Leeds 2-1 Bolton: Match Report

05 March 2016 05:34

Mirco Antenucci at the double as Leeds beat Bolton

Mirco Antenucci's double eased the pressure on head coach Steve Evans as Leeds bounced back from Monday night's horror show with a 2-1 home win against Sky Bet Championship strugglers Bolton.

Evans' future appeared in doubt when ordered by club owner Massimo Cellino not to speak to the media after a 4-0 thrashing at Brighton five days ago, but striker Antenucci struck in each half to secure Leeds just their second win in 12 league matches.

Bolton substitute Kaiyne Woolery reduced the deficit with 16 minutes remaining but Leeds held on to leave Neil Lennon's side without a league win on the road all season.

A series of protest stunts organised by Leeds fans' group Time To Go Massimo ahead of kick-off threatened to overshadow the game.

An advertising van displaying anti-Cellino protest messages was driven round Leeds city centre and outside the ground.

Protesters then staged a mini-protest march and held a mock funeral by the East Stand's Billy Bremner statue to mark what they termed "the death of the club".

The group, calling for Cellino to sell, also funded a fly-over ahead of kick-off which saw a plane carrying a 'Time To Go Massimo' banner circling the stadium.

All the drama outside the ground was not quite matched inside it once the game was under way.

Bolton, who started the game second from bottom and seven points adrift of safety, are currently fighting a winding up order in the High Court over an unpaid tax bill of B#2.2million and have endured a miserable season.

But they started full of purpose with Jay Spearing's early shot from outside the penalty area forcing Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri into a full-length save.

Italian Silvestri rescued Leeds again in the 18th minute, producing another fine save to keep out Liam Feeney's firm drive before Josh Vela stabbed the rebound wide.

Leeds were dealt a blow soon after when defender Lewie Coyle was carried off following a collision with Spearing and replaced by Gaetano Berardi.

The home side's first noteworthy chance fell to Mustapha Carayol in the 27th minute when his effort was well saved by Bolton goalkeeper Paul Rachubka.

Leeds came more into the game as the first half progressed. Liam Cooper headed wide and Antenucci had a shot blocked before they took the lead in the 39th minute.

Cooper headed down Carayol's corner and Antenucci pounced to slam home his sixth goal of the season.

Bolton went close to equalising in first-half stoppage time when defender Derik Osede's goal-bound header from Feeney's cross was kept out by Silvestri.

The visitors were also first to threaten in the second half as Spearing lashed a shot just over the crossbar, but again Leeds began to ask questions and Antenucci doubled their lead with a peach of a goal in the 62nd minute.

The Italian's ball into the box after a counter-attack was cut out but rebounded to him on the left edge of the area and he curled home a superb right-footed shot beyond Rachubka.

Bolton, to their credit, refused to fold and following Dean Moxey's excellent 74th-minute cross Woolery, a 68th-minute replacement for Vela, buried his shot from eight yards.

Leeds were hardly convincing in the closing stages as they protected their lead but Bolton, for all their pressure, failed to create an opening.

Source: PA