Bolton 1-2 Burnley: Match Report

27 February 2016 05:34

Andre Gray double takes Burnley top of Championship

The Sky Bet Championship's top scorer Andre Gray sent Burnley top of the table with a second-half brace in their 2-1 win over lowly Bolton.

Gray, the Clarets' record signing, took his tally for the season to 20 goals, 18 of which have come with his current employers as Sean Dyche's men replaced Hull at the summit following the Tigers' goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night.

Although Burnley's unbeaten run was stretched to 11 games, they had to come from behind to secure the three points, with Liam Feeney giving Bolton a 69th-minute lead.

However Gray, who was flagged offside on half-a-dozen occasions, quickly levelled before smashing an unstoppable left-footed winner beyond Paul Rachubka with five minutes to go.

It also lifted Dyche's side 40 points clear of relegation-threatened Wanderers six years after Owen Coyle left Turf Moor for Bolton claiming their set-up was "five-to-10 years" ahead of Burnley's own.

Ben Mee headed their first chance over from a corner but it was his choice of footwear that almost proved the Clarets' undoing early on.

While the centre-back was off the pitch changing boots, Wanderers had a man over on the far side and right-back Josh Vela connected with a volley that whistled wide.

Dyche's side had not been at their best when they defeated Nottingham Forest on Tuesday and it was a similar story here, although George Boyd's try was deflected just wide by Rob Holding and Gray blazed over the top from Joey Barton's pass.

A subdued Sam Vokes flicked a header which may have just hit Gray on its way wide but Wanderers' centre-back pairing of Holding and Derik Osede were not often troubled by a strike partnership that came into his game having contributed 26 goals to Burnley's cause.

That was just five fewer than Bolton's entire team had managed in the Championship this term and Zach Clough was guilty of wasting their best opportunity when he spooned over from 12 yards out early in the second period following good work from Mark Davies and Dean Moxey.

Feeney, who constantly had the beating of right-back Matt Lowton, then sent a dipping effort over before Neil Lennon called for Gary Madine, back on the bench after being dropped for disciplinary reasons, with 65 minutes gone and the pair combined for the opener four minutes later.

Darren Pratley won the ball in midfield and chose to find Madine rather than Feeney, with the ball eventually swept across for the goalscorer two yards out at the back post.

It was a fully deserved lead for Bolton, yet it lasted only five minutes before Gray restored parity.

Goalkeeper Rachubka made a terrific stop to deny the striker's prodded finish at first but Gray raced to the rebound and placed it over him and into the net.

And the ex-Brentford forward raced clear to smash the visitors in front late on after being set free by substitute Fredrik Ulvestad.

It was harsh on Bolton, who were thwarted by a Tom Heaton save from his own player Mee as they pushed for an equaliser, but they were given a lesson by Gray's clinical finishing.


Source: PA


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