Report: Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers

Bolton Wanderers went down to a narrow and unlucky defeat against Leeds United at Elland Road on Good Friday.

An early goal from Caleb Ekuban set the hosts on their way before Pablo Hernandez doubled his side’s lead shortly after the second-half.

When Wanderers pulled a goal back through Adam Le Fondre they had several further chances to equalise but couldn’t break down the Leeds defence.

And despite a late rally from the visitors Phil Parkinson’s men headed back across the Pennines without the point they perhaps deserved.

Team News

Wanderers made two enforced changes as they returned to action following the international break. Jan Kirchhoff and Josh Vela both came into the midfield to replace the injured duo of Darren Pratley and Karl Henry. Andrew Taylor donned the captain’s armband in lieu of Pratley.

First Half

Wanderers had an early reprieve after Taylor’s misplaced back pass was intercepted by Ezgjan Alioski who curled the left footer wide with just two minutes gone on the clock.

But the hosts drew first blood just a minute later when Caleb Ekuban volleyed home from six yards after the Wanderers defence failed to clear their lines.

Kirchhoff nearly drew Wanderers level when he got his end on the end of Sammy Ameobi’s corner, only to see the effort glance wide.

After that early set back, Wanderers gathered their composure and were starting to see more of the ball, particularly in midfield.

Kirchoff was a magnet for the ball and alongside Derik they broke up a number of Leeds’ attacks.

The visitors were by now enjoying far more possession and using the ball well but crucially weren’t able to test Bailey Peacock-Farrell in the Leeds goal.

Derik almost put paid to that when he had a shot from 25 yards out but the Spaniard wasn’t able to keep the ball down as it sailed over the cross bar.

Stuart Dallas was shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Will Buckley.

Alioski broke free on 35 minutes and outpaced Taylor but the midfielder screwed his shot wide.

The chance had resurrected some attacking life back into Leeds and moments later they won a corner after Alioski once again got behind the Wanderers defence.

Beevers almost inadvertently steered the ball beyond Alnwick with an attempted headed clearance and from the resulting corner Pontus Janssen powered a header against the crossbar.

Second Half

The hosts were quickest out of the traps once again and but for a fine save from Alnwick, diving to his left to keep out Hernandez, they would have doubled their advantage with barely a minute of the half having elapsed.

Leeds didn’t have to wait long to score their second, which had a sense of inevitability about it. Alnwick had somehow managed to keep out a wicked shot from Alioski, but couldn’t get close to Hernandez who latched onto the rebound to bury the ball in the back of the net.

Ameobi had a chance after receiving a short free kick but his effort lacked the power to trouble Peacock-Farrell.

But Wanderers’ pulled a goal back and got themselves back into the contest thanks to a tidy header from Le Fondre off Ameobi’s right-sided free kick after 54 minutes.

Amoebi went close moments later with a right footed strike as Leeds appeared to be shell shocked by Le Fondre’s goal.

Wanderers had the impetus and should have been on level terms when Flanagan put in a delightful cross into the box. However, with only Peacock-Farrell to beat, Buckley placed his diving header wide.

The hosts made their first substitution in the 62nd minute when Samuel Saiz came on for Pierre-Michel Lasogga.

Filipe Morais came on for Buckley in a like for like swap with 25 minutes of the game remaining.

Alnwick made a stunning save with an outstretched foot to keep out Ekuban who sprang the offside trap as Leeds tried to restore their two-goal cushion.

Parkinson made another change on 74 minutes when Wilbraham came on for Kirchhoff to give Wanderers a different dimension in the final third.

Wanderers looked determined to get an equaliser and had their hosts on the back foot.

Ameobi went close when his low shot squirmed throw a sea of bodies only to be cleared off the line by O’Kane.

Zach Clough came on for Taylor with two minutes remaining as Wanderers tried to throw everything could to get the equaliser. 

Full Time

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