Keith Hill’s Bolton Wanderers side completed their first win of the 2019/20 campaign as the Whites produced an impressive display to see off Bristol Rovers in a 2-0 success.
With goals from Luke Murphy and Daryl Murphy in each half helped Wanderers on their way to a memorable win. In what’s been a testing transitional period for Keith Hill’s men, the signs have been evident in previous performances that that elusive first win was just around the corner.
After taking the lead during Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Rochdale at the University of Bolton Stadium, Keith Hill and David Flitcroft were looking for a positive reaction from their players, and that’s exactly what unfolded at the Memorial Stadium.
In a closely contested start to the game, both sides enjoyed large spells of possession without really creating anything clear-cut. Luke Murphy’s strike in the 15th-minute proved to be the tide-turner in terms of momentum and Bolton’s reaction to taking the lead was positive in their work-rate on and off the ball.
After playing a lovely one-two, Murphy dashed into the box and unleashed a powerful effort towards goal, which glided past Anssi Jaakola and into the net. Ali Crawford played an instrumental role in the heart of the midfield and really pulled the strings.
Joe Dodoo and Josh Emmanuel really proved some great moments of link-up play in the first-half, and looked dangerous throughout. In the second period, Bolton continued to press out-of-possession and really upped their work-rate towards goal.
The visitors were rewarded for their perseverance and patience as they doubled the advantage on 68 minutes as Ali Crawford, who really controlled the Wanderers midfield, played a delicious through-ball in the path of Daryl Murphy, who dragged the ball right and drove a powerful strike into the bottom-right corner.
Crawford almost wrapped things up with a third as he cut inside on to his right foot, but his curled effort was blocked away by the Bristol City defence. Overall, it was an impressive display by the visitors from both an attacking point-of-view, and so composed at the back, eliminating any threat that the home side posed.
Bristol Rovers: Jaakola, Rodman, Davies, Kilgour, Craig, Kelly, Upson, Clarke, Ogogo, Adeboyejo, Nichols.
Substitutes: van Stappershoef, Little, Menayese, Leahy, Hargreaves, Smith, Bennett.
Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Emmanuel, Lowe, L.Murphy, D,Murphy, O’Grady, Crawford, Chicksen, Dodoo, Zouma, Earl.
Substitutes: Alexander, Weir, Hall, Boon, Senior, King-Harmes.