Report: Bolton Wanderers v Middlesbrough

Wanderers suffered defeat against Middlesbrough in their latest Sky Bet Championship outing at Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The deadlock was broken inside 13 minutes, with Britt Assombalonga nodding home from six yards out, before the striker doubled his and Boro's tally with 20 minutes remaining when tapping the ball into the net from a yard out.

It was a third for the visitors meanwhile with 12 minutes to go, with debutant Marvin Johnson's shot from the edge of the box squirming beneath Ben Alnwick to put a generous gloss on the result for Garry Monk's men.


There were seven changes for Wanderers from the side who started against Hull City last time out, with Ben Alnwick coming in between the sticks and a debut for new signing Craig Noone amongst the XI.


The game started brightly in the sunshine at Macron Stadium, with both the Whites and Boro enjoying possession in their opponents’ boxes.

And the first real chance of the game fell to Wanderers, with Gary Madine taking the ball down on his chest on the edge of the box before turning and unleashing a thunderous effort on goal, only for Darren Randolph to parry his stinging shot away from danger with seven minutes on the clock.

There was certainly a bite to the game too, with Jem Karacan being shown the first yellow of the encounter for a feisty challenge just outside the Middlesbrough penalty area.

The deadlock was broken in the 13th minute however as, following some dogged determination down the right flank, Adama Traore crossed the ball for Assombalonga to nod home from six yards out.

It was Boro’s first real opportunity of the game, Traore was proving instrumental for the visitors with a number of mazy runs into the box thereafter.

Wanderers were having to be on their guard, but they were still enjoying chances of their own from set-pieces, while Derik even attempted an audacious overhead kick when eight yards out from goal.

As the half wore on, Bolton were finding their feet a little more and were able to exert their own pressure on the visitors after being under the cosh for much of the opening quarter.

Middlesbrough were still looking a constant threat on the counter attack, with the combination of Traore and Assombalonga constantly a thorn in Bolton’s sides.

Despite their pressure however, Alnwick was rarely called upon to make any saves of note.

The tasty atmosphere continued too as the half drew to its conclusion, with Traore lucky to escape with a yellow card for a harsh challenge on Filipe Morais which left the winger requiring treatment.

Come the break however, Wanderers were still a goal down.


The start of the second period saw the home side make one change, with Reece Burke coming into the mix in place of Stephen Darby.

And it was Bolton who looked the brighter of the two sides inside the opening stages, with them enjoying all the pressure and in meaningful positions.

Against the run of play though, Alnwick was forced to palm Assombalonga's angled drive around the post with it seemingly destined for the bottom corner of the net.

Cyrus Christie also spurned a glorious chance from six yards, only to lift the ball high and wide under pressure from David Wheater.

For the most part however, Bolton were looking the more dangerous side and they almost had an equaliser on the hour mark when Morais' shot was parried by Randolph, with Noone unable to turn the ball home when losing his footing just six yards out.

It seemed to be just the tonic needed in Wanderers' search for a foothold in the game, with Wheater seeing his half-volley from a Madine knock-down blocked just inside the box shortly after.

On the counter attack however, the visitors doubled their advantage with Traore again teeing up Assombalonga who slid in at the far post to tap the ball home for his second of the game.

A bitter blow for the Whites who had looked like possibly levelling prior to Boro's second, they set about looking for a route back into the clash with Madine seeing a tame header collected by Randolph with 14 minutes remaining.

Again though, Middlesbrough countered and were rewarded with a third goal of the afternoon through debutant Marvin Johnson whose piledriver from the edge of the box squirmed beneath Alnwick in the Bolton goal.

There was still time for Madine to test Randolph's reflexes with a well-taken half volley eight yards out with two minutes left, while Assombalonga came within inches of completing his hat-trick with a close-range header that was always rising.

Come full time however, there had been no further goals as Wanderers fell to defeat.


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