Report: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Rotherham United

Goals from Sammy Ameobi and Gary O'Neil saw Bolton Wanderers defeat Rotherham United 2-1 at the University of Bolton Stadium in a Boxing Day Sky Bet Championship clash.

Team News

Phil Parkinson made three changes from his starting line-up against Brentford.

Joe Williams and Mark Beevers came in for Pawel Olkowski and Jack Hobbs, with Clayton Donaldson replacing Will Buckley.

First Half

Wanderers had the majority of the ball and chances in the opening exchanges of the game, with Rotherham being put under immense pressure from the forward line of Clayton Donaldson and Christian Doidge.

The Millers had their first chance midway through the first period, as a Newell cross was chested down by former Wanderers forward Jamie Proctor to strike partner Michael Smith.

The target man shot on the half volley towards the Whites goal, but it didn’t trouble Alnwick.

Joe Newell put a curling delivery into the Trotters area on 25 minutes, with Semi Ajayi nodding towards goal but his header flew off target.

Gary O’Neil floated a set piece into the area just short of the hour mark, finding towering centre half Mark Beevers in the air.

However, the defender’s powered header nestled the wrong side of the Rotherham near post.

Wanderers were piling on the pressure with great force at this point, as a Gary O’Neil cross into the area was nodded down by Doidge into the path of Donaldson who just bundled the ball wide.

But soon after, Sammy Ameobi broke the deadlock and put Wanderers into the lead, as he let fly from just inside the area and placed the ball across Marek Rodak into the bottom right corner of the Millers’ goal.

Paul Warne’s side immediately replied with a goal of their own, as Will Vaulks rose highest in the area to nod the ball past Ben Alnwick from close range.

Jason Lowe hoisted a long throw into the area for Bolton, as it bounced over Ameobi’s head and fell to Andrew Taylor who had his effort deflected wide for a corner.

From the resulting set-piece, O’Neil found Marc Wilson with a free header from the penalty spot but couldn’t find the target.

Second Half

Will Vaulks tried to add to his tally early after the restart, but the Rotherham skipper’s effort flew over the bar and into the stands.

Wanderers had the ball in the back of the net, after Christian Doidge smashed the ball calmly past Rodak into the bottom right corner.

But unfortunately, the play was brought back for an earlier foul committed by Marc Wilson.

Wanderers went agonizingly close yet again soon after, with a Andrew Taylor cross coming out to Joe Williams, who fakes past his man and unleashed a powerful drive on the Millers goal.

The Everton loanee had Rodak beaten, but a Semi Ajayi clearance off the line saw the game remain 1-1.

Rotherham captain Vaulks tested Alnwick’s reflexes on the hour mark, with a snapshot like effort from close range forcing the Wanderers goalkeeper to make a smart save down to his right.

Bolton broke away quickly almost immediately after, with O’Neil spear heading the break away.

Link up play between him, Donaldson and Lowe saw the latter produce a whipped delivery into Christian Doidge, who couldn’t completely wrap his foot around it.

On 65 minutes, midfield maestro Gary O’Neil had Wanderers ahead in this Sky Bet Championship clash, as Clayton Donaldson smashed the ball dangerously across goal, to find O’Neil who finished expertly.

Bolton’s defence begun to get tested, as a shot from the edge of Alnwick’s area saw a combination of numerous Wanderers players avert the danger away.

With eight minutes left of regular time, second half substitute Josh Magennis smashed his shot towards goal from a free-kick, forcing Rodak to palm away the effort into the channel.

Rotherham went close late on, with a Jon Taylor cross finding Ajayi with his head six yards from goal, but his bullet like effort flew over the crossbar.

Another Taylor corner flew into the area with a minute left of regulation play, but Clark Robertson could not find the target for the Millers.

With six minutes added on, the visitors piled on the pressure right to the very end but it wasn't enough as Phil Parkinson's men took all three points in this Boxing Day clash!

Full Time

Wanderers XI: Alnwick, Taylor (Olkowski 67), Lowe, Beevers, Donaldson (Magennis 78), Doidge, Ameobi (Buckley 90+5), Wilson, O’Neil, J. Williams, Wheater (C).

Substitutes: Matthews, Vela, Noone, Hobbs.

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