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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 19 Mar 16 at 16:45 PM

Report: City 6-0 Bolton Wanderers

Mark Perrow reports from Ashton Gate

City produced six of the best to humiliate a Bolton Wanderers side whose turmoil was clear to see at Ashton Gate.

Aaron Wilbraham and Lee Tomlin each scored inside the first ten minutes to set the tone for a day to remember for the home supporters.

Peter Odemwingie added City’s third soon after half-time, while Scott Wagstaff got in on the act within seconds of coming off the bench.

Wagstaff's fellow substitute Jonathan Kodjia headed home and Joe Bryan put the icing on the cake to complete the rout as City took another significant step closer to their ultimate target of preserving their Sky Bet Championship status.

Lee Johnson made two changes to his side, reverting to the same team who started the second half at Fulham as Odemwingie and Bobby Reid replaced Kodjia and Luke Freeman – just as they did at the interval at Craven Cottage.

For Odemwingie it meant a home debut, one of two in the City line-up as fellow loan signing Adam Matthews made his third appearance and his first at Ashton Gate.

Odemwingie’s name was greeted by roars of approval from the home fans before kick-off and it did not take long for the forward to make an impact.

Inside three minutes the Nigerian sucked in two defenders before cleverly offloading the ball for Bryan to surge into the box.

The Bristolian had plenty of space to advance and crack a driven shot across Paul Rachubka that forced a smart save only for the keeper’s parry to land straight at the feet of Wilbraham, who had the easiest task of finding the net from six yards.

It was the perfect start but City would continue firmly on the front foot against a Bolton team riddled with problems on and off the pitch.

Kaiyne Woolery provided brief respite for the visitors, showing off his pace as he accelerated away from Marlon Pack, but Matthews came across to usher him out of play before City doubled their advantage.

Tomlin was starting from the right flank rather than his preferred number ten role, but he was certainly enjoying himself when he beat the dithering Dean Moxey to the ball and held him off before slotting home with a low shot inside the far post.

In fairness to Bolton, what followed was a sustained spell of passing for the basement club, but City had them where they wanted them and twice came close to extending the lead.

First Odemwingie showed his sharpness to nip in ahead of Rachubka, but was unable to punish a defensive mix-up when he rolled the ball goalwards from a tight angle only to hit the sidenetting of the empty goal.

Marlon Pack was next to leave the Bolton players breathing sighs of relief with what would have been a goal of the season contender.

Stepping on to a rolling ball fully 35 yards out, the midfielder let fly with a rocket of a shot that flew towards the top corner but just fractionally over the bar, creating a buzz of excitement inside Ashton Gate at what might have been a very special moment.

For long periods City were happy for the visitors to have possession, but the hosts were playing the far more enterprising football and Bolton were making no impact in the final third.

It was no surprise when the red shirts strung together the best move of the match so far. After some superb interplay involving Odemwingie and Reid down the left, Scott Golbourne delivered a peach of a cross that looked tailor-made for Wilbraham, who was clearly hauled down only for loud penalty appeals to fall on deaf ears.

City seemed to have an almost unstoppable momentum on their side, which showed no signs of slowing down after half-time.

The classy Odemwingie deservedly added his name to the scoresheet eight minutes after the restart, composing himself on the edge of the box and shifting the ball from his right foot to his supposedly weaker left before dispatching an unerring low shot to beat Rachbubka from 18 yards.

A rare foray into home territory ought to have scuppered Richard O’Donnell’s hopes of a clean sheet, but youngster Tom Walker blazed over from Gary Madine’s cutback to leave the City keeper still waiting to make his first save.

Johnson would have been enjoying the speed of his team’s counter-attacking, and only a sliced cross from the energetic Matthews prevented a chance for Wilbraham to add another goal to his tally, which now stands at seven for the season.

The skipper departed soon after to a standing ovation, leaving Wanderers fearing the worst when City’s top scorer Kodjia entered the fray in his place. When Freeman joined the Frenchman six minutes later, the depth suddenly at Johnson’s disposal was clear to see.

The head coach would have been just as pleased with his players’ desire to defend, as Golbourne threw himself in front of former Ashton Gate loanee Neil Danns, before Wagstaff arrived off the bench.

Straightaway the midfielder tried to find Kodjia with a ball that was cut out, but the favour was soon returned when Kodjia crossed low from the right for striker-in-disguise Wagstaff to get across his man and convert at the near post with his first goal for 15 months.

But City were still far from finished. Matthews, one of countless impressive performers on the day, was this time on the money with his final ball as he crossed perfectly for Kodjia to head home City’s fifth.

The substitute was claiming his second with a couple of minutes still to play when Bryan ran through and was denied by Rachubka, but the Bristolian's follow-up found the net without a touch from the sliding Kodjia.

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