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Match Reports

Bolton Wanderers v Northampton Town

18 March 2017

Report: Bolton 2-1 Northampton Town

IN BRIEF

Wanderers made it three wins inside a week as they came from behind to beat Northampton Town at Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Following a goalless first period, the deadlock was broken in the 57th minute of the game as Michael Smith volleyed home a Matt Taylor free-kick.

Bolton were back level with 15 minutes remaining however with Adam Le Fondre firing home from the penalty spot following a handball by Taylor in the area.

And with eight minutes to go, the Whites completed the turnaround as Filipe Morais opened his account for the club when rifling home at the far post.

TEAM NEWS

Wanderers’ starting XI was unchanged from the side who won 4-0 at Gillingham in midweek, although Jay Spearing returned to the matchday eighteen following his recent lay-off through injury.

FIRST HALF

Proceedings got underway at a sodden Macron Stadium and it was clear to see from the outset that the conditions would play their part in the game. 

And it was Wanderers who almost capitalised inside six minutes, with Josh Vela seeing a drive just inside the box blocked and deflect away for a corner-kick.

Darren Pratley also tried his luck shortly after following good work from David Wheater down the left flank, but the skipper’s effort failed to trouble Adam Smith in the Northampton goal.

Bolton’s dominance continued, although they were being restricted to long range shots as the Cobblers stood firm in their numbers at the back.

With 19 minutes gone, and on their first real foray into the Bolton box, Zander Diamond almost snatched the lead for the visitors against the run of play only to see his header pushed onto the crossbar by Derik.

It was a case of playing the waiting game for Wanderers, with the home side having to be patient in their attacks as they slowly chipped away at Town’s defence.

The Whites were also left calling for a penalty with nine minutes of the half remaining as Gary Madine appeared to have been hauled down in the box, but the referee waved away the striker’s claims to the dismay of most inside Macron Stadium.

As the first period drew to its conclusion, Bolton were looking the more likely of the two sides to break the deadlock and saw a header cleared off the line and nobody able to turn home a loose ball into the six yard box, but come the break the scores were goalless.

SECOND HALF

With no changes for either side, proceedings got back underway in front of 14,255 spectators at Macron Stadium.

And the deadlock was inches away from being broken shortly after the restart, with David Wheater’s poke from a Filipe Morais free-kick being claimed by Smith right on the goal line.

Against the run of play however, the visitors took the lead with the half 12 minutes old as Smith volleyed home a Taylor free-kick from close range.

Bolton were almost level just two minutes later, but Dervite’s glancing header from a Morais corner narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Le Fondre also looked to have levelled shortly after, only to see his chip over the goalkeeper deflect away for a corner-kick with Macron Stadium already on their feet to celebrate.

The chance breathed life into Wanderers, with them peppering the Northampton goalmouth thereafter.

The visitors were already pulling everyone back to defend with a quarter of the game left, with Bolton themselves throwing bodies forward in a bid to pull themselves back level.

And with 15 minutes to go, they were back level from the penalty spot following a handball by Taylor in the area, with Le Fondre dispatching the effort from 12 yards.

Wanderers weren’t ready to settle for a point by any stretch, with Pratley’s glancing header being tipped over by Smith moments later.

And their second came with eight minutes to go, with Morais’ effort rifling its way past Smith to send the Bolton faithful into raptures.

The result was far from certain however, with the Cobblers not finished yet themselves with Beevers' last ditch block preventing former Bolton loanee Keshi Anderson from slotting home from close range.

With five minutes of additional time indicated, Wanderers had to be on their guard although they were looking menacing on the counter attack.

Town thought they had equalised too with the last kick of the game as O'Toole prodded home, but the offside flag denied him and ensured that it was a third consecutive victory for Wanderers.

FULL TIME

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