Bolton Wanderers made one change to their lineup that had a disappointing time against Chesterfield; Gary Madine for Chris Long. We faced a Southend United team that had been on a hot streak of late.
The match kicked off and it was immediately Wanderers who were on the front foot. Looking far more potent with Gary Madine up front, there were half chances made through the big man. Southend's Ryan Inniss was substituted 10 minutes after a lengthy stoppage in play. This would see 9 minutes extra time at the end of the first half. Gary Madine also required treatment and even went down the tunnel only to appear a couple of minutes later and soldier on through the half.
Madine had a goal-bound header cleared by Nile Ranger, whilst not on the line it would have been a goal were it not for the block. Shortly after this Madine came even closer, hitting the post. A Filipe Morais cross found Madine in the box who rattled the post. Adam Le Fondre then saw two half decent opportunities go begging before the end of the first half. There was a feeling it was going to be one of those days where we do everything but score.
The second half saw a substitution for Wanderers, Gary Madine coming off for Max Clayton. Phil Parkinson stated after the match that Madine had injured his shoulder in the first half.
Southend started well in the half and looked dangerous on the break. In truth the first 20 minutes of the half belonged to the hosts. Wanderers hindered themselves in scenes reminiscent to the Chesterfield game. We continually kicked long balls up to Adam Le Fondre and Max Clayton, both of whom did well considering the service. During the spell of dominance, Southend nearly had a long range effort go in only to narrowly go over.
Wanderers grew back in to the game eventually and we saw yet another prime chance go begging. Adam Le Fondre teed up Max Clayton who drew a brilliant save from Christian Walton. A shot that, if Clayton had more minutes this season, he would have converted most likely.
Nile Ranger going down in the box prompted more outbursts from Phil Brown on the touchline. The orange, ex-white had been jumping around all match and had finally pushed his luck too far. The referee sent him to the stands for the remainder of the match.
It was the dying embers of the game when Wanderers hit the post again. This time Max Clayton saw a header tipped on the the post and go out for the corner. Morais stepped up, and a scramble ensued in the box. Eventually the ball found its way to Mark Beevers who rifled home on the 92nd minute of play to make it 1-0 to the Wanderers.
The final whistle went shortly after confirming a ten point cushion between ourselves and third placed, Fleetwood Town.