Bolton 1-0 Blackburn: Match Report

28 December 2015 03:34

Gary Madine's winner provides Bolton with much-needed victory over Blackburn

Bolton ended their 107-day wait for a victory as Gary Madine's winner finally provided some cheer at the Macron Stadium with a 1-0 victory over Blackburn.

Bottom-of-the-table Wanderers came into the game having failed to win any of their previous 17 games - during which time they had been served with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs, been handed a transfer embargo by the Football League and failed to pay their players for November.

Manager Neil Lennon's position, which was only assured last week after an internal investigation into allegations made about his private life in a Sunday newspaper, looked precarious too following the 4-0 drubbing at Rotherham on Boxing Day.

However, less than 48 hours later, his side claimed their sixth successive home win over Rovers as Madine, who had spurned a great first-half opening, hooked in with 13 minutes remaining.

Blackburn had enjoyed a free Boxing Day as their game with Middlesbrough was called off following the heavy rain in Lancashire, but Bolton were swiftly back in action, with Lennon making four changes and it was Madine, one of those coming in, who should have made the breakthrough inside the opening 10 minutes.

Mark Davies and Dean Moxey linked up down the left and after the latter's cross was volleyed on to the post by Zach Clough, Madine could only tamely prod towards goal where Markus Olsson was on hand to clear.

Madine's push on Hope Akpan negated any possible penalty appeal for the ball striking the Rovers midfielder's arm and for all their endeavour, Wanderers once again lacked quality to break down their opponents.

Not that Rovers were offering much themselves - Danny Guthrie lashing well over and Jordan Rhodes firing into Darren Pratley after Josh Vela was robbed 30 yards out - and even the presence of people dressed as Batman and Spider-Man for a half-time game on the pitch did not inspire a hero to come forward straight after the interval.

Paul Lambert's men finally started to stir around the hour mark when Shane Duffy glanced Craig Conway's free-kick wide and Akpan fired another try over the top after a strong penalty appeal for handball against Pratley.

Referee Jon Moss was unmoved there, as he was when Moxey hit the deck when trying to get past Conway, to leave both sides feeling a sense of injustice.

Lambert replaced the ineffective Rhodes in the 77th minute and moments later the visitors were behind as Moxey's long throw came through to Madine, who swivelled after controlling on his chest and volleyed home.

Rhodes' replacement Tom Lawrence almost provided a leveller in stoppage-time, his deflected effort came back off the post and into Ben Amos' arms as Bolton, who still face plenty of uncertainty off the pitch heading into 2016, gave their supporters something to smile about.






Source: PA


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