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Match Report: Bolton Wanderers 3-1 MK Dons

Wanderers won their second game in five days in great style

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The mighty Bolton Wanderers won their second game in five days on Saturday against struggling MK Dons at the Reebok.

Wanderers named an unchanged outfield side from the team that beat non-league Eastleigh 3-2 on Tuesday night in the FA Cup replay, with Ben Amos replacing former Manchester United goalkeeper Paul Rachubka between the sticks.

Bolton started off well, dominating early possession and creating chances for Gary Madine and Liam Feeney, who both failed to beat David Martin in the MK Dons goal.

However, we did break the hearts of the 200-odd travelling Dons fans in the seventh minute, when academy graduate Rob Holding scored his first goal for Bolton, knocking in a rebound from the crossbar following on from a Gary Madine header/handball that rebounded against the crossbar.

It capped a wonderful performance from Holding who impressed the whole stadium with his defensive qualities and his superb distribution from the back - not to mention his lung-bursting runs from the back which put MK Dons on the back foot.

His performance was matched, and perhaps beaten, by that of on-loan Arsenal man Wellington Silva. The Brazilian winger gave the MK Dons defence a torrid afternoon with his tricks and his ability. Pure pace scared them to death and it was, undoubtedly, the best performance in a White shirt by Mr Silva.

Darren Pratley extended Wanderers' lead just before half time with a deflected drive over Martin into the Dons' goal. It was no less than we deserved from a dominant first half.

The second half was more of the same, with Bolton dominating possession and creating chance after chance - Gary Madine being guilty of wasting several excellent crosses from the likes of Mark Davies, Dean Moxey and, on occasion, Liam Feeney.

MK Dons did drag a goal back, in the 89th minute, as the on-loan Norwich man Josh Murphy curled a lovely shot beyond Ben Amos into the bottom corner.

Now normally this would have seen Wanderers retreat into their shell and concede an inevitable equaliser - but on this occasion we chose to ignore form and convention and instead go for a third - which came in the form of Shola Ameobi's terrific run and goal in injury time which gave the Whites a deserved 3-1 win.

It may well be Ameobi's last game for the club, but what an excellent memory to leave behind.

Neil Lennon, Bolton Wanderers:

"What we got was two halves of attacking football. We could have won the game more comfortably.

"It was a must-win game and players responded brilliantly. I have nothing but praise for them.

"I have never stopped believing we can get out of trouble. MK Dons might not be one of the superior teams in the division, but there was a lot of pressure on us going into the game and the players handled it very well under the circumstances.

"It would have been a travesty had we dropped points on the chances we created and the way we played. Hopefully it is a platform to build on."

MK Dons, Karl Robinson:

"We weren't good enough. We looked lethargic, second to every ball, bullied in areas of the pitch and the only one who came out with any credit was Jake Forster-Caskey.

"Bolton have got a better squad than us, they have played at a higher level with players who have achieved a lot of things.

"When they fancy it and when they get the first goal and when they are at it, it's a difficult place to play. And we allowed them to get at it.

"We started slowly and sluggish and the players need to look at themselves. They were very harsh with each other after the game, but fair."