Report: Bolton Wanderers v Hull City

Gary Madine's ninth goal of the campaign was enough for Wanderers to pick up all three points against Hull City and start 2018 with a bang on New Year's Day.

The big striker hit the decisive effort with 20 minutes on the clock, with his beautifully crafted free-kick leaving Allan McGregor with no hope.

And come full time, his goal was the difference as Bolton ran out winners.


Phil Parkinson made four changes from the team that beat Sheffield United at Bramall Lane at the weekend as Bolton Wanderers looked to build on that sterling performance in front of their own fans at Macron Stadium.

Sammy Ameobi returned to the starting XI after recovering from a knee injury that prevented his inclusion against the Blades, while Will Buckley, Josh Vela and Mark Little came back into the fore at the expense of David Wheater, Josh Cullen, Filipe Morais and Adam Le Fondre, who were all named among the substitutes. 


The opening exchanges offered very little in terms of attacking intent with both defences firmly on top. The tempo wasn’t helped by the swirling wind and rain which had engulfed Macron Stadium.

Wanderers suffered an early blow after they lost Karl Henry in the 13th minute to what appeared to be a leg injury. Josh Cullen was the like for like replacement.

The hosts had their first real chance shortly afterwards after Hull failed to clear a free-kick into their box. Gary Madine, the hero of Bramall lane, produced some lovely control just outside the penalty box to fashion a chance, but his shot cannoned off a defender before going for a corner.

Madine then sent the Macron into raptures of delight when his rasping 25-yard free-kick flew beyond Allan McGregor with marvellous majesty.

Not renowned for his shooting prowess from set-pieces, the big striker looked to be a mere distraction for the Hull defence as the left-footed splendour of Ameobi appeared to be shaping up to shoot.

However, Madine’s effort couldn’t have been struck any sweeter as Wanderers took the lead in serene style.

Ben Alnwick was pressed into making his first save on the half hour mark after a lovely passage of play from Hull culminated in the Wanderers keeper making the vital block at the expense of a corner off a Jarrod Bowen effort.

Wanderers again had to make an enforced change immediately afterwards with captain Darren Pratley limping off and Morais coming on for the midfielder.

The two unfortunate changes stymied the rhythm Wanderers had orchestrated for themselves and Alnwick, on his 31st birthday, again had to make another important save diving to his right – to keep out Markus Henriksen’s 25 yard free kick.

Ameobi looked to respond and his run ended with a low, powerfully struck drive, which went wide of McGregor’s left hand post.

Morais spurned a good opportunity to double Wanderers’ lead just before the break after he latched on to Madine’s flick after Jon Toral slipped. The wideman was unable to keep his volley on target.


Bowen should have restored parity moments after the restart when Nouha Dicko’s low centre from the right flank flashed across goal. The Tigers' forward inexplicably put the shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

Ameobi had another powerful shot but again it went wide as the poor weather conditions showed no sign of letting up.

Wanderers seemed determined to find that second though and Little was unlucky to see a volley cleared away.

Morais then had a taste of the action when his header off a Vela centre was cleared for a corner.

The hosts were certainly stepping up after a sluggish start to the second period, but were susceptible on the counter.

Alnwick, not for the first time, came to Wanderers’ rescue with a fine block to keep out Henriksen after the Tigers countered at breakneck speed.

Hull made a double attacking substitution just after the hour mark with Fraizer Campbell and Seb Larsson coming for Dicko and Stewart.

Mark Beevers produced a crucial tackle to thwart Bowen but despite Hull’s chances, Wanderers looked comfortable at dealing with anything they threw at them.

Nigel Adkins made his final change of the afternoon with Evandro coming on for Henriksen with ten minutes remaining.

A snapshot from Morais went just over the bar as Wanderers buoyed by the 14,216 crowd endeavoured to get a decisive second.

Beevers once again got his body in the way of a Bowen shot as the intensity was heating up at both ends.

Le Fondre came on for Buckley for the final five minutes to give the hosts a different dimension.

And although the visitors pushed for a leveller inside the final stages of the clash, a resolute Bolton backline rebuffed their advances to hold out for their second victory in three days.

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