Report: Bolton Wanderers 2 - 1 Harrogate Town

Goals from Kieran Lee and Eoin Doyle saw Bolton Wanderers come from behind to bounce back to winning ways against Harrogate Town at the University of Bolton Stadium.

  • After falling being to an unfortunate Gethin Jones own goal in the first-half, Wanderers looked a different side after the half-time break.
In a classic game of two halves, buoyed by the introduction of George Thomason for the start of the second period, Wanderers deserved the three points.
It initially appeared that Lloyd Isgrove had reduced the arrears, but a post-match replay showed that Lee got the decisive touch to level matters.
Doyle then showed a cool head to slam home his 17th goal of the season to seal a priceless victory for Wanderers.
Ian Evatt made two changes from the side that lost to Newport County on Easter Monday.
Marcus Maddison and Dapo Afolayan came in for Thomason and Nathan Delfouneso who were both named among the substitutes.
Maddison was left in a heap seconds after kick-off when Josh Falkingham put in a late challenge which earned him a stern telling-off from referee Sam Allison.
The visitors started brightly and George Thomson should have done better when presented with a chance to shoot from just inside the penalty area.
A cross in from the right off Doyle found the run of Lee but the midfielder slipped as he shaped up to shoot and the ball went behind for a goal kick.
The visitors took the lead on 13 minutes when Jones inadvertently pushed the ball over the line with Mark Beck putting him under pressure after a low cross came in off the right-hand side.
James Belshaw made a smart save diving low to his left to keep out a Doyle effort. John had put the Irishman through who hit the ball firmly.
Gilks caught Dan Jones' header from Thomson’s free-kick with Harrogate looking dangerous with every set-piece.
Ricardo Almeida Santos reached Maddison’s corner but his header went behind for a goal-kick.
Wanderers broke forward at pace after Maddison flicked the ball on into space. Declan John’s deep cross found its way to Doyle, whose strike was diverted over by the head of Lee.
Lloyd Kerry was cautioned after a heavy challenge on Maddison which saw the midfielder require treatment from the physio.
Evatt made a change during the break when he brought on Thomason for Maddison.
Doyle got on the end of Jones’ floated cross into the box but with his back to goal, the striker’s header went straight into the arms of Belshaw.
Wanderers got themselves back in front thanks to Lee who got a precise touch on Isgrove's long range drive. The winger initially lost possession but showed great determination to win the ball back and send the ball goalwards only for his team-mate to get a slight but imprtant tip-toe on the ball.
The visitors made their first change just after the hour mark when veteran Jon Stead came on for Beck.
Afolayan fired disappointingly wide from distance with John screaming for the ball on the overlap.
Wanderers had improved considerably from their first-half showing and now looked the most likely to score the next goal in the game.
Lee almost put the hosts in front when he benefited from Alex Baptiste’s knockdown off Thomason’s free-kick. The midfielder controlled the ball well but his well-struck volley flew just wide of goal.
Wanderers made another change after 74 minutes when Delfouneso replaced Afolayan.
That goal game shortly after Elbouzedi came on for Isgrove,
Doyle capitalised on a defensive mistake to slam home his 17th goal of the season to put Wanderers in front.
Moments later and Gilks pulled off a world-class save to tip Stead’s thumping header over the bar.
Wanderers stayed resolute and deserved their win which saw them go back into third spot, two points ahead of Tranmere.
Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Jones, Williams, Almeida Santos, Doyle (c) (Miller 90+4), Maddison (Thomason 46), Isgrove (Elbouzedi 76), Baptiste, John, Lee (Brockbank 90+4) Afolayan (Delfouneso 74).
Subs Not Used: Tutte, Gnahoua.
Goals: Lee (53), Doyle (78)
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Jones, Falkingham (c), Smith, Burrell (Fallowfield 83), Thomson, Beck (Stead 62), Kerry (Francis 67) Muldoon, Hall, McPake (Kiernan 67)
Subs Not Used: Cracknell, Williams
Goal: Jones OG (13)
Read Time: 4 mins