Report: Bolton Wanderers 5-2 Walsall

Bolton Wanderers progressed into the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup as they defeated Walsall 5-2 at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A hat-trick from Josh Magennis, along with a strike from Clayton Donaldson and an own goal from Jon Guthrie saw the Whites secure their place into the pot for the next round.

Team News

Phil Parkinson made five changes from his starting line-up against Hull City.

Marc Wilson and Gary O’Neil miss out through injury, with Luke Murphy and Pawel Olkowski coming in to replace them.

Yanic Wildschut, Craig Noone and Josh Magennis also make the starting eleven.

First Half

Walsall started the game off strong, with a corner into the danger area, headed towards Ben Alnwick’s net and cannoned off the crossbar with two minutes of kick off.

Shouts for a penalty came from the visitors, as Matt Jarvis jinked inside the area and went down following a challenge by David Wheater but referee Darren England waved away the protests.

The Saddler took the lead on 19 minutes, as a cross from Jarvis found the head of Andy Cook, who guided the ball past an outstretched Alnwick.

A speculative effort from Jarvis followed shortly after, however his half volley sailed wide of the mark.

Pawel Olkowski put a superb delivery into the box, finding Yanic Wildschut on the volley but the Dutchman couldn’t direct his effort past Liam Roberts.

Jason Lowe delicately found Craig Noone with a ball across the Walsall area soon after, before the wide man fired towards the Saddlers’ goal but his shot finished inches over the crossbar.

A ball over the top found Saddlers attacker Morgan Ferrier through on goal, but Mark Beevers recovered well to make a well-timed interception.

Craig Noone began to make things happen for the Whites, putting a dangerous ball across the box to find Luke Murphy at the far post.

The former Leeds United man powerfully headed goal ward, but Roberts saved well.

Second Half

Wanderers came out after the break with a bit of menace, with Luke Murphy making a crunching tackle midway into the Walsall half that set away second half substitute Clayton Donaldson.

The Jamaican international jinked past one Walsall defender before having his shot blocked.

A clearance from Wanderers was blocked well by Walsall, who saw the deflection fall into their possession in the form of Morgan Ferrier.

The forward took aim at goal and tested Ben Alnwick, who saved well before grasping the ball at the second attempt.

Wanderers had the ball in the net five minutes prior to the hour mark, with Will Buckley firing home past Roberts but the referee had adjudged the winger to have handled the ball.

Saddlers’ Devlin crossed the ball deep into the area in a quick counter attack, finding Cook who beat Olkowski in the air but couldn’t beat Alnwick with his powerful header.

The Whites pressure got its just reward, with a corner ball finding Josh Magennis in the six yard area, who flicked it quickly to Clayton Donaldson to finish off from close range.

Wanderers soon after got the lead through Josh Magennis, as Donaldson’s shot was palmed out by Roberts straight into the path of the Northern Irishman to tap home from eight yards.

Phil Parkinson’s men doubled their lead with minutes, as a Craig Noone cross into the six yard area saw Donaldson latch onto the enticing delivery as it ended up in the back of the net, with it potentially coming off Jon Guthrie last.

Walsall responded with a goal of their own soon after, with their skipper Dobson firing past Ben Alnwick from all of 20 yards via a deflection. The Wanderers goalkeeper left helpless to stop the effort from going in.

Ferrier nearly found the equaliser with 17 minutes to go, as a Ferrier cross was flicked across the area by Cook, with Saddlers defender Guthrie inches away from tapping it in.

Jason Lowe played a precise through ball to Buckley, who took it in his stride before stinging the gloves of Walsall’s Roberts with a curling effort from just inside the area.

It was all action at this point in the game, as a deflected Olkowski cross found Buckley, who again smashed a shot towards goal with only the post saving the Saddlers.

Left back Luke Leahy saw the ball fall to him with 11 minutes left of this third round tie, but his half volley effort never troubled the Wanderers defence.

Wanderers had their fourth following this, as a fantastic Craig Noone ball into the front post found Magennis who nodded it home from close distance. Excellent from the target man!

Kieron Morris tried to spark the comeback for Walsall, with a strike from 30 yards finishing wide of the target.

Cook hit the woodwork for Dean Keates’ men coming into the final stages of the clash, with a volley from an acute angle firing off the bar.

Magennis became a hattrick hero with three minutes of regular time remaining as he stung the far post with a left footed effort, before valiantly following it up for his third of the afternoon.

Walsall kept playing to the end but it was Wanderers who sailed into the fourth round pot with a clinical display in front of goal today.

Full Time

Wanderers XI: Alnwick, Lowe, Beevers, Vela (Buckley 45), Noone, Murphy (Connell 89), Olkowski, Magennis, Grounds, Wildschut (Donaldson 45), Wheater (C).

Substitutes: B. Williams, Little, Oztumer, Hall.

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