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Match Reports

Report: Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Barnsley

2 December 2017

Wanderers picked up all three points with a hard-earned victory over Barnsley at Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The deadlock was broken with 20 minutes on the clock as Gary Madine bundled home Mark Little's cross, but the visitors were back level two minutes later through Tom Bradshaw's penalty kick.

Bolton's advantage was restored before the break however, with Madine slotting home from a spot-kick of his own, before assist provider Little got on the scoresheet with a superb individual effort in the 70th minute with the scoreline remaining as such come full time.

TEAM NEWS

Phil Parkinson made two changes to the starting line up with Reece Burke coming in for the suspended David Wheater, while Will Buckley came in for Adam Armstrong who was named among the substitutes.

FIRST HALF

Buckley saw plenty of the ball early on and his knock-down for Josh Vela presented the hosts with their first chance. However, the midfielder was unable to connect sufficiently with the volley.

Vela then put in a lovely cross for Gary Madine at the far post, but the striker was unable to direct his header past Adam Davies.

Wanderers’ early dominance paid off after 20 minutes when Madine bundled in Mark Little’s centre after the full back made a great run to the by-line.

The visitors’ put themselves back into the contest two minutes later when Tom Bradshaw converted from the spot after Reece Burke was harshly adjudged to have committed the foul.

Wanderers were back in front just before the break when they won a penalty themselves. The lively Buckley was upended and it took an age for referee Oliver Langford to point to the spot. But Madine made no mistake as he sent Davies the wrong way with an emphatic low strike.

SECOND HALF

After a sluggish start to the second half, Ben Alnwick was pressed into making a full stretch save to keep out George Moncour’s effort after the midfielder was allowed time and space in the Wanderers box.

Wanderers survived a goalmouth scramble after Mark Beevers’ lost his footing in a dangerous area. Ben Alnwick was at his most agile as he kept out several attempts before the ball was eventually thumped clear off the line.

Full back Jason McCarthy was the next Barnsley player to test Alnwick as the Wanderers ‘keeper got his body in the way of the defender’s drive at the expense of a corner.

The Tykes were firmly in the ascendancy and seemed determined to get back on terms.

Parkinson made his first substitution on the hour mark with Armstrong coming on for Buckley.

Wanderers’ third came in scintillating style and will probably be a goal of the season contender. It came from the unlikeliest of sources in Mark Little. The full back, who was having an exceptional game anyhow, went on a mazy run down the right flank before cutting in with his right foot and firing beyond Davies with an exquisite finish.

Just a minute later and Wanderers could have increased their advantage through substitute Armstrong who narrowly fired wide with a right footed curler.

Barnsley were still on the hunt for a second goal and Alnwick once again had to be alert to prevent Brad Potts from firing home.

With eight minutes remaining Craig Noone came ono to replace Sammy Ameobi.

Barnsley sub Mamadou Thiam was causing a nuisance and was the main source of the Tykes’ attacking threat going into the final stages of the game. He forced an important stop from Alnwick after creating space for himself.

Aaron Wilbraham was Wanderers’ third and final substitute when he replaced two-goal hero Madine with just five minutes remaining.

Despite seven minutes being indicated at the end of the regulation 90, the Whites could taste victory and set about keeping the Tykes at bay.

There was still time for heroics from Alnwick, with him somehow keeping Bradshaw's drive through a crowded penalty area out.

But come full time, the visitors just couldn't find a way through to force late drama with Wanderers running out deserved winners.


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