Report: Bolton Wanderers 0-3 Crewe Alexandra

Three second half goals saw Wanderers defeated in the final pre-season friendly before the season kicks off next weekend. Despite a strong first half and spells of dominance in possession in the second half, it was the Sky Bet League One side who came away with victory.

Both teams spent the first ten minutes or so of the game looking to get a foothold in the game, and the first chance of the evening fell to Wanderers via Alex Baptiste. Ali Crawford delivered a corner into the box and the experienced defender met it with a header that failed to trouble David Richards in the Crewe goal.

Ian Evatt’s men were looking to go up a gear after Baptiste went close but Alexandra missed a presentable opportunity through Charlie Kirk following a loose pass by Billy Crellin, but the opposing number ten saw an attempted lob read well and caught by the Wanderers goalkeeper.

Brandon Comley saw a shot blocked and Nathan Delfouneso was denied by Richards as Wanderers went in search of the first goal and as the half grew Gethin Jones was looking a real threat down the right-hand side with dangerous deliveries into the box.

Crewe were denied in the latter stages of the half as Oli Finney saw a shot blocked heroically by Ricardo Almeida Santos following Charlie Kirk’s venture down the left-hand side, and before the referee’s whistle was sounded Liam Gordon spurned an opportunity after Antoni Sarcevic’s cross had fallen to him kindly at the far post.

Early in the second half, Crewe took the lead. Setting his sights from distance, Daniel Powell unleashed a shot that found the back of the net to leave Wanderers with work to do.

The visitors were in the ascendancy after taking the lead and after Luke Murphy and Charlie Kirk had efforts on goal, it was the latter who doubled the visitors’ advantage. Billy Crellin did brilliantly to keep out a header at the far post but the ball eventually broke to Kirk who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from six yards out.

Late on, substitute Offrande Zanzala added a third tapping in from close range to assure that the visitors would head back to Cheshire with a victory in the bag. All attentions now turn to next weekend’s Carabao Cup First Round tie against Bradford City.


Wanderers Line-Up: Crellin, Jones (Hickman 81), Santos, Baptiste (Delaney 81), Taft, Gordon (Mascoll 81), Comley, Sarcevic, Crawford (White 61), Delfouneso, Doyle.

Crewe Line-Up: Richards (Jaaskelainen 46), Ng, Pickering, Wintle, Daniels (Nolan 46), Offord (Sass-Davies 77), Powell (Dale 77), Finney, Porter (Zanzala 77), Kirk, Murphy (Ainley 77).


Wanderers Goals: -

Crewe Goals: Powell (55), Kirk (59), Zanzala (85)

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