Report: Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield United

Wanderers fell to a cruel defeat despite dominating proceedings for the most part against Sheffield United on Tuesday evening.

The visitors took the lead with their first real threat on Bolton’s goal, with debutant Cameron Carter-Vickers forcing the ball home via a deflection with 12 minutes of the first half to play.

And despite the Whites looking the more likely side to find the net throughout the remainder of the 90, their efforts were ultimately fruitless come full time.


There were a number of changes for Wanderers, with Adam Armstrong and Will Buckley coming into the fray while Darren Pratley and Filipe Morais dropped to the bench.


With the rain falling heavily at Macron Stadium, proceedings got underway and it was clear to see from the outset that the conditions would play their part with a number of miscued clearances.

And there were a number of forays into dangerous territory for both sides, but neither goalkeeper was tested early on.

It was a bright start for the Whites however, with the Blades forced onto the backfoot with Antonee Robinson causing problems from his left-sided berth alongside finding space in the middle on the counter-attack.

With the game reaching its quarter hour mark though, goalmouth opportunities were limited with Gary Madine’s 35-yard skimmed effort falling kindly for Jamal Blackburn.

The match was settling down, and Wanderers were looking a threat on the break, with a well-orchestrated move seeing the home side come close to opening the scoring through Jem Karacan with a glancing header from six yards.

Phil Parkinson’s men were then forced into an early substitution, with Buckley forced from the field after picking up a knock while Morais replaced the Whites’ No.11.

With 33 minutes on the clock meanwhile, the deadlock was broken and it was the visitors who had the opening goal of the evening, with Carter-Vickers scrambling the ball home via a deflection from eight yards following a melee in the Bolton six yard box.

Wanderers nearly had an equaliser just four minutes later though, with Armstrong seeing his goalbound effort headed over the crossbar with the Bolton faithful already rising from their seats.

The Blades’ goalscorer almost had his second of the game with 42 minutes gone when finding the ball at his feet literally six yards away from the net, but Alnwick did well to get down to the left and keep his shot out.

The Whites weren’t letting their heads drop however, with Morais’ delicious ball across the face of goal just eluding the white shirts in the box.

Come the break however, Wanderers still trailed by a single goal.


As the game restarted, with no substitutes made by either side, the Whites began brightly and won a free-kick in a promising position inside the first minute, but the resulting Morais set-piece failed to trouble the United defence.

The visitors weren’t resting on their laurels however, with Leon Clarke and Billy Sharp linking up well, only to be snuffed out by Little.

Wheater meanwhile was called upon soon after, with the centre-half having to hook the ball off the goalline from Daniel Lafferty’s effort.

It was very much end-to-end at Macron Stadium as the game reached its hour-mark, but United were flapping slightly whenever the Whites countered.

Bolton were looking to more likely of the two sides to find the net, and in turn with them being in the ascendancy, Adam Le Fondre was introduced to add more firepower in the hosts' search for a leveller.

And the Whites' No.9 certainly set about causing problems following his introduction, but was coming up against a solid five-man Sheffield United backline.

Morais meanwhile saw a 20-yard free-kick narrowly clear the crossbar with ten minutes remaining after Madine had been hauled down.

It was all Bolton inside the closing stages, with United virtually penned in their own half.

They were well and truly knocking on the door, but weren't able to get any meaningful shots on goal when coming up against a stubborn Sheffield United backline.

With five minutes additional time indicated meanwhile, the Whites threw men forward and saw both a Karacan effort go close and numerous penalty area melees ensue.

There was even time for John Lundstram to hit the crossbar for the visitors when it seemed easier to score than miss.

But come full time, Bolton's efforts were to prove fruitless as they fell to an undeserved defeat.

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