Bolton Wanderers picked up all three points in what was a sensational victory for Phil Parkinson’s side on the opening day of the 2018/2019 campaign. Yanic Wildschut’s very late strike sealed the victory for the Whites, who really had to survive dominant spells from the home side.
In the opening 15 minutes, It was West Brom who were continuing to stamp their authority on this one. But, Wanderers had to dig deep and defend very comfortably, as David Wheater showed superb composure and resilience at the heart of the Bolton defence.
In the 18th minute Bolton took the lead, the goal was unexpected, and totally against the run of play as debutant Josh Magennis headed home Sammy Ameobi’s inch-perfect cross with a well-timed header to give Phil Parkinson’s side an early first-half lead.
From that point, it was the away side that were controlling the match with their intricate passing. Towards the end of the first half, ‘The Baggies’ stepped it up a gear or two in their play as they dominated the ball, and strung together several chances.
In stoppage time, West Brom’s patience paid off as Leicester City loanee Harvey Barnes fired in a spectacular 25-yard left-footed strike into the top corner as the home side drew level going into the break.
Bolton chances of a victory at the Hawthorns were completely wrote off pre-match, and the statistics during the first half were all in favour of the home side. Wanderers wete amazingly priced @ 8/1, and they really silenced the critics. In the first half, West Brom had 67% possession of the ball, and fired in ten shots at the Bolton goal.
As the second half resumed, West Brom remained heavy favourites to claim all three points as they gathered momentum following that injury time wonder goal from Barnes.
However, Wanderers remained composed in their play as they continued to knock the ball about expertly, and dug deep in defence when they had to. David Wheater & Mark Beevers at the heart of the Bolton defence were superb as West Brom continued to press hard for a winner.
In the 60th minute, the experienced Gary O’Neil & Craig Noone made their appearances, and they were superb in replacing Sammy Ameobi & Luke Murphy respectively. West Brom continued to push for a late winner, but it was the away side managed to fire the ball home.
Josh Vela’s pinpoint corner was flicked on expertly by David Wheater in the six yard box, and it was another debutant Yanic Wildschut who bundled the ball home from close range to gift Wanderers all three points. West Brom are still favourites to seal promotion come may, but Wanderers produced a very professional display to seal a superb win.
On reflection, the Wanderers faithful who were in fine voice will be going home extremely satisfied with Bolton’s display from start to finish.
Last season, Bolton had to wait until mid October for their fist victory, and with such a great start to the season, it will give Phil Parkinson’s side a lot of confidence moving forward.
Up next for Wanderers, is another potentially tough match at home to Bristol City, but after that display, Phil Parkinson and his staff will certainly be full of optimism.
— Eddie Skelly (@eddieskelly) August 4, 2018