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Match Reports

Report: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Norwich City

4 November 2017

Wanderers ran out comfortable winners in their latest Sky Bet Championship clash against Norwich City on Saturday afternoon

Having found themselves under pressure inside the opening half hour of the clash, the Whites rode the storm and were rewarded in the 35th minute as Gary Madine tucked the ball home from a matter of yards out following superb work by skipper Darren Pratley.

And it was two just five minutes later, with Adam Armstrong’s delicious 20-yard first-time effort cannoning into the net via the inside of the post and although Josh Murphy halved the deficit in second half injury time, it was merely scant consolation as the Trotters ran out winners come full time.

TEAM NEWS

Wanderers’ starting XI was unchanged from that which began against Sunderland in midweek, with the only change to the matchday 18 being the inclusion of Connor Hall amongst the substitutes in place of Adam Le Fondre.

FIRST HALF

The home side started brightly, with David Wheater seeing his half-volley from 12 yards deflect away for a corner kick inside the opening two minutes.

Buoyed by their early chance, the Whites continued to press forward when the chance to do so arose, while Norwich also enjoyed an opportunity which Cameron Jerome drilled right at Ben Alnwick from an acute angle.

The aforementioned Jerome came close again soon after, with his bobbled effort from just inside the penalty area skewing just wide of the upright.

Neither side was able to gain a real foothold in the game however, with goalmouth opportunities arriving in fits and spurts.

Christoph Zimmermann was next to enjoy a sight of goal, with his header from a corner rippling the side netting inside the opening quarter to the relief of Wanderers.

The visitors were certainly enjoying the majority of possession, but for the most part, they weren’t producing much of note in the final third.

Bolton then spurned the best opportunity of the game on the half hour mark, with Adam Armstrong unable to keep his header down after being found by Sammy Ameobi’s lofted ball into the area.

Ameobi himself came close soon after, with his drilled shot from the edge of the box rippling the side netting with half of Macron Stadium believing it to have gone in.

They didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock however, with Pratley’s clever footwork inside the penalty area eventually leading to a cross which found Madine who cleverly tucked the ball away past Angus Gunn.

And just five minutes later, it was two for the Whites with Armstrong getting in on the action, curling the ball home from 20 yards out with it finding the back of the net via the inside of the post.

As the half drew to its conclusion, there was even time for Wanderers to come close to adding a third as Armstrong cut inside and unleashed a drive goalwards, but Gunn was down quickly to smother his effort.

But come the break, Phil Parkinson’s men still led by two goals to nil.

SECOND HALF

With no changes for either side at half time, proceedings got back underway as darkness began to fall at Macron Stadium.

And, as was to be expected, the visitors started with gusto as they looked for a route back into the clash, but were finding themselves coming up against a stubborn Bolton backline for the most part.

As the game reached its hour mark, Pratley tried his luck for Bolton on the half volley from 20 yards, but his shot failed to trouble Gunn between the sticks for Norwich.

The Canaries responded meanwhile with a double substitution, with one of those newcomers - Marley Watkins - slamming a shot into the side netting with 25 minutes to go.

For all their possession in Bolton territory however, City weren't really troubling Alnwick as the game headed into its final quarter.

The Whites certainly weren't ready to rest on their laurels either, with them pressing forward at every opportunity and Madine proving himself a handful for the Norwich defence.

Tempers were flaring inside the final throes of the clash, with a number of players from both sides picking up bookings for rash challenges.

Some superb link-up play between Josh Vela and Little with ten minutes remaining deserved more, but Gunn denied the latter at close range to keep the scoreline at just two.

The visitors came within inches of pulling themselves back into the clash with six minutes to go as Josh Murphy saw his initial shot saved by Alnwick, with the Norwich City man somehow putting the rebound wide with the goal at his mercy.

Victory was tantilisingly close for the Whites, with the Bolton faithful sensing so as they grew vocally in their support of the team.

Ameobi and Wanderers were left calling for a penalty on the stroke of full time as our No.10 was seemingly hauled down in the area, but referee Stephen Martin waved away the claims.

And with four minutes added on at the end of the regulation 90, it was last chance saloon for the visitors with Bolton putting everything on the line to defend their advantage.

Josh Murphy did halve the deficit deep into injury time with a close range effort, but it was scant consolation come full time as Wanderers ran out winners.


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