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REPORT | Rovers 1 Bolton Wanderers 2

15 April 2022

Spirited Rovers suffered bitter disappointment with a 2-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers.

Mipo Odubeko looked to have rescued at least a point for Rovers with his first goal for the club to cancel out Amadou Bakayoko’s opener.

But former Rovers forward Kieran Sadlier put the Trotters back in front almost immediately to deliver a gutpunch.

Boss Gary McSheffrey named an unchanged side from the XI that started the win over Crewe Alexandra as he went head-to-head with schoolboy teammate Ian Evatt.

And Rovers produced some good attacking play, particularly during the majority of the first half, as they fought hard for the much-needed points.

Bolton enjoyed the better of the possession in the early stages, though misplaced passes from both sides ensured a lack of fluency in the game.

The visitors crafted the game’s first real opportunity with 13 minutes on the clock when Declan John nodded the ball into the centre from a Gethin Jones diagonal and Bakayoko powered a header narrowly over the bar.

Rovers began to enjoy more of a say in proceedings as the period ticked past its half way point.

Josh Martin carried the ball well, and drew a fine save from Bolton keeper James Trafford after cutting inside.

The winger then received the ball on the edge of the box with his back to goal before turning and forcing Trafford into a full-stretch stop with a low drive.

Tommy Rowe was milimetres from giving Rovers the lead when he raced onto a well-weighted ball from Matt Smith but watched his effort bounce off the top of the crossbar.

Rovers were well on top as the half wore on and Aidan Barlow saw a back post volley blocked out for a corner.

Jonathan Mitchell made a brave save at the feet of Jon Dadi Bodvarsson as the imposing Bolton striker was poised to pounce on a low centre while Bakayoko fired wide from a good position following a break from the visitors.

Rovers’ best chance of the half came in its final moments. Reo Griffiths touched the ball across the box and Smith lashed a first time strike that flew narrowly past the post.

Bolton took the lead two minutes in the second half. Bodvarsson got free on the left and fired a ball into the centre where Bakayoko slid in to poke home.

Barlow missed a good chance to level the score after being played in by Smith with Trafford equal to his shot.

And the Bolton keeper somehow kept out a free kick from Martin which he clipped beyond the wall from the near post.

Rovers continued to push for an equaliser and Rowe drew a good save from Trafford at his near post after interchanging passes with Martin.

The leveller did come on 77 minutes however when Odubeko lashed home a powerful effort from 15 yards.

But Bolton hit back immediately to re-take the lead when Sadlier powered a shot into the roof of the net at the far post.

Rovers pushed again to draw level but mustering chances proved difficult.

Rowe drilled a low effort across the face of goal in the best of the late chances but there was only disappointment for McSheffrey’s men.

ROVERS: Mitchell, Knoyle, Williams, Olowu, Rowe, Bostock (Odubeko 74), Clayton, Barlow (Galbraith 56), Smith (Dodoo 88), Martin, Griffiths. Subs not used: Jones, Younger, Jackson, Gardner.

BOLTON: Trafford, Jones, Aimson, Johnston, Sadlier, Morley, Williams, Thomason (Afolayan 74), John, Bodvarsson (Kachunga 74), Bakayoko (Charles 66). Subs not used: Dixon, Amaechi, Baptiste, Gordon.

REFEREE: James Oldham (Derbyshire)


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