Report: Wanderers 2-1 Burnley
Wanderers battled their way back from a goal down to post three derby day points in a thrilling victory against Burnley at the Reebok Stadium.
Second-half substitutes Craig Davies and David Ngog netted the all-important goals, as the manager's decision to introduce the pair on the hour mark paid dividends.
The Clarets had taken the lead shortly after the restart through David Edgar, but from there on in it was one way traffic with Ngog’s goal in the 83rd minute ensuring that the Whites picked up three points.
Dougie Freedman made three changes from last weekend’s trip to Vicarage Road. Tim Ream dropped to the bench to make way for debutant Craig Dawson in the heart of defence, while deadline day acquisition Steve De Ridder took the place of Josh Vela and Tyrone Mears replaced Sam Ricketts.
On a bitterly cold afternoon it was to be the visitors who enjoyed the majority of the early possession, but the Whites hit back soon after with De Ridder forcing the Clarets’ defence into a couple of early clearances on his first start for the club.
The first notable chance of the game was to come in the sixth minute. Jay Spearing’s lethal in-swinging free kick causing mayhem in the Burnley penalty area before being cleared away.
Burnley responded through Danny Ings soon after following a mazy run into the box, but he was denied thanks to some last ditch Bolton defending, while Ross Wallace’s shot across the face of goal was scrambled to safety.
Wanderers almost snatched the lead through Dawson. Spearing found the on-loan defender unmarked just yards out with a pin-point cross, but the defender put his header just wide.
Wallace proceeded to test the Whites’ defence yet again just moments later, this time with a testing cross from the right flank which was cleared by Mears.
A goal looked to be imminent in the 29th minute as chaos ensued in the Burnley penalty area, with Dawson again going close, but Clarets’ keeper Lee Grant did well to keep him out from close range.
Sean Dyche’s men did threaten shortly after through Wallace, but his free kick from just outside the area sailed over the crossbar.
Chris Eagles shrugged off pressure from a number of Burnley players as he powered in on goal with the half drawing to its conclusion, but the former Clarets’ man pulled his shot wide.
The pressure was building from the Whites as they enjoyed the majority of the ball in the early stages of the second half, but it was to be Burnley who would break the deadlock.
Edgar headed in from close range after Chris McCann had played the ball back into danger from Junior Stanislas’ corner in the 55th minute.
Freedman responded immediately, introducing both Craig Davies and Ngog into the mix as Bolton pressed for an equalising goal.
The substitutions paid off just ten minutes later, with Craig Davies heading home off the inside of then bar after connecting with Chung-Yong Lee’s cross into the area.
The striker, who found himself with acres of space, was left with the simple task of looping the ball over Grant to send the home support into raptures.
He almost doubled his tally just moments later after good link up play with Ngog, as the Frenchman played the ball through the Burnley defence into the feet of Davies, but the Clarets’ keeper was quickly off his line to deny him.
The goal rejuvenated Wanderers, with both Dawson and Marcos Alonso going close to giving their side the lead soon after following confusion in the area.
Burnley were a team on the back foot as Bolton piled on the pressure and their dominance eventually paid dividends with seven minutes left as Ngog fired home after connecting with Spearing’s drive from just outside the area.
It was no more than the Whites deserved, and despite a number of half-hearted attacks from the visitors as the clock ran down, the result was never really in doubt.
Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Knight, Dawson, Alonso, Spearing , Pratley, De Ridder (Spearing, 58), Eagles (K Davies, 79), Chung-Yong, Sordell (Ngog, 58) (Subs not used: Lonergan, Ricketts, Ream, Vela)
Burnley: Burnley: Grant, Wallace (Paterson, 70) Trippier, Lafferty, Edgar, Shackell, McCann, Marney, Stanislas (Treacy, 90), Austin, Ings (Subs not used: Jensen, Long, Stock, Mills, Vokes)
By Emma Norris