Report: Gillingham 0-4 Bolton
Wanderers recorded back-to-back victories on their travels with a 4-0 drubbing of Gillingham at Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The deadlock was broken with the game just three minutes old as David Wheater headed home from a corner-kick, with Bolton doubling their advantage soon after with Adam Le Fondre nodding the ball past Stuart Nelson.
It was three on the stroke of half-time, with Mark Beevers towering high in the box and powering home a header to ensure a healthy advantage for the Whites at the break.
And shortly after the restart, it was four for the Trotters with Morais again the provider as he teed up Josh Vela to cheekily flick home from close range to round off an emphatic win for the Whites.
Wanderers’ starting XI was unchanged from the side who were in from the off against Fleetwood at the weekend, with the inclusion of Chris Long on the bench the only difference to the matchday eighteen.
Bolton started brightly, with Phil Parkinson’s men putting the home side under pressure inside the opening stages.
And they were rewarded inside three minutes as Wheater nodded home a Filipe Morais corner at the back post past a helpless Stuart Nelson.
It was almost two five minutes later as Gary Madine held the ball up well in the area before laying it off for Adam Le Fondre who volleyed just over the bar.
Bolton’s dominance continued, and they were rewarded in the 15th minute as Morais found an unmarked Le Fondre in the six yard box who calmly head home.
The Whites looked dangerous with each passing attack, with the home side at sixes and sevens trying to cope with Wanderers.
As the game reached it half hour mark, Gillingham had barely ventured into Bolton’s 18-yard box while Wheater’s volley from another Morais set-piece was blocked at the death inside the area.
The home side meanwhile came close against the run of play, with Ben Alnwick spilling the ball under pressure from a Bradley Dack free-kick, but his defence mopped up and cleared the danger.
Wanderers were playing the waiting game as the clock ran down to half time, with the hosts being limited to very few opportunities in front of goal and Alnwick a sturdy body between the sticks.
And on the stroke of half time, it was three with Morais making it a hat-trick of assists as his corner was headed home by Beevers to ensure that Bolton boasted a healthy three-goal advantage at the break.
With no changes at the break, proceedings got back underway under the floodlights at Priestfield.
And after weathering a brief storm from the home side, Bolton made it four with Morais – who else – finding Vela who cleverly flicked the ball home from close range past a stranded Nelson.
Confidence was bubbling for Bolton, with Pratley somehow being denied with a scissor kick by Nelson in the 54th minute.
It was clear to see that Wanderers weren’t finished yet, with them looking menacing with each foray into Gillingham territory.
The home side just couldn’t cope with Parkinson’s men and specifically Morais, with the travelling supporters lapping up the confidence being exuded by their side.
And their appreciation was shown when the Whites made their first changes, with both Madine and Pratley receiving standing ovations.
With the game entering its final ten minutes, Bolton were calmly seeing the game out as frustrations began to spill over for the Gills.
And Morais was applauded off the pitch shortly after for his sterling efforts during the clash, with the Bolton faithful singing his name loud and proud.
With three minutes of additional time indicated, the home side gave one last half-hearted hurrah, but Wanderers stood firm to ensure that it was an emphatic victory and a clean sheet come full time.