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04 August 2018 Venue The Hawthorns Attendance

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Preview: Five talking points ahead of West Bromwich Albion v Bolton Wanderers

2 August 2018

Wanderers are back in action at The Hawthorns this weekend to begin their 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship clash with an enticing encounter against newly relegated West Bromwich Albion.

Ahead of the opening day clash against The Baggies, bwfc.co.uk has highlighted five key talking points.

1. New Season

Last season ended in dramatic fashion for Phil Parkinson's men, retaining their Sky Bet Championship status with a late comeback victory against Nottingham Forest at the University of Bolton Stadium - Aaron Wilbraham proving to be the hero on that sunny May afternoon.

The new season gets underway this Saturday afternoon in the West Midlands with Wanderers facing a side relegated from the top flight after seven consecutive seasons going blow for blow with the nation's big hitters. Phil Parkinson will be looking to try and take his side one step further following survival last time out. The first of 46 league games begins at 3pm, Saturday 4 August.

2. Debutants

Wanderers have been busy in the summer, recruiting a whole host of new faces to re-build the squad ahead of another Sky Bet Championship campaign. A total of nine new faces have been brought to the University of Bolton stadium, with each of them looking to make their debuts for the club this weekend.

In the defensive ranks, Polish internatonal right-back Pawel Olkowski was brought in after departing FC Koln, with Jack Hobbs signing a one-year deal after spending most of the summer on trial following his departure from Nottingham Forest. Former Sunderland utility man Marc Wilson added depth to the defence and the midfield, with experienced central midfielders Jason Lowe and Luke Murphy also brought in.

A goal-scoring attacking midfielder, Erhun Oztumer was signed on a two-year deal after leaving Sky Bet League One side Walsall, following two sparkling years with The Saddlers. Speedy winger, Yanic Wildschut arrived on a loan deal from Norwich City and in the strike department, Clayton Donaldson and Josh Magennis were snapped up from Sheffield United and Charlton Athletic respectively.

3. First trip to The Hawthorns since 2011

Wanderers will make their first trip to the home of West Bromwich Albion, in coming up to seven years. In November 2011, Owen Coyle's side were beaten with Shane Long's second half goal proving decisive. In the first half, Jerome Thomas opened the scoring before Ivan Klasnic's equaliser from the penalty spot. 

Without a win in seven visits, Wanderers last took all three points at The Hawthorns in August 2000; Isaiah Rankin and Gareth Farrelly on target in a 2-0 victory. Phil Parkinson's men will be looking for a first win against The Baggies on their own turf, in 18 years.

4. Big away following

The first game of the season, usually means a big crowd and a big travelling following from the visiting team. Wanderers fans will have been anticipating Saturday's kick-off since the final whistle blew in May at the University of Bolton Stadium.

News from the Ticket Office at the time of writing is that there will be approximately 2,500 Wanderers supporters making the 2 hour journey to the West Midlands on Saturday afternoon. The excitement continues to build!

5. No pay on the day

If you're not travelling to The Hawthorns with a match ticket this weekend, then you won't be allowed entry into the ground. Please ensure you have bought your ticket before making the journey.

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Match Reports

Report: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

4 August 2018

Bolton Wanderers enjoyed a sensational opening day victory against West Brom at The Hawthorns thanks to debut goals from Josh Magennis and Yanic Wildschut.

It was a stunning and deserved three points against the team who dropped out of the Premier League last season.

Magennis put his side in front with a headed goal before the hosts got back into the game on the cusp of half-time thanks to Harvey Barnes.

But a late winner from substitute Wildchut silenced The Hawthorns to get Wanderers Sky Bet Championship campaign up and running.

Team News

Wanderers lined up with four debutants for the opening game of the season with Pawel Olkowski, Jason Lowe, Luke Murphy and Josh Magennis all making the starting XI at a sold out Hawthorns.

Fellow new boys Jack Hobbs, Gary O’Neil and Yanic Wildschut were named among the substitutes.

First Half

Magennis’ first touch in a Wanderers shirt should have resulted in a free-kick just outside the Albion box after he was bundled off the ball but the referee waved play on after the Northern Ireland international picked up on a loose ball and charged towards goal.

Sammy Ameobi received some lengthy treatment after colliding with Kieran Gibbs but eventually got back to his feet as Wanderers prepared to defend a corner.

The set-piece sparked a period of pressure from the hosts with Wanderers struggling to keep possession.

Ben Alnwick made his first save in the 13th minute when he caught Harvey Barnes’ drive after a decent spell of possession from the hosts finally came to a halt.

Wanderers earned their first corner after Andrew Taylor’s long throw evaded everyone except Sam Johnstone who had to tip the ball over.

This sparked a decent spell of pressure which resulted in Magennis nodding home a debut goal to give Wanderers a lead.

Having failed to clear two corners, West Brom looked anything but solid when defending the set-pieces; however, a right-footed cross from Ameobi, after a stunning passage of play from the visitors, was inch perfect for the big Wanderers striker who placed his header past Johnstone.

The Baggies were rattled and Wanderers sniffed blood as they piled forward. Another corner ensued, from Josh Vela, and Mark Beevers’ headed effort went agonisingly wide.

Full back Allan Nyom tried his luck from distance after losing his marker, but his effort skewed wide of Alnwick’s left hand post.

The Baggies were starting to get back into the game, and Matt Phillips’ shot took a deflection for a corner, which resulted in a sustained period of attacking pressure that Wanderers withstood.

Meanwhile, at the other end, another corner from Vela caused some mild panic in the Baggies penalty area when Wheater’s header was just about saved by Johnstone.

Phillips was proving to be a thorn in Wanderers’ side and another shot from the midfielder was deflected for a corner.

As the half drew to a close, Magennis showed great strength to shrug off a challenge from Gibbs and play in Vela’s whose cross just evaded Will Buckley at the far post.

But before the referee blew his whistle for the half, the hosts found themselves back in the contest thanks to a lovely strike from Barnes who curled his effort beyond the reach of Alnwick.

Second Half

Beevers slid in to make an excellent block moments after the restart when Barnes found himself in space and with time to get in a powerful shot on target.

The visitors suffered an early blow in the second half when Ameobi hobbled off with a leg injury. Craig Noone came on to replace the winger.

Barnes was certainly proving to be the Baggies’ main threat and another shot from the on-loan man was deflected into the grateful arms of Alnwick.

The hosts were dialling up the heat and a cross into the Wanderers box was met by the head of Jay Rodriguez whose effort was hooked clear by Lowe.

Moments later and Buckley was penalised for a push but Brunt’s free-kick was eventually cleared by the Wanderers defence.

Noone was getting into the thick of the action and won a free-kick out wide which was floated in with the Baggies only able to clear for a corner.

O’Neil came on for fellow debutant Murphy on the hour mark as Wanderers fought to get a grip on the game.

Alnwick made a splendid save to keep out Hegazi’s header from Brunt’s corner as West Brom tried to capitalise on their momentum.

But Wanderers should have taken the lead for a second time when Noone’s cross was met by the head of Magennis at the far post, but Johnstone somehow managed to block the effort from the Wanderers target man. O’Neil received the ball in the aftermath but his follow-up strike was cleared.

Another set-piece presented Wanderers with a chance of a goal when Noone was clattered just outside the box. He picked himself up to take the free-kick but struck the ball high and wide.

With 12 minutes to go Wanderers made their final change with Wildschut coming on for Buckley.

The game turned on its head with just two minutes to go when Wilschut produce a cheeky finish to give Wanderers the points. Vela’s celver work on the flank earned a corner which he took. Wheater’s towering header went unchallenged and allowed the Dutchman to steer past Johnstone to send the 2,600 travelling Wanderers fans into a state of delirium.

There were some nervy moments in the final three minutes of added time, none more so when Hegazi headed against the bar.

But Wanderers hung on to claim a sensational victory against the reelgated Premier League outfit.

Full Time

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Ticket News

No pay on the day at West Brom this weekend

2 August 2018

Bolton Wanderers fans should be aware that there will be no pay on the day facility at West Bromwich Albion this weekend.

Supporters wishing to attend our 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship season opener at The Hawthorns must buy their tickets in advance from Bolton Central before 2pm on Friday 3 August.

The club have sold just under 2,400 tickets so far.

Purchases can be made in person or over the phone, but all tickets must be collected in person.

Prices are as follows: 

Adults - £20
Over-60s - £15
Students - £15
Under-23s - £15
Under-18s - £10
Ambulant/Wheelchair User - £10
Under-11s - £5

Official coach travel is available, costing £20 per person. All coaches depart Macron Stadium at 11am.

For more information, please call Bolton Central on 0844 871 2932.

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