Report: Bolton 3-0 Doncaster
Bolton Wanderers returned to winning ways after confidently brushing aside Doncaster Rovers at the Reebok.
First-half goals from Joe Mason and Andre Moritz and a late Neil Danns strike were decisive on an afternoon that in truth should have ended in a far greater margin of victory.
Bolton rang the changes, with five new faces coming into the starting XI following the disappointing midweek defeat at the hands of Huddersfield.
Of those, the most notable saw Chris Eagles, fit again following a groin strain, deployed in midfield whilst the on-loan Mason spearheaded the frontline.
Bolton started the game on the front-foot, but for all their dominance the opening 15 minutes yielded just one attempt on goal worthy of any note; Moritz firing an ambitious volley from distance wide.
On their maiden visit to the Reebok the visitors rarely threatened, though on the 20-minute mark Theo Robinson rose highest in the Bolton area to head Mark Duffy’s out-swinging corner against the post.
That scare then sparked the home side into life, who responded with a flurry of chances of their own.
Darren Pratley, another of those restored to the starting team, lashed a volley wide from Moritz’s left-wing cross before the Brazilian then saw a rasping effort of his own deflect narrowly over the crossbar.
As half-time approached the game had a distinct pattern; Doncaster defending deep for large periods, looking to spring the counter when winning possession.
But after some last-ditch defending the visitors then shot themselves in the foot on 34 minutes.
Enda Stevens’ blind pass infield was intercepted. Moritz then clipped a ball over the defence onto which Mason pounced, who after wriggling away from his marker saw a shot deflect in off a covering defender. One for the dubious goals panel.
The constant pressure began to tell. Mason’s fully volley brought a smart reflect save out of Ross Turnbull, though there was nothing the ex-Chelsea stopper could do to prevent Bolton’s second on 39 minutes.
Moritz engineered half-a-yard of space and let fly with his left foot from 25 yards. His low drive skidded along the damp Reebok turf before kissing the inside of the post on its way into the back of the net.
Doncaster looked out of their depth and would have been relieved when referee Richard Clark brought the opening 45 to an end.
With Bolton firmly in control, the impetus was very much on Paul Dickov’s side to change flow of the game. Despite the introduction of burly striker Chris Brown, the game assumed a similar pattern.
The two first-half goals had afforded Wanderers a comfortable cushion. Try as they may, Doncaster lacked any cutting edge going forward.
A further 25 minutes of play passed, with Bolton by and large untroubled aside from a long-range strike from Robinson.
It was one-way traffic as time wore on.
On 76 minutes Matt Mills crashed home a powerful header only for the referee’s assistant to spot an infringement before Moritz, revelling in front of the home fans, stung the palms of Turnbull from a tight angle.
Substitutes Danns added an extra gloss to the result, with his low strike beating Turnbull in stoppage time as Bolton ultimately won the game at a canter.
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