Posted by Admin - Wed 29th November 2017 9.41AM
Bolton Wanderers went into November in a brief period of renaissance. Despite remaining in the relegation zone, they were four games unbeaten and hosted Norwich for the opening fixture.
Phil Parkinson has been careful to maintain a similar team throughout this run of form to provide stability which was seemingly working. Even players who have struggled for consistency in the past were seemingly revitalised in this new system, absorbing pressure and punishing teams on the counter-attack.
Gary Madine slotted the opener past the keeper and loan man Adam Armstrong produced a moment of magic soon after, curling an effort off the inside of the post and into the Norwich net to double Bolton's lead.
Norwich came into the game in the second half and Josh Murphy forced Ben Alnwick into a brilliant one-on-one save.
Bolton could have made the game completely the game late on as the referee denied Sammy Ameobi a penalty after he was brought down in the box.
Norwich earned themselves a consolation late into added time as Murphy fired the ball past Alnwick from close range.
Following a brief international break, Bolton travelled to Preston for arguably the least entertaining local derby in recent memory.
Any chances worthy of note came in the opening half hour. Preston dominated heavily in the first ten minutes, coming close with some well-worked set-pieces and the ball was fizzed across the goalmouth twice in quick succession.
Bolton came close as Josh Vela’s volley scraped the bar, but otherwise, it was a game which lacked excitement and action.
The Whites then hosted Reading on a wet Tuesday night. Reading were also in the bottom half of the Championship table, despite playing some very classy football under the Macron lights.
The pressing of Vela, Ameobi and Armstrong constantly put the Reading backline under pressure, forcing mistakes and Madine came close as Vela intercepted the keeper’s clearance. Had his first touch been stronger, Bolton could have opened the scoring in the opening exchanges.
The Whites opened the scoring after 17 minutes when Vela’s free-kick was flicked on by Darren Pratley into the path of Reece Burke at the back post and he headed home.
Bolton doubled their lead when a Vela corner was headed home by Pratley.
Reading reduced the deficit in the 76th minute through Liam Moore and the evening went from bad to worse for Bolton as Modou Barrow went down far too easily in the Bolton box under pressure from Ameobi to gain a penalty for Reading which Leandro Bacuna slotted past Alnwick.
Bolton bombed forward to try to regain their lead and could have the with the last kick of the game but Adam Le Fondre’s shot was well saved by the keeper.
The unbeaten run spanned seven games until it was shattered and obliterated by an impressive Wolves side who opened the scoring through Wily Boly.
Had it not been for Ben Alnwick, the game could have turned into a rugby score, producing some brilliant saves to deny the high fliers.
Wolves doubled the score in the 25th minute as Diogo Jota who chipped the ball over Alnwick and saw his effort guided in my teammate Leo Bontini from close range.
Antonee Robinson was unable to prevent his collision with Romain Saiss in the box which resulted in a penalty. Ivan Cavaleiro dispatched from the spot for his first of the afternoon.
The Whites were given a glimmer of hope when Pratley won the ball for Madine to find Will Buckley and he fired past the keeper.
Hope did not last long as Cavaleiro turned the defence inside out and powerfully hit the ball past Alnwick.
To top off a horrid game for Bolton, Jota made it five for Wolves despite the fact that Alnwick got a hand to the ball.