|Bolton Wanderers 2 v 0 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 15th January 2022 Kick-off 15:00
Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 15th Jan 2022 17:01
Second-half goals from Kieran Lee and Dapo Afolayan saw new manager Kieran McKenna to his first defeat as Blues boss as Town were defeated 2-0 at Bolton Wanderers. Town were on top for long spells with creating many clear-cut chances before Lee rebounded the Trotters’ opener on 74 and sub Afolayan profited from a George Edmundson error with nine minutes left on the clock.
McKenna named an unchanged side with Christian Walton, perhaps playing his last game for the club with parent club Brighton having taken up the option to recall him with seven days’ notice earlier in the week with discussions regarding a permanent switch ongoing, continuing in goal.
The back three was again, from the right, Janoi Donacien, Luke Woolfenden and Edmundson with the wing-backs Wes Burns and Matt Penney.
In central midfield, skipper Samy Morsy was partnered by Lee Evans with Sone Aluko behind front pair James Norwood and top scorer Macauley Bonne, whose presence at Town for the remainder of the season was confirmed last night.
Forward Bersant Celina returned to the bench following his hamstring injury with Kayden Jackson dropping out of the 18.
For Bolton, keeper James Trafford and midfielder Aaron Morley were handed their debuts having signed in the week, while Gethin Jones was back in the XI and Will Aimson and Afolayan, who scored twice against the Blues in the Trotters’ 5-2 victory at Portman Road earlier in the season, dropped to the bench.
After the teams, with the exception of Aluko, had taken a knee, the Blues started positively, as they did at Gillingham last week, captain Morsy seeing an early cross blocked.
Town were giving the home side, including 19-year-old debutant keeper Trafford, who is on loan from Manchester City, no time on the ball as they tried to play it out from their penalty box.
Bolton began to see more of the ball as the game passed the 10-minute mark but without threatening, although they were twice flagged offside with players behind the Blues’ backline, while Town continued to play the more confident and composed football. On 13 MJ Williams was shown the game’s first yellow card for a foul on Norwood.
As the quarter-hour approached, a neat spell of passing on the left led to Morsy teeing-up Aluko on the edge of the box, the forward hitting a shot which Trafford saved down to his left. The loose ball fell to Bonne but at a tight angle. The ball eventually reached Evans on the edge of the box but the Welshman’s shot was blocked.
Bolton will feel they should have scored with their first serious attack in the 19th minute. Following a free-kick which was taken short on the right, Lee crossed and Dion Charles headed wide at the near post when the striker, a recent signing from Accrington, will feel he should have hit the target.
Wanderers threatened again on 24 when a Morley corner from the right was headed over at the far post by George Johnston.
Town continued to see most of the ball but with Bolton also now having spells in possession. Just before the half hour, Burns cut out a loose Trotters pass on the Blues’ right and brought the ball forward and cut inside to Evans, who hit a shot from the edge of the area which Trafford bundled behind at his left post.
Bolton went very close to breaking the deadlock in the 32nd minute when Charles was played in in space on the left by Declan John and hit a shot across Walton which the keeper superbly tipped past his left post.
A minute later, Edmundson headed back towards his keeper from the edge of the box to the Town left failing to spot Lee, who was momentarily in on goal until Woolfenden brilliantly got back to dispossess him. Soon after, Edmundson was forced to make an interception with Bolton again in a threatening position.
Town had got a little sloppy with Wanderers becoming more confident on the ball and giving the Blues’ backline one or two problems.
On 40 Walton inadvertently slid out of his area to the right with the ball in his hands as he claimed a pass down the right. While the Bolton fans called for an unlikely red card, the Town keeper was shown a yellow.
The resultant free-kick appeared to take a nick on the way through before being headed behind.
There was another scare for the Blues in the 43rd minute when John crossed from the left and Amadou Bakayoko was just unable to reach the ball at the far post.
Jones blazed over following a late corner before referee Bobby Madley brought the half to an end.
Town had started very positively and in control playing the slick, fast-paced football which saw them to last week’s 4-0 win at Gillingham, although without creating a clear-cut opportunity to take the lead.
Their display became sloppier midway through the period, however, and Bolton came into it more and more and had the half’s best chances with Walton making the period’s most significant save from Charles.
Four minutes after the restart, the Blues weren’t too far away from going in front. Bonne picked up a poor Bolton pass midway inside the home side’s half and fed Aluko to his right. The Nigerian international brought it inside and after it had taken a touch off a defender, curled a shot not too far past Trafford’s right post.
Aluko threatened again in the 52nd minute when Penney cut in from the left and found him not far outside the area but the forward’s shot was blocked.
From the resultant corner, Bonne turned the ball on at the near post and it was diverted over by Edmundson, according to the referee, although Town appealed for a corner.
The Blues had regained much of their earlier composure and were again in control and seeing most of the ball.
On 58 Norwood went to ground having taken a blow to the head in a collision with Jones, who also subsequently took to the turf. An angry Norwood claimed he had been caught with an elbow and eventually talked his way into referee Madley’s book.
Bolton sent a couple of potentially dangerous balls into the Blues’ box which came to nothing but Town were beginning to dominate the ball, playing more patiently than they had in the second half of the first period. A Penney cross led to the first of three corners, which Wanderers just about defended.
Town made a double change in the 70th minute with Kane Vincent-Young replacing Penney and Celina Norwood. Bolton swapped Charles for Afolayan. Three minutes later, Burns was booked for kicking the ball away after being flagged offside.
In the 74th minute the Trotters went in front. The home side patiently moved the ball around on the edge of the box before Morley was in a position to shoot. Walton saved his strike but Lee was on hand to tap in from close range, his fourth goal against Town having scored three during his time with Sheffield Wednesday.
Town, and in particular Donacien, claimed the former Owl had done so from an offside position but video evidence suggested otherwise.
The Blues, who had conceded for the first time under new boss McKenna, went looking for a leveller. Celina saw a cross-shot from a very tight angle deflected behind, then an Evans cross following a short corner on the right found Woolfenden but the centre-half’s header flew straight at Trafford.
Town continued to push for the leveller, Bonne looping a header over from an Evans cross in the wake of another corner before Trotters skipper Ricardo Santos was booked for a foul in the Blues top scorer.
But it was Bolton who scored the game’s second goal in the 81st minute and in calamitous circumstances for Town. A long ball was played forward for Afolayan, which was intercepted by Edmundson with the Wanderers sub behind him in an offside position.
The Blues centre-half was under no pressure and played the ball back towards Walton having not spotted Afolayan, who gratefully stroked home his third goal of the season against Town. Woolfenden protested to first the linesman and then referee that Afolayan had been offside from the initial pass but to no avail.
Aluko was swapped for Conor Chaplin in the 84th minute as Town looked to get back into a game which looking lost.
Celina cut in from the left and saw a shot blocked, then on 88 Morsy found space to hit a strike from the edge of the box which also found a determined Bolton defender in its way. In the final minute, an Evans effort from distance found Chaplin on the edge of the six-yard box but in an offside position.
Edmundson stooped to head wide in the final minute of injury time but moments later the referee’s whistle signalled an end to new boss McKenna’s 100 per cent start to his time at Town and also Bolton’s five-game losing run.
The Blues had been on top and well in control for spells in both halves but without creating the openings which saw them to last week’s comfortable win at Gillingham. In the second half the Blues spent long periods on the ball without threatening. Bolton had looked the more dangerous side in and around the penalty area.
The result sees Town slip a place to 11th, but still eight points off the play-offs, ahead of next week’s home game against Accrington Stanley.
Bolton: Trafford, Jones (Aimson 90), John, Williams, Santos (c), Johnston, Charles (Afolayan 70), Bakayoko (Delfouneso 90), Fossey, Morley, Lee. Unused: Dixon, Thomason, Baptiste, Gordon.
Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns, Evans, Morsy (c), Penney (Vincent-Young 70), Aluko (Chaplin 84), Norwood (Celina 70), Bonne. Unused: Hladky, Burgess, Carroll, Chaplin, Pigott. Referee: Bobby Madley (West Yorkshire).
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 290 bloggers
Who Are You? Where Are You? by Pessimist
Having supported Ipswich Town for more than half a decade, my love affair with this wonderful club remains undiminished.
The Gamechanger Paradox by DanLyles
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair..."
Happy Anniversary of Ipswich Winning the Top Division on 28th April 1962 by HegansDog
I cannot compete with the fine recollections of the 1961/62 season produced by Elephant-in-the-Room.
The M Word by Chickenstochurchmans
As new players and staff have arrived at Portman Road over the last year Town have frequently been described as a ‘massive’ club much to the amusement of older fans like myself.
The Opportunity to Build Bonds by ipswichscott
There is a quote at the back of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand where Sir Bobby says a club is about “the passion, the noise, the feeling of belonging”.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]