Liam Feeney and Gary Madine on target in victory at Boundary Park
Bolton Wanderers registered their first victory of the 2015/16 pre-season campaign, on what was an ultimately comfortable evening against Oldham at Boundary Park.
Neil Lennon’s side were in control for much of the game in front of a healthy contingent of travelling fans, and coasted to victory thanks to first-half goals from Liam Feeney and Gary Madine.
In truth the margin of victory could have been greater, whilst up the other end Ben Amos was rarely worked in the Bolton goal.
Josh Vela was in from the off for the first time this pre-season, whilst trialists Lawrie Wilson and Stephen Dobbie, scorer at Morecambe four days earlier, also started.
Zach Clough watched on from the stands as he remains on the sidelines with a number of players recovering from slight injuries.
The opening ten minutes were a somewhat tepid affair. Feeney’s weak left-footed effort from the channel the only attempt on goal of note from either side.
On 13 minutes Wanderers were forced into an early change, as Tom Walker limped off to be replaced by Neil Danns.
Madine then headed a Feeney corner wide, as the half gradually began to pick up pace.
Then, seemingly out nowhere, Bolton opened the scoring.
What looked like a routine ball forward by Derik Osede bounced through the Oldham defence, with Feeney reacting quickest before slamming a fire-time right-foot volley beyond the goalkeeper.
Bolton continued on the frontfoot for the remainder of the half, though goalscoring chances remained at a premium.
Madine failed to stretch out a right boot to divert Dobbie’s clipped cross goalwards, whilst Feeney saw a shot blocked during a three-on-two Bolton breakaway.
As the interval approached some sloppy Oldham passing allowed Vela a glimpse of goal, but his shot took a slight deflection wide of the post.
But Bolton’s steady stream of first-half pressure yielded a second goal in the 44th minute.
Vela jinked inside a marker before seeing a shot canon off an Oldham defender. The ball looped into the air towards the far post, where Dobbie struck a scruffy volley goalwards. Eventually the ball crossed the goal line with a number of defenders and Madine watching on.
The second period resumed in a similar pattern, with Bolton seeing more of the ball and creating the better of the chances.
Danns arrowed a left shot wide of the left upright from 25 yards, as Oldham rarely ventured into Bolton territory.
Just after the hour mark Neil Lennon introduced three substitutions, as Wanderers continued to set the tone for the game.
Dobbie forced Oldham stopper Joel Coleman into a smart reflex save with a rasping full volley following Madine’s knock down.
In the dying embers Daniel Philliskirk, son for former Bolton hero Tony, sent a low daisy-cutter goalwards that was easily held by Amos before Dorian Dervite intervened at the death to deny an Oldham player a clear strike on goal.
Bolton Wanderers: Amos, Wilson (White 64), Dervite, Derik (Taylor 77), Moxey, Vela (Spearing 70), Pratley (Hall 64), Walker (Danns 13), Dobbie, Feeney (Twardzik 64), Madine (Woolery 77)
Unused subs: Fitzsimons