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Match Reports

Report: Bolton 0-2 Wycombe

Jacobson seals the points after a first-half own goal.

15 February 2020

Wanderers moved on to 56 points - their highest League 1 total in 18 years - with a 2-0 victory at Bolton on Saturday afternoon, thanks to a goal in each half.

Two Bolton defenders combined to turn Jason McCarthy's cross into their own net to make it 1-0, and Joe Jacobson capped the win with a penalty in the second period after Fred Onyedinma was fouled in the box.

It was Wycombe's first win on the road since November, and they now turn their attentions to life back on home soil with the visit of Tranmere to Adams Park next Saturday.

Gareth Ainsworth named an attacking line-up for Wanderers’ first ever visit to bottom side Bolton, handing Fred Onyedinma a start for the first time since his recovery from a four-month injury lay-off, while Darius Charles, Curtis Thompson and Adebayo Akinfenwa were all recalled into the XI.

And the freshness to the side on paper was reflected on the pitch, with Wycombe beginning the game well and going close inside two minutes. Paul Smyth dug out a cross from the left wing after his long throw was cleared, and David Wheeler escaped his man to meet it, but planted his header over the bar.

Then Smyth showed another side to his game, tearing past Brandon Fleming and racing into the box, only to see his rocket crash back off the outside of the post.

But Bolton hit back and fired a warning sign when Daryl Murphy found too much space on the edge of the area, poking an effort goalwards which needed a strong hand from Ryan Allsop to push it to safety.

Ethan Hamilton then fired just wide from distance following a patient build-up, with Wycombe just unable to get a foot in to break up the play, and the same player was denied from even further out as Allsop beat the ball away with two hands.

The Blues picked up, and almost broke the deadlock when Jason McCarthy’s inviting cross from the right was expertly guided towards the bottom corner by the head of Onyedinma, but keeper Remi Matthews did just enough to tip it behind.

Onyedinma was a bright spark in the Wycombe frontline, and left Josh Emmanuel for dead down the left, bursting into the box but just unable to pick out a team-mate in the six-yard box as the covering defenders and keeper closed in.

Bolton survived a stonewall penalty appeal when David Wheeler’s header struck the outstretched hand of Daryl Murphy following a deep Jacobson free-kick, before Smyth had a shot blocked following a neat lay-off from Akinfenwa.

And then came the breakthrough.

Smyth again tore past the left-back and saw his shot well saved by the boot of Matthews, but the chance stayed alive and Jason McCarthy’s dinked cross to the back post was diverted over the line as Emmanuel and Toto Nsiala got in each other’s way, ultimately leading to an own goal.

That was enough to see the visitors ahead at the interval, and deservedly so, prompting Bolton boss Keith Hill into a half-time change as Joe Dodoo replaced Emmanuel.

Jack Hobbs headed harmlessly at Allsop following a Bolton corner on 54 minutes, but there was a scare when a slip from Jacobson allowed Dodoo to cross dangerously looking for Murphy. An acrobatic flick from Darius Charles diverted its path, and Chris O’Grady could only drill wide of the near post when presented with the opportunity.

But with Onyedinma playing out of his skin at the other end, Wycombe knew they were always capable of creating openings, and it was he who won a penalty on the hour-mark. He was freed by a through-ball from midfield and brought down by Matthews as he rounded the keeper, earning a spot-kick and a yellow card for the keeper. Jacobson stepped up, sent Matthews the wrong way, and doubled the advantage.

The hosts made a double change with O’Grady and Fleming making way for Jacob Mellis and Joe Bunney, and Wycombe responded by withdrawing the excellent Onyedinma as Nnamdi Ofoborh entered the fray.

As Storm Dennis opened his floodgates and drenched the UoB Stadium, Alex Samuel replaced Adebayo Akinfenwa, but there never seemed any danger of Bolton making a late comeback, despite Daryl Murphy lashing over when well-placed on the edge of the box.

Josh Parker replaced Paul Smyth on 89 minutes, but there was no further action in the five minutes of added time, as Wycombe went on to celebrate the completion of a league double over the 'other' Wanderers.

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