Report: Bolton 1-0 Grimsby Town
Wanderers booked their place in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with victory over Grimsby Town at Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The deadlock was broken in the 20th minute of the encounter through Liam Trotter who nodded home from a corner for his second goal of the season.
The Mariners did push the Whites in the second period in a bid to force a replay, but their efforts were in vain as Bolton ran out winners.
Wanderers made three changes from the side who beat Port Vale last weekend with Chris Taylor, Jamie Proctor and Alex Perry coming in from the off for Phil Parkinson's men.
Max Clayton meanwhile returned to the bench following his lay-off through injury.
Bolton started brightly and were almost rewarded inside three minutes as Proctor saw his half volley take a few deflections en route before rattling the post.
After nearly breaking the deadlock however, the Whites were then forced onto the back foot as Town looked to make their own mark on the clash with Luke Summerfield seeing a shot from distance flash wide of the goalmouth.
The game was lacking in too much goalmouth action however, although with 17 minutes on the clock Zach Clough spurned a glorious opportunity.
Following some superb link-up playing between Sammy Ameobi and Chris Taylor, the latter played a clever pass into the path of the academy graduate whose eventual shot trickled agonisingly wide.
With 20 minutes gone however, the deadlock was broken and it was Wanderers who had the goal as Trotter rose highest in the box from a corner to nod the ball home with ease.
It was certainly a confidence boost for the home side, with Clough seeing a first-time effort fly inches past the upright shortly after.
The remainder of the first half however passed without much of note, although Josh Gowling did flash a header from a corner just wide with five minutes of the opening period remaining.
Clough, a constant threat for Bolton, looked set to double his side’s advantage on the stroke of half time after powering downfield, but James McKeown was on his guard to smother his shot and collect the ball.
As the whistle went however, it was just the one goal lead for the Trotters.
With no changes at the break, the second half got underway and Wanderers were soon back on the attack with Proctor coming close on a handful of occasions early on in the second period.
The travelling Grimsby faithful were in good voice though and were already celebrating in the 56th minute as James Berrett found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat, but Mark Howard was at his best to palm away his point-blank range effort.
The opportunity cleared buoyed the visitors, with Wanderers needing to defend in their numbers in the minutes that followed as they threw men forward in search of a leveller.
Bolton were being tested by their League Two opponents, with the Mariners coming close a number of times.
Halfway through the second half meanwhile, Phil Parkinson made his first change of the game with Keshi Anderson replacing Proctor as Bolton looked to extend their lead and put the game beyond Grimsby.
Despite being behind still, the visitors weren’t a beaten side by any stretch and with the final ten minutes of the encounter looming, they were still making their presence known in the Bolton box.
For all their possession in the final third though, Howard wasn’t being called upon too often with his defence doing a sterling job in soaking up Town’s pressure.
Up the other end of the field meanwhile, substitute James Henry forced McKeown to parry an angled effort at his near post with three minutes remaining.
With four minutes of additional time indicated meanwhile Town threw men forward, but their efforts were in vain come the full time whistle.