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Match Report: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Northampton Town

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Wanderers beat The Cobblers to move up to 2nd

Bolton Wanderers v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Bolton Wanderers made it three wins in a row, as they came from behind to beat Northampton Town 2-1 at the Macron Stadium on Saturday.

After thumping away wins at Fleetwood Town and Gillingham, Phil Parkinson selected an unchanged side for the game. Captain Darren Pratley started in what was his first game at The Macron since August, whilst Jay Spearing was named on the bench after recovering from a medial ligament strain.

Northampton manager Justin Edinburgh named former Wanderers Keshi Anderson and Gregg Wylde on the bench, whilst Matt Taylor, who scored 23 goals in 139 games for Bolton from 2008 to 2011, started the game in centre midfield.

Wanderers were on the front foot for the majority of the first half, but chances were still few and far between.

Bolton's first real chance came ten minutes in. Darren Pratley's mazy run ended with a scuffed effort that went wide. Five minutes later, a clever set piece from the newly dubbed King of assists Filipe Morais, found Gary Madine, but his head back across the box was cleared.

At the other end, Northampton almost took the lead in the twentieth minute. Taylor's corner was headed goalwards by Zander Diamond. Luckily for Ben Alnwick, the effort struck the bar, before being cleared away by Derik Osede.

Northampton had another chance to take the lead a few moments later, although some last ditch defending from Mark Beevers and David Wheater denied The Cobblers the opening goal.

Just before the half hour mark, smart play from Josh Vela set up Gary Madine, but his shot from outside the box was saved with relative ease by Adam Smith.

Soon after, Darren Pratley went down twice in the box in quick succession, prompting outcries from the Wanderers fans for a penalty. Nothing given. Wanderers fans were screaming again for a penalty moments later when Gary Madine was hauled down. Nothing given.

Just before half time, Bolton nearly took the lead. Morais' corner was cleared off the line by Matt Taylor.

The first chance of the second half fell to Darren Pratley, but his shot flew harmlessly over the bar.

Wanderers should have been ahead in the 53rd minute. Filipe Morais' free kick fell kindly to David Wheater, whose shot was poked straight at Smith.

Bolton were made to pay for their missed chances just five minutes later. Matt Taylor rolled back the years with a superb free kick to set up Michael Smith at the far post, who placed a shot into the roof of the net.

Wanderers were almost level minutes later, when Morais' corner was headed just over by Dorian Dervite.

Five minutes later, Wanderers nearly leveled the game up again. A smart one-two from Gary Madine and Adam Le Fondre put ALF through on goal with only the goalie to beat. Unfortunately, Smith somehow saved superbly to deny Le Fondre a fourth goal in three games.

Undeterred, Wanderers continued to press for the equaliser. Darren Pratley again had a shot which flew over the bar, before seeing another effort blocked.

Adam Smith was then on hand to deny David Wheater's header and then Gary Madine's shot.

In the 75th minute, Bolton were awarded a penalty. Former Wander Matt Taylor had a hand in it (quite literally), and this time, the outcries from the Wanderers weren't ignored by referee Richard Clark.

Adam Le Fondre stepped up to take, and duly slammed the ball down the middle of the goal to level the game.

Wanderers pressed for a winner, and were nearly ahead within minutes of the equaliser. Darren Pratley's looping header was somehow tipped over the bar by Smith.

Just two minutes after Jay Spearing was brought on in place of Derik Osede in the 80th minute, Wanderers took the lead.

Andrew Taylor's fierce drive across the box was poked home by Filipe Morais to give Bolton a deserved lead. It was Morais' first goal of the season since joining for FREE from Bradford at the end of January.

In an effort to salvage a point, Northampton brought former Wanderer Keshi Anderson on off the bench. With the game coming to an end, The Cobblers thought they had snatched a last gasp point.

Just before that, Wanderers could and should have put the game to bed. Adam Le Fondre beat Adam Smith to the ball twenty yards from goal, but his pass failed to find Gary Madine.

Seconds later, Taylor's cross was bundled home by John-Joe O'Toole. Cue pandemonium from the travelling Northampton fans. Their joy was short lived though, as the linesman had his flag raised for offside. Hero.

The win for Bolton moves them up to second in the league, with a game in hand over third place Fleetwood.

Wanderers will hope to make it four wins in a row when they travel to face Oxford United on Tuesday night.