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Match Reports

Report: Walsall 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

12 December 2020

Bolton Wanderers suffered a narrow defeat in the West Midlands as Walsall came from behind to claim the victory.

Wanderers got off to a great start courtesy of Eoin Doyle’s eighth goal of the season and could have extended their lead on several occasions during a dominant first half display.
 
But goals from Elijah Adebayo and Rory Holden ensured the hosts picked up the points.
 
Ian Evatt named an unchanged starting XI from the side that suffered defeat against Port Vale a week earlier.
 
The hosts started with some slick movement in midfield and Wes McDonald wasn't too far away with a right footer from distance that went just wide.
 
At the other end, a good passage of play involving George Thomason and Nathan Delfouneso culminated with Peter Kioso’s centre falling into the hands of Jack Rose.
 
Wanderers took their lead after 13 minutes courtesy of Doyle’s eighth goal of the season. The Irishman was at the far post to guide Delfouneso’s cross over the line after Ali Crawford drove forward.
 
The goal took the sting out of Walsall’s earlier promise with Wanderers not being placed under any significant pressure.
 
Another McDonald curler from distance went wide but that was all they and to show as an attacking force in the opening half an hour.
 
Delfouneso headed over from Doyle’s right sided cross as Wanderers looked to increase their lead. 
 
Wanderers enjoyed a good spell of possession with some positive and slick passing. Delfouneso did well to carve open a shooting chance but his shoot went high over Rose’s cross bar.
 
The visitors had a let off five minutes before the break when Zak Jules rose high to head wide from a corner. 
 
The linesman's flag thwarted Delfouneso from putting Wanderers further in front when he converted Kioso’s low cross after Thomason’s pass sliced open the Saddlers’ defence.
 
Just a minute before the break, and Walsall equalised through Adebayo.
 
No changes were made during the break and Wanderers started brightly.
 
Crawford’s free-kick presented Wanderers with good opportunity to restore their lead but his effort went straight into the Walsall wall.
 
Walsall began to get a hold of proceedings and Rory Holden should have but his side on front but he steered a low ball wide at the near post after Wanderers allowed the ball to be crossed in.
 
Holden made amends moments later when he thundered a drive beyond Gilks following a short free kick that was rolled into his path 20 yards from goal.
 
Wanderers almost equalised moments later when Sarcevic’s acrobatic effort was deflected onto the post by a Walsall defender at the expense of a corner.
 
Gilks made a stunning save to prevent the hosts from extending their lead through Adebayo.
 
Wanderers then broke with pace but Kioso wasn't able to get a decent connection on Crawford’s centre.
 
Evatt made his first change with just over ten minutes remaining with Arthur Gnahoua coming on for Crawford.
 
But he was taken off less than minute later after appearing to pick up a shoulder injury with Ronan Darcy coming on on his place. 
 
Wanderers were unable to get on the scoresheet and suffered their second defeat on the trot. 
 
 
Walsall:
 
Rose, Norman, Jules, Clarke, Scarr, Kinsella, Adebayo (Lavery 90), Bates, McDonald (White 85), Holden, Osadebe (Gordon 74).
 
Subs Not Used: Roberts (GK), Sinclair, Guthrie, Scrimshaw.
 
Goals: Adebayo (44), Holden (57).
 
 
Bolton Wanderers:
 
Gilks, Jones, Almeida Santos, Delaney, Delfouneso, Doyle, Sarcevic, Crawford (Gnahoua 79) (Darcy 82), Thomason (White 86), Baptiste, Kioso.
 
Subs Not Used: Crellin, Comley, Mascoll, Greenidge,
 
Goals: Doyle (13).

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