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21 December 2019 Venue University of Bolton Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Southend United (H)

20 December 2019

The Whites play host to Sol Campbell’s Southend United on Saturday afternoon in a Sky Bet League One encounter at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Southend are currently 22nd in the table, five points ahead of Bolton having played four more games.

The Shrimpers come into the game following a two all draw with Rotherham United last weekend but are without a win in the league since the end of September.

The Whites were narrowly beaten on their last time out, losing 1-0 away to high flying Peterborough United.

Team News

In his pre-match press conference, Wanderers manager Keith Hill said the following about his squad's health:

"We know who is injured and it would only be concerning in the ones who were playing week in week out were picking up knocks and niggles during the course of the week, and we haven't.

"It is a similar squad that we have choose from (at Peterborough)."

Head to Head

Wanderers and Southend have met 18 times in their history, with the first game coming in October 1972, with both teams having a share of the spoils that day in a 1-1 draw.

The Whites have edged this fixture so far, winning seven of those games, drawing six and losing five.

There was a dramatic finish in our last meeting with Southend back in April 2017, the then Shrimpers manager Phil Brown was sent from the dugout 10 minutes from time, before a last gasp winner from Mark Beevers sealed all three points for Bolton.

Match Coverage

As usual, match updates will be provided by the club’s official twitter account (@OfficialBWFC). We will keep you up to date with the action to ensure you don’t miss a kick – delivering a match report shortly after the final whistle with post-match reaction from manager, Keith Hill.

Live commentary will also be available by the iFollow BWFC channel (subscribe via the website), with the BBC Radio Manchester team providing the coverage.

Betting Odds

Wanderers come into the game as betting favourites at the time of writing, according to Sky Bet, being priced to win at 10/11.

Southend are outsiders at 13/5, with a draw priced at 5/2.

Man in the Middle

Saturday’s game will be officiated by Ben Toner, with Abbas Khan, Matthew Bristow and Fourth Official Gareth Rhodes completing the referee line-up.

Toner has officiated 16 matches so far this season, with his latest being in a 1-1 draw between Cheltenham and Colchester United at the end of November.

So far this season he has handed out 45 yellow cards and two red cards.

Currently in his ninth season as a referee, Toner has never refereed The Whites, however, has officiated Southend on a number of occasions, most recently in a 1-0 away loss to Rochdale last season.

Key Man for The Shrimpers – Stephen Humphrys

The main man leading the line for Sol Campbell's side on Saturday will be 22-year-old forward Stephen Humphrys.

Humphrys joined The Shrimpers from Fulham back in January, after an array of loan spells at Shrewsbury Town, Rochdale and Scunthorpe United.

The attacker made an instant impact on his debut for the side, scoring two goals in a 4-0 win over Bradford City on the day of his signature.

A man for the big occasion, Humphrys has five goals from his nine starts for Southend, with his most important strike being the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Sunderland which saved The Shrimpers from relegation to League Two.

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Match Reports

Report: Bolton Wanderers 3-2 Southend United

21 December 2019

Bolton Wanderers came back from behind to seal a vital victory against Southend United which sent the University of Bolton Stadium faithful home with some festive cheer.

Harry Lennon put the visitors in front after ten minutes which threatened to sour the Christmas atmosphere, but great strikes from Joe Dodoo and Luke Murphy sent Wanderers into the break a goal to the good.

Daryl Murphy’s sixth goal in seven games extended Wanderers’ lead midway through the second-half before Shrimpers’ captain Tim Dieng reduced arrears to set up a tense finale.

Manager Keith Hill made two changes from the side that lost to Peterborough last weekend with Jake Wright and Thibaud Verlinden coming in for Adam Chicksen and Yoan Zouma.

The visitors enjoyed the brighter moments of the opening exchanges, but the lively Dodoo got the home supporters off their seats with run down the left hand side past Elvis Bwomono, but his cross went behind for a goal kick.

Stephen McLaughlin headed narrowly wide as he connected to a Lennon cross as the visitors looked to capitalise on their strong start.

Their persistence paid off after ten minutes when Lennon got on the end of Sam Manton’s corner to steer a header past Remi Matthews.

One almost became two and Steven Humphrys saw a long range shot deflect for a corner kick after he had lost the attention of Jason Lowe.

Wanderers had their first chance just after the half hour mark when Lowe hit the ball over after good work from Josh Emmanuel and Daryl Murphy created the difficult opportunity.

The hosts’ equaliser came in spectacular style when Dodoo showed some smart control to swivel and blast a left-footed volley into the bottom corner.

Just before half-time, Matthews made an important stop to thwart a low drive from Humphrys after he was played in by McLaughlin.

But Wanderers got their noses in front inside time added on and what a goal it was! A cross was cleared into the box, only as far as Luke Murphy, who controlled the ball on his chest before lashing a volley into the corner past Nathan Bishop.

No changes were made during the interval, which got off to a steady start.

The visitors were looking to get back into the contest and Humphrys should have done better, seeing his acrobatic attempt go narrowly wide of target.

At the other end, Josh Emmanuel surged from the right before seeing a rising shot from outside the box go a yard over the bar.

Moments later, Dodoo controlled a Ronan Darcy cross with a sublime touch inside the box to lose his marker before striking the ball over the bar.

Daryl Murphy extended Wanderers’ lead after capitalising on a defensive mix-up to chip over the advancing Bishop.

The visitors were determined to reduce the arrears and did so through captain Nieng.

Wanderers held firm and saw the game out to claim a fantastic festive three points ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Sunderland.

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