Report: Ipswich 1-0 Bolton
Wanderers suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Tuesday evening.
The Whites had enjoyed good chances in the first period of the game, with Eidur Gudjohnsen, Rochinha and Tim Ream all coming close to breaking the deadlock.
The home side however proceeded to open the scoring ten minutes from time, with Jay Tabb’s half volley inside the box bouncing into the ground before eluding Ben Amos in the Bolton goal – a strike which would prove decisive at the final whistle.
There were five changes to the side who began against Millwall at the weekend, with Dorian Dervite, Liam Trotter, Rochinha, Craig Davies and Giles Coke all coming into the fray in place of Paddy McCarthy, Neil Danns, Liam Feeney, Adam Le Fondre
and Barry Bannan.
Adam Bogdan was also including in the matchday eighteen for the Whites following his return from injury, while a late change to the substitutes saw Kaiyne Woolery replace Le Fondre on the bench.
The game began with some trepidation from both sides, although Rochinha was looking lively for Wanderers inside the opening stages.
The hosts enjoyed the first goalmouth action of the night however with five minutes gone, although Jay Tabb was unable to capitalise on a weak clearance by Matt Mills in the six yard box.
From thereon in, Wanderers were put under pressure but almost hit Ipswich on the counter attack as Davies shrugged off his man to play the ball into the path of Eidur Gudjohnsen, only for the Icelander to be dispossessed at the pivotal moment.
Buoyed by the opportunity, Bolton did proceed to cause numerous problems for the Ipswich backline with Davies in particular proving himself a handful.
Freddie Sears however look certain to open the scoring with 15 minutes on the clock as he broke free of the Whites’ defence to find himself one of one with Ben Amos, only for the keeper to repeat his heroics against Millwall at the weekend by denying the Ipswich forward.
Rochinha meanwhile almost capitalised on a loose ball 30 yards from goal, but the on-loan youngster failed to make any real contact with it as he saw two Ipswich defenders steer it away from danger.
A real thorn in the Tractor Boys’ side though, Davies also fed an unmarked Josh Vela at the far post following a clever run down the left flank in the 27th minute, but there was just a little too much on his cross for the midfielder to catch.
On the half hour mark, Tyrone Mings looked set to head Ipswich ahead after good work from Sears only to narrowly fail to connect with the ball, while straight on the counter attack Rochinha was unable to take advantage of an impressive run by Gudjohnsen when the Icelander found him in the box.
Shortly after, Gudjohnsen squandered a glorious chance as he saw his effort from six yards deflect agonisingly wide of the post, while Tim Ream came within inches of opening his account for the club as he saw his shot from range cleared off the line.
Rochinha came within inches of marking his debut for the club with a goal on 40 minutes following a beautifully crafted move with firstly Gudjohnsen and then Davies, but the midfielder’s final shot trickled inches wide of the upright with Bartosz Bialkowski stranded.
Both sides enjoyed chances to break the deadlock as the first period drew to its conclusion, but the half time whistle ensured that the half ended goalless.
With just the one change for Ipswich at the break, with Jonathon Parr being replaced by Luke Varney, the second period started brightly under the floodlights at Portman Road.
Davies was right back in the thick of the action inside the opening two minutes, with the frontman narrowly failing to control a smart cross-field ball from Vela.
The pressure from Wanderers continued, with Rochinha again causing problems while Gudjohnsen’s clever flicked backheel narrowly eluded an advancing Davies in the 50th minute.
Walker meanwhile, after coming close against the Lions on Saturday with a free-kick, tried his luck against from distance, although this time saw Luke Chambers block his thunderous effort.
Chambers was to be the first Ipswich man to test Amos in the Bolton goal with 56 minutes gone, although he dragged his shot wide of the mark with the goalkeeper untroubled.
Cole Skuse was next to try his luck, only to see his looped effort from the edge of the box clear Amos’ crossbar by inches, while the Ipswish man saw a thunderbolt cannon off the post moments later.
Just after the hour mark saw the introduction of Bannan in place of Gudjohnsen as the game fell into a fast-paced end-to-end clash with both sides looking dangerous on the attack.
Having withstood some pressure from the hosts, Wanderers began to work their way back upfield with Dervite seeing his floating header finally being cleared away from danger following a goalmouth scramble from a corner.
With time ticking down, Bolton were the team in the ascendancy although Ipswich were still threatening on the counter attack.
Against the run of play however, the home side snatched the lead courtesy of a half volley effort from Tabb midway inside the box with ten minutes remaining.
A goal which was cruel on Wanderers to say the least, substitute Rob Hall almost had Bolton back level two minutes later but failed to get any real connection on the ball inside the six yard box.
Mills was then thrown into a more attacking role alongside Davies, with the latter coming within inches of equaliser after connecting with Walker’s cross, only to see his header fly wide of the mark.
With four minutes of added time indicated, Bolton threw men forward in a bid to force a late equaliser but their efforts were in vain as the hosts held out for all three points.