clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Match Report: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Rotherham United

Bolton's survival bid continues with a win against Rotherham.

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Kaiyne Woolery scored his first professional goal for Bolton in injury time to ensure the Whites went away with all three points against Rotherham United at the Macron.

Neil Lennon had made two changes to the Trotters' starting line up. Liam Trotter and Kaiyne Woolery were replaced by the returning Darren Pratley and Emile Heskey.

Coming up against Rotherham, a fellow relegation rival, the game was deemed must win.

Bolton started the game brightly and were ahead within two minutes. A Liam Feeney corner found its way to Mark Davies, who cut the ball back for Jay Spearing to hammer home the opener past a helpless Lee Camp. It was Spearing's first goal in Neil Lennon's reign, his last goal coming in a 2-1 defeat against AFC Bournemouth back in October 2014.

After the goal, Bolton sat back and allowed Rotherham back into the game.

In the 13th minute, Chris Burke dispossessed Dorian Dervite and laid the ball off to Andrew Shinnie, who managed to work his way into the Whites' box before slicing a tame effort wide. Richard Smallwood then fired another shot wide in the 15th minute.

At the other end, Dervite headed a Feeney free kick well wide of the goal.

Rotherham were continuing to press, as Shinnie sliced another effort wide.

Bolton then had another chance. Feeney and Vela linked up on the right flank to set up Mark Davies, who like Dervite before, sent a header wide of the goal.

In the 34th minutes, Bolton had the ball in the net, only to be ruled out for offside. Lee Camp palmed Emile Heskey's shot straight into the path of Wellington Silva, who was unfortunately in an offside position.

Rotherham then took full control of the latter stages of the first half. In the 42nd minute, Joe Newell was denied by a quick footed Ben Amos when one on one with the 'keeper, but the Millers were level just two minutes later.

Former Wanderer Danny Ward's cross evaded Andrew Shinnie, but found it's way to an unmarked Chris Burke who gladly buried the chance from close range. 1-1.

Rotherham started the second half on the front foot, with most of the play happening in Bolton's half. That being said the first concrete chance of the second half came Bolton's way, when Dervite headed over from Feeney's corner. In the 58th minute, Rotherham should have taken the lead.

Andrew Shinnie, arguably Rotherham's best player on the day, found space in the box, but Amos made a smart save to his left to keep the game level.

At the other end, Rotherham's Joe Mattock should have seen red for a rash challenge on Wellington Silva on the edge of the box. Actually, rash isn't even the word. He fucking mauled him. Nevertheless, Stuart Atwell produced a yellow card, much to the anger of the Macron faithful. As someone sat behind me stated: 'I knew you were a joke 10 years ago and you're still a joke today'. The standard of refereeing really does need looking into.

It would be the Bolton substitutions that would make the difference in the game. With Neil Lennon realising you can make subs before the 85th minute, Liam Trotter came on in the 64th minute for Emile Heskey, meaning Liam Feeney was moved to play as the sole striker.

Feeney had an instant chance in front of goal. He beat Lee Camp, but sent the ball wide of goal. Luckily for Feeney, the linesman had already raised his flag for offside.

Rotherham's Richard Smallwood then had a weak overhead kick easily saved by Amos.

In the final ten minutes of the game, Kaiyne Woolery and Stephen Dobbie came on in place of Wellington Silva and Darren Pratley. Pratley didn't have the best of games, was too sloppy in possession (his passing accuracy was 58%), and really didn't merit replacing Trotter in the starting line up.

It's fair to say Woolery made an impact when he came on. Running fifty yards down the pitch, his sheer determination to win the ball set up Feeney, who blazed the ball high and wide.

The game headed into added time, and luckily it was Bolton who would have the last say in the game. Liam Trotter's smartly set up Mark Davies, who shot was saved by Camp. but Woolery was on hand to bury the ball into the open goal. 2-1. The crowd goes bat shit crazy and Neil Lennon's on the pitch doing his best Jose Mourinho impression.

The result moves Bolton off the bottom of the Championship for the first time since November and now we're only three points from safety. And with away matches to Brighton & Hove Albion and Birmingham City coming up, it was imperative we got the win.

We might just end up staying up.