Report: Bolton 1-2 Stoke City

Two late goals from substitute Joselu gave Stoke City a win over a battling Bolton Wanderers side who took the lead through a spectacular Adam Le Fondre effort.

It was a fine performance by the home side who more than held their own against the Premier League outfit in what was their final match of the pre-season ahead of next Sunday’s Sky Bet Championship opener against Leeds United.

The hosts took the lead just before the interval thanks to a spectacular strike from Le Fondre.

With just over a week to go until the start of their league campaign, manager Phil Parkinson fielded a strong looking XI as they took to the field against their Premier League opponents.

Darren Pratley captained the Wanderers with new signing Stephen Darby making his first appearance in front of the home supporters.

The visitors almost took the lead after five mins when Saido Berainho broke through but could only hit the foot of Mark Howard’s right hand post.

While at the other end, David Wheater headed narrowly wide after Josh Vela charged down the left and put in an accurate cross.

It was end to end stuff during the opening exchanges, and Howard was brought into the action once again when he made a fine save at close quarters to thwart the lively Berainho.

Wanderers were denied a penalty when Ryan Shawcross appeared to handle in his own area but the referee ignored their appeals.

Gary Madine then volleyed narrowed wide from distance after latching onto a huge punt from Hoard.

The visitors should have taken the lead when dangerman Berainho had only Howard to beat, but somehow wrong footed himself and lost possession which allowed Wanderers to clear their lines

Dorian Dervite, part of Wanderers' three-man backline, caught the eye to follow on from his strong finish at the end of last season and got in the way of an Allen drive to deflect the ball for a corner.

Pratley, industrious as always, forced Jack Butland into making a save at the foot of his post.

But Wanderers finally broke the deadlock with barely a minute remaining of the half thanks fo Le Fondre’s fantastic strike. The frontman fired over his own head from distance with the ball glancing the underside of the cross bar to leave Butland flummoxed.

As the second-hlaf got underway Shaqiri got more and more into the game and became integral to Stoke getting back into the contest.

As well as seeing his left-footed effort deflect for a corner, he thundered a free-kick against the cross bar as Stoke pressed for an equaliser.

The Swiss midfielder was causing plenty of problems for Wanderers who had Beevers to thank for a last ditch tacjke which saw another effort divert over the bar for a corner

Howard then made a great fingertipped save to keep out a Kourt Zouma drive from distance.

Sammy Ameobi and Adam Armstrong came on for Madine and Le Fondre with 20 mins to go and made an immediate impact.

Armstrong was unlucky not to get on end of Vela cross which to double his side’s lead.

Moments later and a stunning save from Butland denied Armstrong at close range after some impressive work by Vela and Ameobi on the right.

Joselu then opened his account – against the run of play –when his effort came in off the post.

And the striker notched his second and Stoke’s winner two minutes from time by poking home after Wanderers failed to clear their lines.

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