Report: Bolton 0-1 Leicester
Wanderers' seven game unbeaten run came to an end as they were defeated 1-0 by Leicester City at the Reebok Stadium.
Lloyd Dyer's second half strike was ultimately the difference in a closely fought contest under the floodlights, with the game also marking the professional debuts of academy graduates Andrew Kellett and Chris Lester.
Hayden White was brought into the starting eleven for his first league start in a Wanderers shirt, while the Bolton bench also boasted a number of the club's youngsters such as Oscar Threlkeld and Georg Iliev.
Leicester started brightly with Andy King’s effort from the edge of the box being deflected away for a corner inside the first five minutes of the clash, while up the other end Wanderers came close themselves as Chung-Yong Lee and Rob Hall combined in the box but to no avail.
The Whites were next to enjoy an attempt on goal with ten minutes on the clock as Liam Trotter powered forward before curling the ball into the feet of Lukas Jutkiewicz, but the angle was just too tight for the frontman with Kasper Schemichel easily able to collect the ball.
Not to be deterred however, the Foxes almost took the lead shortly after as Riyad Mahrez unleashed from an acute angle past Adam Bogdan, but David Wheater was to be the saviour for Wanderers as he cleared the ball off the line.
Mahrez was again in the thick of the action two minutes later as he made a similar run down the left flank, but the Bolton keeper was on hand to parry the ball away from the advancing Leicester attack.
As the first period reached its halfway point, the visitors were certainly the team in the ascendancy with Danny Drinkwater and King enjoying efforts from just outside the area but Wanderers were still showing their mettle with Jutkiewicz proving himself a nuisance in the Leicester area.
A constant threat on the break though, the Foxes soon had the Whites on the backfoot with Mahrez and Matt James attempting to find the back of the Bolton net but luckily for Wanderers, the pair’s efforts failed to trouble Bogdan.
With just four minutes of the half remaining, Drinkwater tried his luck from distance with a venomous drive but the Leicester man was denied by a superb reflex save by the Whites’ shot stopper.
Zat Knight almost inadvertedly put the ball into his own net on the stroke of half time as he headed clear from a Foxes corner, but luckily for the centre-half the ball bounced into the ground and off the woodwork as the referee brought the first period to its conclusion.
Dougie Freedman made one change at the break, with Jermaine Beckford entering the field to pair Jutkiewicz upfront in place of Hayden White.
It was to be the visitors who enjoyed the first chance of the second period with Richie De Laet finding David Nugent unmarked in the area, but the Foxes’ top scorer couldn’t find the target with the goal at his mercy.
Anthony Knockaert was next to try his luck with a powerful strike from all of 20 yards, but Bogdan was on his guard to parry the stinging effort away for a corner.
Leicester were clearly buoyed by their opportunities, Nigel Pearson introduced Lloyd Dyer and Chris Wood into the mix as the Foxes went in search of a goal.
Still looking a threat of their own however, Wanderers almost broke the deadlock just short of the hour mark as Chung-Yong Lee found Jutkiewicz in the area but the frontman’s effort flew narrowly wide of Schmeichel’s upright.
The on-loan striker looked to have notched his seventh of the season just moments later following some slick link-up play with Beckford, but Jutkiewicz’s effort flew inches wide of the far post with the Reebok faithful already celebrating.
No sooner had the Whites enjoyed a glorious chance to score however, the visitors hit them with a sucker punch with 27 minutes remaining at Dyer thundered the ball past Bogdan to send the travelling supporters behind the goal into raptures.
Clearly buoyed by their goal, Leicester proceeded to pepper the Bolton defence with efforts and pressure but were almost undone on the counter as Hall and Jutkiewicz combined, with the latter forcing Schmeichel into a smart reflex save from close range.
Beckford was next to test the Leicester keeper as he ghosted past the Foxes’ defence before unleashing an effort on goal, but his striike lacked the power needed and Schmeichel easily collected the ball.
It was clear to see that Wanderers weren’t finished just yet, with youngsters Kellett and Lester being introduced into the fold in the latter stages of the clash.
The Foxes almost extended their lead in the 79th minute as substitute Wood found himself one on one with Bogdan, with the Hungarian having to be on his guard to keep him at bay from a narrow angle.
As the clock ran down, Wanderers did power forward in a bid to rescue a result out of the game with Matt Mills' cross field pass narrowly eluding Jutkiewicz at the far post as Leicester held out for the victory.
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