a knock almost immediately as he was challenged in the area. After taking a few moments to get up and then limping around for a few minutes the striker continued.
A Chambers header sent Jackson away in the 49th minute but Matthews saved the former Accrington striker’s shot to his left.
From the corner, Matthews made an even better stop, getting across to tip Chambers’s powerful header over.
But a second Town goal wasn’t too much longer in coming. Skuse played a deftly weighted pass through to Norwood who once again was thwarted by Matthews but the loose ball fell to Edwards, who struck a low shot into the net to claim his first goal of the campaign.
Skuse saw a low shot blocked for a corner on 59, and from the flag-kick the Blues scored their third.
After it had been half-cleared, the ball was hooked back into the box by Wilson, Norwood headed it on to Edwards, who flicked it past Matthews only for it to hit the post. However, the Welshman reacted quickly to tap it across to Jackson, who turned his second of the season home from a matter of inches.
Emyr Huws replaced Skuse in the 64th minute, the Wales international making his second sub appearance in League One this season.
Moments later, Jackson made in 4-0, running on to a long ball which Norwood had flicked on before slamming a low shot to the left of Matthews.
Bolton replaced right-back Joe White with Jordan Boon in the 68th minute with their fans still in fine voice despite the scoreline. Soon after Edwards was booked for a foul.
Moments later, Kenlock’s deep cross form the left reached the Welshman, who hit a low drive not too far past Matthews’s right post from the edge of the box.
Huws shot well over from distance on 71 before Edwards was swapped for on-loan Tottenham man Georgiou.
A minute later, Town made it 5-0. Huws fed Judge on the right and the Irishman whipped a superb ball into the path of Norwood who took a couple of touches before smashing past Matthews to finally claim his second of the match.
Danny Rowe replaced two-goal Norwood in the 77th minute, then seconds afterwards Jackson struck a shot which deflected wide.
Matthews made the best of his string of excellent saves from Huws in the 81st minute, the keeper getting across to his right to get a strong hand on the midfielder’s well-struck effort from 25 yards. On 85 Bolton made their final change, Eddie Brown replacing Brown-Sterling.
Georgiou smashed deep into the stand as he sought to get on the scoresheet but the Blues had to settle for five, matching the totals netted by Rochdale and Tranmere in Bolton’s previous two games.
The victory is the Blues' biggest since beating Doncaster 6-0 at the Keepmoat Stadium in February 2011. The last time Town won by more than one goal was the 4-0 victory at Reading in April 2018,
It takes the Blues to the top of League One on goal difference from previous leaders Blackpool - who drew 0-0 at Rochdale - Wycombe, Sunderland and Coventry who all have 11 points.
Inevitably, the game, which was watched by just 5,454, the lowest attendance for a league match at the University of Bolton Stadium since it opened in 1997, was literally men against boys and though Bolton’s youngsters battled gamely the Blues created chance after chance and after the break the gap in quality showed.
But for Matthews in the Wanderers goal - warmly embraced by Town keeper-coach Jimmy Walker after the whistle - the margin of victory could have been even bigger. On another day Norwood might well have scored four or five.
Town have a rare week without a midweek game before they host Shrewsbury at Portman Road next Saturday.
Bolton: Matthews, White (Boon 68), Zouma, Brockbank, Lowe (c), Weir, Murphy, Graham (Lockett 46), King-Harmes, Brown-Sterling (Brown 85), Darcy. Unused: Alexander, Senior, Richards, Riley.
Town: Holy, Vincent-Young, Chambers (c), Wilson, Kenlock, Skuse (Huws 64), Downes, Judge, Edwards (Georgiou 72), Jackson, Norwood (Rowe 78). Unused: Norris, Donacien, Dozzell, Woolfenden. Referee: Kevin Johnson (Weston-super-Mare). Att: 5,454 (Town: 760).
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