Report: Rotherham United v Bolton Wanderers

Christian Doid first goal in Wanderers colours earned his side a battling point against Rotherham United at the AESEAL New York Stadium.

The points appeared to be going to the home side when Will Vaulks’ long-range free-kick put Rotherham in front after Josh Magennis saw his penalty saved early in the second half.

But the Welshman came off the bench to show a cool head and finish smartly past Marek Rodek.

Team News

Phil Parkinson made five changes from the side that lost to Blackburn Rovers before the international break.

Clayton Donaldson was handed his first league start, while Lloyd Dyer made his full debut for the club.

Ben Alnwick returned to the line-up after recovering from the injury that sidelined him in recent weeks, while Gary O’Neil and Marc Wilson also regained their places.

The Wanderers manager opted to play three at the back and two up front.

First Half

Backed by a strong and vociferous travelling support of over 2,000 fans, Wanderers, wearing all black, got the game underway at the New York Stadium.

The found themselves defending an early corner and Semi Ajayii was guilty of missing a golden chance to test Alnwick when the big central defender could only glance his header wide.

Wanderers’ first sniff on goal came shortly afterwards when Josh Magennis got a looping header onto O’Neil’s free-kick but could only head just over Rodak’s bar.

The hosts responded immediately and Michael Smith hit a powerful shot which narrowly flew over the bar after shrugging off a couple of challenges.

Smith was looking hungry to break the deadlock and he headed straight into the arms of Alnwick after latching on to Taylor’s right sided cross.

Donaldson’s glancing header came off the foot of the post after he got on to O’Neil’s in-swinging cross, but the chance  wouldn’t have conted had it gone in due to the assistant referee’s flag signalling an offside infringement.

O’Neil’s set-pieces were proving to be somewhat problematic for the hosts to sufficiently deal with and Hobbs can count himself unlucky not to have seen his header off one such delivery go in after Donaldson was upended on the far side.

The visitors were now getting into their groove and containing the hosts whose early tempo was now being stymied.

Jason Lower was unlucky to have been cautioned for a foul on Ryan Williams. From the resulting free-kick, Alnwick was at full stretch to keep out a header.

Rotherham were buoyed by this and in their next attack, Taylor charged towards goal and hit a powerful effort that was deflected behind by Wheater.

The hosts were forced into making an early change with Jones being replaced by Vyner.

Wanderers also had to make an enforced change on 34 minutes with O’Neil limping off. Josh Vela came on to replace the midfielder.

Despite both sides creating several half chances, the half drew to a goalless close.

Second Half

Within two minutes of the restart, Wanderers were awarded a penalty after Magennis was hauled down by Wood in the box after the striker outsmarted the defender.

But Rodak produced a stunning save, diving at full stretch to his left-hand side, to thwart Magennis from the spot.

The Millers responded to their reprieve and took the lead before the hour mark through Vaulks’ free-kick which was powerfully struck and directed low through the wall beyond Alnwick.

It could have been two moments later but for Alnwick making a smart close range block off Williams.

Wanderers best chance of getting back into the game appeared to be from a set-piece and Wheater saw a header cleared off the line after getting on the end of a corner.

The Millers made another substitution with Joe Newell coming on for Kyle Vassell.

Parkinson made a double attacking change for Wanderers with Christian Doidge and Yanic Wildschutt replacing Dyer and Williams.

A post prevented Wanderers from going two-down after Michael Smith’s stunning right footed curler from distance rebounded off the woodwork with Alnwick beaten.

But Doidge got his first goal for the club since his switch from Forest Green with six minutes remaining with a tidy finish from distance to spark wild scenes in the away end. 

Full Time

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Lowe, Donaldson, Hobbs, Olkowski, Wilson, O’Neil (Vela 34'), J Williams (Doidge 66'), Dyer (Wildschut 66'), Magennis, Wheater (C)

Subs Not Used: Matthews, Taylor, Beevers, Noone

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