Bolton Wanderers were defeated 2-0 in the Sky Bet Championship at the hands of West Bromwich Albion, with goals coming from Jay Rodriguez and Sam
Phil Parkinson made four changes to his starting eleven that went up against Bristol City in the Sky Bet Championship.
David Wheater and Jonathan Grounds dropped out for Jack Hobbs and Andrew Taylor, with Josh Magennis and Will Buckley replaced by Clayton Donaldson and Gary O’Neil.
Almost straight after the whistle went in this half, Wanderers nearly went ahead after a Craig Noone cross found Gary O’Neil who nodded the ball across goal and just past the far post.
Seven minutes in and a gigantic kick up field from Sam Johnstone found in-form Dwight Gayle, who brought the ball down and fired towards Alnwick’s goal from the angle, but couldn’t find the target.
On the 16th minute, a high, looping cross from Andrew Taylor found Gary O’Neil at the back post, who managed to evade his marker before heading over the bar. There were claims on a penalty on the midfielder but the referee David Webb waved them away.
The visitors went ahead three minutes after this, as a Chris Brunt free-kick was headed back across goal by Ahmed Hegazi, leaving Jay Rodriguez to tap it in from inside the six-yard box.
Wanderers kept threatening throughout the half, as Gary O’Neil produced a curled cross into the danger area, but the Whites unable to capitalise on the tantalising delivery.
Luke Murphy nearly put the Whites back in this clash, with Clayton Donaldson teeing up the midfielder who just mishit his shot wide of the mark.
On the half hour mark, Pawel Olkowski expertly picked out Sammy Ameobi on the edge of the area, who shot at goal with pace only for Johnstone to tip it over the bar.
Dwight Gayle nearly doubled Albion’s lead six minutes from the break, as he struck a 30-yard free-kick that clipped the top of the crossbar. Inches away from a sublime goal.
Phil Parkinson’s men came out of the blocks strong, as Jason Lowe latched onto a loose ball from a Craig Noone corner ball.
He turned and shot on the half volley, producing a fantastic diving save from Johnstone.
Ten minutes into the second phase and a Sam Field corner was met powerfully by Baggies defender Ahmed Hegazi, but his effort lacked direction and flew over away from goal.
Just past the hour mark, Noone produced a trademark delivery into the Baggies penalty area, that was asking to be finished off by a Wanderers attacker but nobody was able to get a touch on the football.
Wanderers continued to press forward, with Noone, Ameobi and Murphy all trying to unlock the door to the Albion defence for the leveller.
However with 15 minutes to go of regulation play, Sam Field latched onto a through ball which pierced the Wanderers defensive line before the midfielder poked the ball underneath Alnwick.
Craig Noone tried to rally a response, as he picked out Will Buckley at the near post with a cross but his midfielder partner could not steer the ball into Johnstone’s goal.
Three minutes of the 90 left when Josh Magennis managed to flick on a throw-in to Buckley, who hit a first time half-volley that petered just wide of the Albion goal.
Wanderers continued to press on until the very end but were unable to find a way back into this Sky Bet Championship clash.
Wanderers XI: Alnwick (C), Taylor, Lowe, Beevers, Donaldson (Magennis 69), Ameobi, Noone (Pritchard 83), Hobbs, Murphy (Buckley 69), Olkowski, O’Neil.
Unused substitutes: Matthews, Wilson, Wheater, Connell