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Report: Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Scunthorpe United

23 February 2021

Goals from Eoin Doyle and Antoni Sarcevic made it four wins on the spin for Bolton Wanderers as Ian Evatt’s men completed the double over in-form Scunthorpe United at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Wanderers’ leading marksman, Doyle, fired home his 12th goal of the campaign from the penalty spot in the first-half before midfielder Sarcevic assured the victory five minutes after coming off the bench.
 
The win took Wanderers to ninth in the table as they continued their surge up Sky Bet League Two and recent run of form.
 
The Wanderers manager made two changes from the side that beat Southend at the weekend.
 
George Thomason came into midfield in place of Kieran Lee who was rested for the encounter, whilst Lloyd Isgrove returned to the starting eleven in place of Marcus Maddison who was named amongst the substitutes.
 
Wanderers started on the front foot and won an early corner after Declan John put the ball in towards Dapo Afolayan just outside the box after latching onto Ricardo Almeida Santos’ huge inch-perfect pass. The loanee’s effort on goal was charged down.
 
The hosts were looking comfortable in possession during the early stages, hardly giving their opponents a sight of the ball, and a succession of corners caused the Iron some issues but they survived the pressure.
 
Wanderers earned a free-kick in a promising position just outside the box after former Bolton man Jem Karacan felled Nathan Delfouneso. Afolayan’s well-struck set-piece ricocheted off the wall though.
 
Gethin Jones’ whipped in a ball from the right-hand side and although the delivery couldn't be dealt with by the Scunthorpe defence, it narrowly evaded Doyle at the far post with the Irishman at full stretch trying to steer home.
 
Bright on the front foot once again, Afolayan’s surge in the box ended up with him dragging a low shot across Mark Howard’s goal and wide of the target.
 
Delfouneso appeared to take a kick in the head from Jacob Bedeau as he looked to get on the end of a ball into the box. The referee immediately pointed to the spot with Doyle stepping up to rifle the ball into the roof of the net. It was struck so emphatically, Howard didn’t even move off his spot. 
 
Soon afterwards, some good build-up play in midfield resulted in Afolayan shooting narrowly wide as Wanderers were hungry for more goals and looking to extend their lead.
 
At the other end, Abo Eisa’s free-kick from 25 yards went straight into the hands of Matt Gilks after Almeida Santos was adjudged to have handled the ball.
 
Wanderers were unchanged for the start of the second-half while United made three changes in a bid to try and find a way back into the game with Kevin van Veen, Harrison McGahey and Jordan Clarke coming on.
 
The visitors had a good spell of possession during the early part of the second half and although George Taft was the first to reach a corner from Alex Gilliead, Wanderers ‘keeper Gilks was well placed to smother the ball.
 
At the other end, Wanderers broke at pace with Doyle finding John on the overlap, but the Welshman was unable to keep his effort down and the ball went high and wide.
 
The game livened up and Baptiste had to slide in to clear the ball off his own line from van Veen's effort after Gilks was left stranded on the edge of the box with the goal unguarded.
 
Afolayan’s low shot failed to trouble Howard after Doyle and George Thomason had combined to create the opportunity and on 69 minutes, Ian Evatt made his first change when Sarcevic came on for Afolayan.
 
The sub was on the field a matter of five minutes before he doubled Wanderers’ advantage. Lloyd Isgrove’s centre was left intelligently by Doyle which created the space for the midfielder to emphatically fire past Howard.
 
Evatt made a double substitution with ten minutes remaining with Shaun Miller and Arthur Gnahoua coming on for the hardworking duo of Doyle and Delfouneso.
 
Gilks spared MJ Willams’ blushes after the midfielder was caught in possession in a dangerous area. The Wanderers’ keeper tipped van Veen’s attempted lob over for a corner as the visitors rallied. A rare error by the Wanderers midfielder in another Man of the Match display.
 
Wanderers saw the victory home comfortably with the focus now turning to Saturday’s home game against Barrow.
 
 
Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Jones, Almeida Santos, Baptiste, John, Williams, Thomason, Isgrove (Maddison 89), Afolayan (Sarcevic 69), Delfouneso (Gnahoua 80), Doyle (Miller 80). 
 
Subs Not Used: Jackson, Tutte, Comley.
 
Goals: Doyle pen (37), Sarcevic (74). 
 
 
Scunthorpe United: Howard, Rowe (Clarke 46), Bedeau (McGahey 46), Taft, Brown (O'Malley 75), Gilliead, Beestin, Karacan (Spence 75), Green (van Veen 46), Eisa, Loft.
 
Subs Not Used: Watson, Hallam. 

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