We venture back to February 2017, as a Promotion-targeting Wanderers side won their second game in four days.
Bolton’s push back to the Championship gained more momentum as Phil Parkinson’s side won at home against Keith Hill’s old club, Rochdale AFC, who Hill was in charge of at the time. The win followed a demolition job of Walsall at the then named Macron Stadium, with Wanderers winning 4-1.
In the reverse fixture, Dale beat Bolton at the Crown Oil Arena 1-0 on 27 September 2016, and went on to win the next four games after, stretching a run to six consecutive victories for Keith Hill’s old club. Since the turn of the year however, Rochdale only won one game in five before arriving to take on their North West rivals.
Despite Rochdale’s sluggish start to the season, the Trotters took some time to break them down in the game, with the first attempt at Ben Wilson’s goal coming in the 34th minute. But with the confidence of getting a worthwhile shot on goal, two more came in quick succession courtesy of Gary Madine and Liam Trotter.
Both efforts forcing goal-line clearances from Joseph Rafferty and Mark Kitching respectively.
Full-back Andrew Taylor was substituted before the break due to injury, and the Whites survived two other worrying moments as Rochdale started the second half committing men forward. Ollie Rathbone drilled an effort just wide of the post before Dale captain Ian Henderson was denied well by keeper Ben Alnwick.
It looked like the game was going to a stalemate until midfielder Jay Spearing whipped in a dangerous corner resulting in the ball going over the line after a scrap in Rochdale’s six-yard box in the 82nd minute.
Much to the dismay of their defenders after they failed to clear the corner, Keith Hill’s men contested the decision but referee Chris Kavanagh ignored the protests, delighting the Bolton faithful.
The goal was originally credited to Filipe Morais, but was eventually given to Mark Beevers with 13,313 in attendance of what proved to be the winning goal.
BOLTON – ALNWICK, DERIK, WHEATER, BEEVERS, MORAIS, TROTTER (THORPE, 85), SPEARING, VELA, TAYLOR (MOXEY, 45+1), LE FONDRE (LONG, 63), MADINE.
SUBS NOT USED – DERVITE, SOLOMON-OTABOR, HOWARD, WILKINSON.
ROCHDALE – WILSON, RAFFERTY (MENDEZ-LAING, 85), CANAVAN, KEANE, KITCHING, McGAHEY, RATHBONE (CAMPS, 85), ALLEN, THOMPSON (VINCENTI, 78), ANDREW, HENDERSON.
SUBS NOT USED – McNULTY, NOBLE-LAZARUS, REDSHAW, LOGAN.