Report: Bolton 4-0 Blackburn
Goals from Medo Kamara, Joe Mason, Jay Spearing and Andre Moritz ensured that Wanderers ran out comfortable winners against Blackburn Rovers with a emphatic 4-0 victory at the Reebok Stadium.
Following an impressive start to proceedings, the Whites raced into a two goal lead before the break courtesy of the Sierra Leone international’s header and the on-loan Cardiff striker’s second goal in as many games.
The home side weren’t finished there however with Spearing making it three shortly after the restart before Moritz fired home in the dying seconds of the game to record an impressive victory and the bragging rights for the Bolton faithful.
Zat Knight and Neil Danns were drafted into Wanderers’ starting line-up in place of Matt Mills and Darren Pratley, while loan signing Alan Hutton was named amongst the Bolton substitutes alongside Andre Moritz on his return from injury.
There were also two changes for the visitors, with Chris Taylor and Markus Olsson taking their place in Rovers’ starting eleven ahead of the injured Tom Cairney and Grant Hanley.
Wanderers began the half brightly, with Mark Davies winning a free-kick just outside the area inside the opening two minutes after good link-up play from Lukas Jutkiewicz and Danns, but his effort was deflected away for a corner.
Having sent out an early warning sign to the visitors, Danns powered into the area shortly after before unleashing a shot which took a deflection on its way goalbound, with Paul Robinson being forced to pull off a reflex save to deny him the opening goal of the game.
Wanderers looked certain to break the deadlock with ten minutes on the clock as Mark Davies single-handedly powered his way into the area following a mazy run from the half way line before placing the ball past a beaten Robinson, but Matthew Kilgallon was on hand to clear his effort off the line.
After finding themselves virtual spectators for much of the opening stages of the clash, Blackburn almost took the lead against the run of play as Olsson executed a pinpoint volley from just inside the area in the 14th minute, but he was to be denied by the outstretched palm of Adam Bogdan.
The chance appeared to rejuvenate Rovers, with Jordan Rhodes’ ambitious run from his own half forcing the Bolton keeper into yet another smart save just minutes later.
With both sets of supporters in full voice in what was already proving to be a fiercely contested local derby, Wanderers did finally get the goal that their early showing deserved with 23 minutes gone as Medo connected with Danns’ ball into the area before powering a header past a despairing Robinson.
A goal which not many would begrudge the Whites given their dominance, it was one which had the players brimming with confidence and almost brought a second goal as Alex Baptiste steamed into the box, but the ball was whipped away just as he was about to pull the trigger.
Having found themselves in front, the tempo of the game appeared to drop slightly but Danns almost had what would have been a deserved goal of his own six minutes before the break, only to see Robinson parry his powerful shot away from danger.
Wanderers almost doubled their advantage yet again with 42 minutes gone as Joe Mason found himself one on one with the Blackburn keeper, but the frontman was unable to beat the shot stopper and put the rebound narrowly wide, much to the anguish of the Reebok faithful.
Not to be deterred however, the young striker made up for his miss on the stroke of half time as he turned his man inside the area before unleashing a half volley past Robinson to send the home supporters into raptures.
Having ended the first half on a high, Wanderers began the second in emphatic fashion as Jay Spearing extended the Whites’ lead with just two minutes on the clock with an effort which crashed off the crossbar and over the goal line.
Despite the referee himself initially not awarding it and play going on, his assistant indicated that it was indeed a legitimate goal to the delight of Spearing, his teammates and the Reebok faithful.
With a comfortable three goal advantage, the Whites were playing almost with a swagger and it was so nearly four as Knight’s tame header whistled agonisingly past the upright.
Chances were going begging for Bolton as they looked to increase their handsome lead, with Lukas Jutkiewicz’s low drive flashing narrowly past Robinson’s far post.
After finding themselves very much on the backfoot for much of the opening 20 minutes of the second period, Blackburn did come close to reducing the deficit through Rhodes who rode to head home, but his effort flew inches wide of the Bolton goalmouth.
With the Reebok faithful in full voice, Baptiste almost made it four with 20 minutes remaining of the clash but he saw his effort fly just over the crossbar.
Having been a thorn in Blackburn’s side throughout the afternoon, Davies was withdrawn from the clash in the 77th minute and received a standing ovation from three sides of the Reebok as he was replaced with Chung-Yong Lee.
A fourth goal seemed to be imminent, and it looked to have arrived with eight minutes left as Mason capitalised on pandemonium in the Blackburn penalty area, but the frontman could only fire his effort into the side netting with the goal at his mercy.
Wanderers did enjoy opportunities to extend their lead as the clock ran down, and they did so in style in the dying seconds of the game as substitute Moritz unleashed from distance to make it four and in turn help the Whites record the most emphatic of derby day victories.