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Match Report: Stoke City 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

We couldn’t do it on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke.

Stoke City v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Goals from Bruno Martins Indi and Tom Ince either side of the break earnt Stoke their first win in four whilst Wanderers failed to build on the previous performance and win over Derby County.

Phil Parkinson made just one change to the starting eleven who were victorious over Frank Lampard’s Derby County, with Marc Wilson replacing skipper David Wheater, therefore partnering Jack Hobbs at the heart of the defence. A partnership we last saw during the goalless draw with Ipswich Town, last month.

Wanderers had the first chance of the game, after a Will Buckley cross fell at Josh Magennis’ feet after a deflection off Ryan Woods, however the Northern Irishman failed to test Jack Butland and his volley sailed over the crossbar.

Remi Matthews was forced into a smart save from a Tom Ince shot cutting in from the left on his favoured left foot. From the resulting corner, Ince found Bruno Martins Indi unmarked in the centre of the box, and the Netherlands international had no problem steering his header home.

This followed an onslaught of attack after attack from the home side, led by the front four of Tom Ince, Saido Berahino, Bojan and Benik Afobe. Bolton had skipper Jason Lowe to thank for going into the break just a goal down, after his sliding tackle blocked Bojan’s effort on goal, whilst Matthews kept out the rebound from Berahino.

Stoke City v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

The second half was much more positive from Wanderers, as the game went on, Oztumer grew more and more into the game. He found space and carried the ball a class above the rest of the boys in black.

Matthews again came to Bolton’s rescue a number of times in the early stages of the second period, first a save from a thunderous Tom Ince free-kick and then denying Afobe scoring against his former side.

As Bolton searched for an equaliser, Craig Noone cut inside on his left foot to see his weak effort land straight in the hands of Jack Butland. This period however, was very promising viewing for the Wanderers faithful in attendance.

In the 66th minute, an Erhun Oztumer corner found Josh Magennis at the back post who headed in Wanderers equaliser. The passage of play was successful and Bolton were back on level terms. Or so we thought. The referee, Jeremy Simpson somehow found a foul between Ashley Williams and Josh Magennis or Will Buckley on Jack Butland, neither of which were enough to be classed as a foul, and Wanderers hard work was in vain.

This spurred Stoke on to solidify their lead, as they looked to put the game to bed. They successfully doubled their lead in the 74thminute, when James McClean’s cross found Tom Ince, who managed to shift the ball around Jonathan Grounds before firing past Matthews.

In his post-match interview, Parkinson had this to say regarding the chalked off equalizer. “He [Jeremy Simpson] has obviously guessed as he been looking through bodies, there is no contact whatsoever, Butland’s misjudged the cross and Magennis has headed in on the back stick and I am absolutely livid. I’m livid that between the four officials that they can’t see it is a legitimate goal.”

Blackburn Rovers are back in town this weekend, as Wanderers look to put the Stoke defeat behind them. Saturday night, under the lights and under the watchful eye of the Sky cameras, let’s hope Wanderers make this another memorable derby day.

COYWM