Report: Bristol City 2-0 Bolton Wanderers
Tuesday, September 26th 2017
Goals from Famara Diédhiou and Aden Flint piled more misery on ten-man Bolton Wanderers, inflicting a hard-fought 2-0 victory at Ashton Gate.
The visitors were doing fine up until the moment they fell behind to Diédhiou’s 39th-minute scrambled opener, and then Felipe Morais’ dismissal before the break turned the hill they had to climb into a mountain.
City pressed and pressed for a second to seal victory and it duly arrived 13 minutes from the end as Flint deflected in Marlon Pack’s driven attempt.
It’s now ten unbeaten in all competitions for upwardly mobile City, while Bolton remain rooted to the foot of the table without a win in ten Sky Bet Championship matches.
City went at their beleaguered opponents from the first whistle and Darren Pratley, the Bolton skipper, had to do well to head away Jamie Paterson’s dangerous cross under pressure from Diédhiou.
The first yellow card of the game arrived after just nine minutes as Pack was punished for a late tackle on Jeff King. It was the midfielder’s fifth of the campaign already, from 11 appearances, triggering a one-game ban.
Bailey Wright almost became an unlikely scorer moments later when Joe Bryan’s cross from the left was only half-cleared. The Australian took a touch on the edge of the box before half-volleying an effort inches wide of the far post.
Bolton were doing all they could to take the sting out of the game, trying to silence the vociferous crowd at the same time.
With 20 minutes on the clock, they very nearly went in front. A long throw-in from Morais caused havoc and Pratley stabbed a tame effort wide when he had time and space to pick his spot from ten yards.
Bryan was a constant threat down the left, with Paterson turning one his crosses straight into the waiting arms of Mark Howard. The young Bristolian then chased into the area to try and get on the end of Smith’s pass, only for defender Andrew Taylor to bravely head back into his keeper’s gloves from just out.
Bolton’s resistance finally cracked six minutes before the interval following a patient build-up. O’Dowda clipped the ball wide left to Paterson and his cross along the six-yard area was bundled in at the back stick by Diédhiou ahead of defender Mark Beevers.
Diédhiou almost turned provider moments later, helping the ball back into Reid’s path with a neat one-two, but this time Howard was out to turn the ball over his own crossbar.
Things went from bad to worse for Bolton in first-half stoppage time as Morais was ordered off the pitch after receiving his second caution of the match. Booked earlier in the game for tugging back at Pack, the Portuguese winger’s late lunge on O’Dowda prompted an early bath.
When the resultant free kick was slung into the box, Flint flicked the ball on and Howard made a superb point-blank range save to deny Paterson.
Paterson could easily have doubled City’s advantage soon after half-time when he latched on to Pack’s through ball but again keeper Howard was up to the task.
KILL OFF THE GAME
City’s players were queuing up to take shots at the visiting goal; Pack sliced an effort wide and Smith saw a venomous drive blocked, prompting to vocal calls – unsuccessfully – for a penalty.
At 1-0 the scoreline remained dangerous for City and when Gary Madine headed back across goal, Aden Flint had to be alert to hack clear before the ball crossed the line.
The home team wanted to put the game to bed and almost did in the 69th minute when O’Dowda forced Howard into a diving save, via a slight deflection. Reid was first to the rebound but slammed his shot into the side-netting.
If Bolton were to score for the first time in seven outings it looked like Madine would be the one to get it. The ex-Sheffield Wednesday man took aim from distance and surprised Fielding, who parried his attempt before gathering at the second attempt.
FLINT NICKS IT
With 13 minutes to go, City finally had their second. Pack will take most of the credit as his driven shot looked destined to burst the net but Flint inadvertently deflected the ball into the bottom corner to settle any nerves.
That was the signal for Lee Johnson to withdraw Diédhiou and Reid, throwing Matty Taylor and Cauley Woodrow on in their place up top.
Bolton responded by bringing on Aaron Wilbraham, who received a rousing reception from home fans – and rightly so.
Taylor, Nathan Baker and Niclas Eliasson all had efforts late on, but by then the hard work had been done.