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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

05 March 2022 Venue Priestfield Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Gillingham v Bolton Wanderers

All the info as Wanderers head to the MEMS Priestfield

4 March 2022

Wanderers travel to Gillingham bidding to close the gap on the play-off places.

The Whites are eight points outside the top six with 11 games to go and three of their next four fixtures at home after the trip to Kent.

Ian Evatt’s side will be chasing a sixth away victory of the season and looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s loss at MK Dons.

The Gills – 22nd in the table – have conceded the most home goals in League One but are improving under Neil Harris as they look for a fifth win of the season at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Quotes from the managers

Ian Evatt: “We know what we have to do and that involves us winning games consistently. We’ve proven we can do that the last month or so and we have to go and do again.

“We’ve got to concentrate on ourselves. Everybody is scrapping for points at this time of year.

“Everyone has got something to play for. Gillingham are fighting for their lives and they’re going to play like that, so we’re going to have to match that.”

Gillingham manager Neil Harris: “Bolton are a big club at this level. They invested heavily, and well, in January and have had good results since.

“The crowd should hopefully improve again. It is a tough challenge we are looking forward to and it is a big game for both teams.”

Team news

Wanderers will be without vice-captain Gethin Jones, who is on compassionate leave.

Defender Adam Senior is added to the squad as cover after his re-call from a loan spell at Chorley.

Adam Senior action.jpg

Forward Mustapha Carayol could figure for Gillingham for the first time since the start of February.

Ben Reeves is also pushing for a start but midfield colleague Gerald Sithole remains an injury doubt with a hamstring problem that has kept him out since the end of January.


Wanderers’ fans are unable to buy tickets on the day at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Form guide

Wanderers have won eight and drawn one of their last 11 games to stay on the fringe of the play-off race.

But Ian Evatt’s men will be looking for a first away win in three games and first since their dramatic 3-2 victory at promotion-chasing Oxford.

Gillingham have boosted their survival hopes since the appointment of Neil Harris as manager at the end of January.

The Gills are still in the drop zone but have lost just two of their seven games under the former Millwall and Cardiff City boss.

Harris’ side won at Lincoln City a week ago but have taken just one point from their last two home games.

Last meeting

Wanderers 2-2 Gillingham 2 | Saturday 23 October, 2022

Wanderers fought back with two late goals to end a run of three straight defeats.

The Gills looked on course for a first win at Bolton for 35 years when they led 2-0 at the break.

John Akinde fired the visitors ahead before Wanderers’ January signing Kyle Dempsey rifled home the second.

But the Whites made Gillingham pay for missing chances early in the second half with a storming late fightback.

Ian Evatt’s men piled on the pressure and were rewarded when Dapo Afolayan pulled a goal back with a superb strike in the 86th-minute.

And Kieran Lee then steered home an injury-time equaliser to give Wanderers an important point.

Match officials

Referee: Craig Hicks

Assistant referees: Stephen Brown and Anthony Da Costa

Fourth official: Ryan Whitaker


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Match Reports

REPORT: Gillingham 0 Wanderers 3

Dominant Whites turn on the style to re-ignite push for the play-offs

5 March 2022

A stunning first goal for Wanderers and welcome second-half strikes from Declan John and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson propelled the Whites to a highly impressive victory which keeps their play-off hopes intact.

Wanderers’ margin for error in their pursuit of a possible top-six place had been trimmed by successive away defeats.

But Ian Evatt’s men responded to those set-backs in impressive fashion with one of their most dominant performances on the road which could have produced an even bigger winning margin.

Wanderers made chances almost at will against a Gillingham side whose hopes of beating the drop had been enhanced by a run of just two defeats in seven games since Neil Harris had taken over as manager.

The failure to take a greater percentage kept the outcome in some sort of doubt until the final half hour.

Aaron Morley celebration.jpg

But Wanderers were still comprehensive winners as Morley’s sumptuous strike, John’s fourth goal of the season – shortly after the Gills had been reduced to 10 men – and a deserved late strike for Jon Dadi Bodvarsson wrapped up a ninth victory in the last 12 games.

Wanderers were without former Gills’ skipper Kyle Dempsey due to illness and their own vice-captain in Gethin Jones following the tragic loss of his mother Karen.

Jones’ team-mates wore black armbands in a show of sympathy and support for the family, locking arms ahead of kick-off before getting down to work to try and secure a second away win in five attempts to get their play-off push back into top gear.

Gillingham – fighting for points at the other end of the table – asked some early questions with a barrage of long throws into the penalty area.

But Wanderers soon took charge with some impressive football creating outstanding opportunities for Dion Charles to give them the lead.

Declan John celebration.jpg

Charles was too slick for the Gills’ back line with his touch and turning ability but after being picked out by Dapo Afolayan and getting free in the box he lifted a shot over the top.

And with a quarter of an hour gone he had an even better chance, following up a shot from Will Aimson but firing the rebound wide when he looked a certain scorer.

The Whites needed a goal to reflect their superiority and when it did come after half an hour it was worth the wait.

Morley was enjoying another impressive game and when Marlon Fossey – released by MJ Williams – pulled the ball back for the midfielder just outside the penalty area, Morley curled a wonderful first-time effort across Aaron Chapman and into the top corner.

Their set-piece threat kept the Gills interested but the real chances continued to come Wanderers’ way and Fossey was next to get a sight of goal after more intricate build-up play gave the wing-back a shooting opportunity he directed too close to Chapman.

Jon Bodvarsson celebration.jpg

Wanderers couldn’t afford to make the lack of a second goal a punishable offence and again at the start of the second half they had opportunities to kill the contest.

Fossey once more made space in the box for a shot after getting forward to great affect but his effort was blocked and Afolayan then had to attempts to beat Chapman and double the lead.

Charles then forced Chapman into another save at the end of another excellent moved that carved open the Gills’ defence and with half an hour to go the hosts were reduced to 10 men when Daniel Phillips brought down Bodvarsson to collect his second yellow cards in a matter of minutes.

Wanderers further sensed the chance to go for the kill and just five minutes they did finally make it 2-0 to earn some welcome breathing space.

Again Morley was involved with a crisp pass to Charles who released Bodvarsson for a run and shot well saved by Chapman, who was then powerless to stop John ramming home the rebound with a tidy finish.

Fans celebrating.jpg

The wing-back’s previous goal had come in Wanderers’ last away success at Oxford United and the Whites matched the three goals they had scored there three minutes from the end when Bodvardsson’s persistence paid off with another run into the box and neat finish with the outside of his foot in front of the celebrating travelling fans.

Wanderers: Trafford; Aimson, Santos, Johnston; Fossey, Williams (Thomason 87), Morley, John; Afolayan (Sadlier 78); Charles (Bakayoko 78), Bodvarsson. Substitutes: Dixon, Amaechi, Gordon, Senior.

Booked: Williams

Gillingham: Chapman; Tucker, Ehmer, Masterson; Jackson, Phillips, O’Keefe, McKenzie; Thompson, Carayol (Reeves HT); Oliver (Kelman 87). Substitutes: Dahlberg, Tutonda, Dickson-Peters, Lee, Maghoma, Kelman.

Booked: Phillips.

Sent off: Phillips

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 5,109 (832 Wanderers)

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Ticket News

No Pay On The Day At Gillingham

Advance sales for Saturday's game still available

3 March 2022

Wanderers’ supporters will not be able to buy tickets on the day at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium for Saturday’s game at Gillingham.

Advanced sales from Wanderers are still available via the phone lines, for collection from Bolton Central, until 3pm on Friday 4 March, subject to availability.

After this time, no sales or refunds can be processed.

Ticket Prices

Adults - £22.00

Over 65s - £18.00

Student - £8.00

Under 18s - £8.00

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