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Match Reports

Report: Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Cardiff City

23 December 2017

Wanderers picked up all three points with a hard-fought victory over Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon.

In a game of few chances, the deadlock was broken with 15 minutes remaining as Gary Madine fired home from the penalty spot following a handball by Sol Bamba in the area.

And the Whites' advantage was doubled with two minutes to go as Madine turned assist maker for Josh Vela to tap home from six yards out and make sure of the victory for Phil Parkinson's men.

TEAM NEWS

There were a handful of changes for Wanderers, with Mark Little coming back into the fray in place of Stephen Darby whilst Andrew Taylor occupied the left-back berth for the Whites ahead of Antonee Robinson.

FIRST HALF

Wanderers started brightly in the clash, with Sammy Ameobi looking sprightly early on against his former loan side.

Cardiff also showed their worth with a couple of mazy runs into Bolton’s third, but they found themselves coming up against a stubborn Bolton backline as they searched for a sight of goal.

The first opportunity of the game however didn’t come until the tenth minute, with Ameobi’s 30-yard effort always losing power en route as it fell kindly for Neil Etheridge at his near post.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing then enjoyed a chance to put the visitors ahead, but he saw his drilled effort from the edge of the box blocked by Mark Beevers six yards away from the goalmouth.

A goalmouth scramble ensued for Wanderers just short of the 17 minute mark too, with Little’s thunderous long-range effort come its conclusion wide of the mark.

Cardiff thought they had taken the lead meanwhile in the 28th minute as Junior Hoilett turned the ball home from a yard out, but his effort was belatedly flagged up for offside by the assistant referee.

With the first half ticking by, frustration was evident for both sides as they struggled to break down each other’s respective defences, with the game having a very disjointed feel to it.

Phil Parkinson’s men also saw a dangerous cross from Josh Vela cleared away at the death with five minutes of the first period left with Madine and Ameobi lurking for the home side.

But come the break, the scores were goalless.

SECOND HALF

With no changes, the second period got underway and it was the visitors who started strongly, with Wanderers having to be on their guard early on.

But as with the opening 45, goalmouth chances were few and far between inside the early stages.

With neither goalkeeper having been troubled, the first substitution of the match came on the hour mark as former Bluebird Craig Noone was introduced into the fray in place of Will Buckley for the Whites.

Five minutes later though, the game came to life as Madine chased the ball downfield, with Wheater's 35-yard effort being blocked as it powered its way goalwards.

That chance appeared to be just the tonic that the game needed, with it coming to life thereafter.

With 16 minutes left however, Wanderers were handed a glorious opportunity to take the lead when Sol Bamba handled Wheater's header in the area.

And cool as you like, Madine stepped up to place the ball into the bottom corner of the net from 12 yards past a helpless Etheridge to send Macron Stadium into raptures.

Frustrations were boiling over for the visitors, with a flurry of yellow cards being brandished to the Bluebirds for a succession of fouls.

And it was almost two with seven minutes left as Ameobi looped a cross into the six yard box, with Pratley's flick-on seeing the ball fly agonisingly wide of the post.

Wanderers were giving absolutely everything to protect their lead, but they needn't have worried as they doubled their advantage with two minutes left as Madine unselfishly teed up Vela to slot home from six yards.

And even though six minutes of additional time were indicated, it mattered not as Wanderers ran out comfortable winners.


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