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Match Reports

REPORT: Stanley 1 Bolton Wanderers 0

Tommy Leigh's 20th minute goal gives Reds win at Wham Stadium

11 December 2021

Tommy Leigh was the goal hero as Accrington Stanley returned to winning ways at the Wham with a 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers.

Leigh headed home the winner in the 20th minute and Stanley had other chances but also needed Toby Savin to be at his best in the first half.

The win moved John Coleman's men closer to the Play-Off spots, while it was a sixth successive away defeat without scoring a goal for Ian Evatt's side.

Stanley were without captain Seamus Conneely (injured) and Harry Pell (sick) with Matt Butcher back on the bench after injury.

It was a hectic opening as Leigh had an early chance, testing Bolton keeper Joel Dixon from distance, while Sean McConville’s dangerous cross sailed over everyone.

For Bolton, Eion Doyle got the ball unmarked in the area but miscued his effort while Ross Sykes had two headers cleared off the line in quick succession.

At the other end, Savin pushed out a Doyle effort on 16 minutes then raced across his goal to superbly deny Declan John a certain goal.

Stanley opened the scoring on 20 minutes when a Sykes ball from his own half into the area, bounced once and Leigh’s flick header guided it into the net. It was his fourth goal in all competitions.

Sykes had another powerful header kept out by Dixon while Bishop’s effort – which the striker felt had crossed the line – was ruled out for off-side anyway.

It was then end-to-end with neither keeper seriously troubled but Bolton had two good chances at the end of the half. The first, Oladapo Afolayan’s low drive, was pushed out by Savin and, from the resulting corner, Adam Senior had a free header but couldn’t find the target.

Captain McConville came off injured on 47 minutes, replaced by John O’Sullivan.

Stanley thought they had made it two on 50 minutes when Sykes put the ball in the net from a Bishop high ball in but referee Alan Young ruled it out for a foul on keeper Dixon.

While the game continued at a high tempo, clear cut chances for both sides were limited, the best for Stanley, O’Sullivan’s long range effort which was narrowly wide.

Butcher came on for the Reds on 70 minutes for his long-awaited return after injury and, within two minutes, he had two shots at goal which were narrowly wide.

Josh Woods came on in 84th minute for his league debut and there was time for Sykes to have another chance but his header was across the goal and wide as he held his head in his hands.

Stanley pressed at the end but it ended 1-0 – Coleman’s favourite scoreline.

 

Stanley:  Savin, Rodgers, Nottingham, Sykes, Amankwah, McConville (O’Sullivan), Coyle, Leigh (Woods), Hamilton, Malcolm (Butcher), Bishop

Subs: Trafford, Sherring,  Mansell, Nolan

Attendance: 4546 (2599 Bolton)

Yellow: Amankwah, Coyle, Savin


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