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Match Reports

REPORT Bolton Wanderers 1 Oxford United 3

U's beat Bolton. Full time report

29 October 2022

Match Reports

REPORT Bolton Wanderers 1 Oxford United 3

U's beat Bolton. Full time report

29 October 2022

Oxford United made it seven points from three away games with a superb 3-1 win at Bolton this afternoon.

With Karl Robinson confined to the stands after picking up four yellow cards this season, United did a good job of quietening those around him with an excellent first 45 minutes in which they were rarely threatened and deservedly got themselves in front through Djavan Anderson.

They then saw the job through in the second half with goals from defenders Ciaron Brown and Steve Seddon, either side of a Dion Charles goal that briefly raised hopes for the home side.

291022 bolton (12).jpg

The lack of league experience up front - Kyle Joseph the senior forward alongside 17-year-old Gatlin O’Donkor and Anderson on his full league debut - was balanced by the energy that the front three added and after 25 minutes the three combined to give the U’s the lead.

Joseph span and outmuscled a defender, O’Donkor saw his shot blocked, but Anderson joyfully bundled the ball home and the U’s were in front.

291022 bolton (10).jpg

The problem was that the goal woke the home crowd up. Yellow cards started to stack up as challenges and passion grew alongside the volume. Still, Simon Eastwood had little to do on his 200th League start for the club, while opposite number James Trafford made one astonishing one-handed save as Elliott Moore headed goalwards from close range.

moore save bolton.jpg

Eastwood then showed exactly why he is in the top three goalie appearance-holders for the club. When finally called into action a minute before the break, he made an incredible save by throwing himself in front of Josh Sheehan to keep the U’s a goal up at half time. A crucial moment in the game and perhaps the whole season...

Knowing that the Trotters would come at them, United were forced into a reshuffle, with Sam Long replaced by Seddon. But the intensity remained and on 53 minutes the lead was doubled. Lewis Bate - my Man of the Match -  and Cameron Brannagan fought to get the team going forward, and Brown thundered through a challenge to find a clear path to goal in front of him. Reaching the edge of the box he let fly left-footed and the ball flew into the bottom left corner for a superb goal.

brown-goal.jpg

The Wanderers fans who had suggested he was a lesser Andy Carroll were busy reassessing their valuation, while the travelling Yellow Army were singing their hearts out. Portsmouth on a Tuesday then Bolton on a Saturday? The fans will always be there and fully deserved this performance.

It could have been three when O'Donkor was bundled over in the area but penalty appeals were waved away, although the youngster's performance was again superb and perhaps deserved that first senior goal - it won't be long.

A word too for Moore and Stuart Findlay, who are now starting to forge a true partnership and were the rock on which this win was built.

There were scary moments, of course there were, especially when with 17 minutes to go, the home side got themselves back into the game when Charles stole through the right hand channel and slotted the ball beyond the helpless Eastwood to make it 1-2 and seemingly ensure a grandstand finish. Dion, the wanderer? He wanders round and round and round and round and round.

The noise and atmosphere went up a notch and now United were in a game. For six whole minutes.

Then Bate swung in a corner and Seddon defied the laws of probability to power past far bigger defenders and smuggle the ball home for his first goal of the season and a 3-1 lead. Game over.

seddon-goal-bolton.jpg

Bolton huffed and puffed, United continued to give their all, and at the final whistle they celebrated with their fans, who recognised they have started to turn the corner and put results together.

Those seven points I mentioned? All away from home against top-eight clubs and for the last two at big grounds with big crowds.

Now they need to carry that on at home.

See you against Fleetwood on Tuesday night...

Att: 17,281

Away: 558

Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Edmunds and Darrell Fisher, stats by OPTA


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