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29 February 2020 Venue University of Bolton Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Accrington Stanley (H)

28 February 2020

Wanderers are back in Sky Bet League One action tomorrow afternoon at the University of Bolton Stadium with Keith Hill’s men taking on Accrington Stanley.

Accrington are currently 16th in the table and look set to secure a third consecutive season in the third tier of English football. With an objective most likely to be retain their status as a Sky Bet League One club at the start of the campaign, it looks probable that they will do exactly that.

The month of February started off with three successive victories, against AFC Wimbledon, Shrewsbury Town and Lincoln City but in their last two outings John Coleman’s side have been beaten by Rotherham United and Oxford United. Inconsistency has perhaps restricted the possibility of Stanley achieving more than they have this season.

Team News

In his pre-match press conference with, Wanderers manager Keith Hill said Liam Edwards has sustained a damaged kneecap and will miss the remainder of the season. Saturday’s game will likely come too early for Ronan Darcy who remains on the sidelines and Harry Brockbank is ill.

Head to Head

Since Accrington Stanley’s reformation in 1968 there has been just two meetings between the two teams and they have both come during the current campaign. After a 7-1 defeat at the Wham Stadium in November which we won’t over elaborate on, Wanderers were also beaten 2-0 in the Trophy the following month with Offrande Zanzala and Colby Bishop on the scoresheet.

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

Accrington Stanley come into the game as favourites at the time of writing according to Sky Bet, and are being priced at 1/1 (Evens) to win the game.

Wanderers are regarded as underdogs and are priced at 12/5 to win the game, with a draw being priced at 5/2. Odds are subject to change.

Man in the Middle – Josh Smith

Saturday’s match will be officiated by Josh Smith. He will be assisted by David Plowright and Stephen Wade with Billy Smallwood appointed as the fourth official.

Smith has officiated 24 matches this season, with the most recent being Newport County’s 2-1 home victory against Bradford City in Sky Bet League Two last weekend.  

So far this campaign he has handed out 78 yellow cards (3.25 per game) and six red cards (0.25 per game).

Currently in his second season as a referee, Smith has never refereed a Wanderers fixture although he sent off Ethan Hamilton in a 7-1 defeat to Doncaster Rovers when the Manchester United loanee was on loan at Southend United.  

Key man for the Sky Blues – Jordan Clark

An exciting winger who is currently in his fourth season with Accrington Stanley, he has eight goals to his name in all competitions so far this season with five assists.

The 26 year-old began his career with hometown club Barnsley and featured for the club under the management of Keith Hill before joining Shrewsbury Town in July 2014 after loan spells with Chesterfield, Scunthorpe United and Hyde.

Since signing for Accrington in August 2016, he has made 189 appearances and scored 29 goals during that time.


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Match Reports

Report: Bolton Wanderers vs. Accrington Stanley

29 February 2020

Bolton Wanderers and their Lancashire neighbours Accrington Stanley ground out a scoreless draw at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The hosts created several good opportunities, especially in the first half, to try and break the deadlock but were unable to find a way past Josef Bursik who was in excellent form for the visitors.

Keith Hill made three changes from the side that narrowly lost to Blackpool in midweek. Brandon Fleming, Joe Dodoo and Daryl Murphy came into the starting XI at the expense of Joe Bunney, Ethan Hamilton and Chris O’Grady.

Wanderers got off to a bright, attacking start and Dennis Politic was unlucky to see his effort go over the bar after charging into the box almost straight from kick off.

Luke Murphy then saw an attempt from distance get blocked by a defender as the home side tried to seize the initiative early on.

Politic’s cross into the box ran through to Joe Dodoo who controlled the ball on his chest before witnessing his volley get blocked behind for a corner.

Bursik in the Stanley goal made a crucial close range save to deny Daryl Murphy’s bullet header off Ali Crawford’s corner.

A rare foray into the Wanderers box for Stanley culminated in Bobby Grant losing control of the ball after he had burst into the box. Remi Matthews was on hand to regain possession for the hosts.

Another chance fell Wanderers’ way when Dodoo dribbled his way into the box before cutting the ball back to Crawford, whose shot was pushed behind by Bursik.

From the resulting corner, taken by Crawford, Toto Nsiala rose the highest but was unable to direct his header on target.

It was all Wanderers and Dodoo was at it again after being picked out by Crawford, with the winger’s low drive from 15 yards out go just wide of the post.

A few moments later and Dodoo created some space for a long range effort but his deflected effort is held onto by Bursik.

Jason Lowe hit a powerful volley from the edge of the box which flew wide after Dodoo breezed past Callum Johnson to launch a cross to the Wanderers captain.

As the half came towards a close, Stanley had a couple of half-chances that never really troubled the Wanderers.

Sam Finley’s cross from the right hand side took an unfortunate deflection off Jack Hobbs but the ball went over his own bar.

Almost immediately, Nsiala put in a superb block to keep out Jordan Clark’s shot.

Bursik produced a tremendous save after Dodoo got on the end of a well-worked move but could only see his curling effort from a tight angle kept out by the Stanley keeper.

Hill made his first change of the afternoon when Yoan Zouma came on for Hobbs before the second-half got underway.

Politic went wide with another effort after latching on to Luke Murphy’s ball into the channel.

Zouma conceded a corner after Finley’s deflected cross towards the near post threatened to pose some momentary danger.

Crawford was unable to captialise on an error by Harvey Rodgers when his first time shot went narrowly wide of goal.

Stanley then had their best chance of the game when Clark’s rocket of a shot looked destined to fly into the top corner only for Matthew to pull off a stunning save to thwart him.

The visitors starting to cause more problems for Wanderers and Joe Pritchard’s corner in the box saw Colby Bishop’s header held on to by Matthews.

Kean Bryan then rose to plant a header onto Politic’s corner but the defender is unable to steer his effort on goal.

The visitors won a free kick in a dangerous spot when Bryan upended Dion Charles, a challenge for which he was cautioned. Joe Maguire took the resulting free-kick which turned out to be a routing claim for Matthews.

They earned another attempt at goal from a set-piece but Jerome Opoku couldn’t keep his effort on target and Wanderers earned a reprieve.

Crawford received a pass from Luke Murphy and moved into space before seeing his shot from distance go comfortably over the bar.

As the game moved into time added on, Dodoo once again saw a shot deflect wide for a corner.

At the death Politic’s header from Lowe’s first time cross went over the bar to perfectly sum up a frustrating afternoon for the Wanderers.

The final chance of the game fell to Stanley, with a long range effort brilliantly tipped around the post by Matthews.

It was hard working performance from Keith Hill’s men who were desperately unlucky not to find a winner their performance merited.

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