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Match Reports

Report: Bolton 0-2 Wycombe

Hanlan and Grimmer on target.

11 January 2022

Brandon Hanlan and Jack Grimmer scored excellent goals in each half to secure an impressive 2-0 victory for the Blues at Bolton Wanderers.

Gareth Ainsworth's men clinched the double over the Trotters with an assured display, and the result never looked in doubt after Grimmer curled home a sumptuous first ever goal for the club to add to Hanlan's sublime solo run and finish in the first period.

Ainsworth made just one change to the side that started in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Sunderland three days earlier, recalling Ryan Tafazolli to the defence in place of Chris Forino, while David Wheeler and Adam Leathers stepped up to the bench and Adebayo Akinfenwa stayed home.

Amadou Bakayoko fired wide from 25 yards in Bolton's first effort of the game on five minutes, and then Dapo Afolayan's shot deflected dangerously and needed smart reflexes from David Stockdale to steer it to safety.

Wycombe had a series of impressive spells, none more so than when Garath McCleary was sent through one-on-one with the keeper, but was unable to convert as Joel Dixon rushed out to block his effort.

Stockdale came to the rescue again when Dion Charles latched onto a loose ball following a battle with Tafazolli, but couldn't steer it past Stockdale from inside the area, while Kieran Lee fired over from 20 yards and Charles had a low shot deflected wide as the chances began to add up for the hosts.

McCleary's corner just past the half-hour mark almost swung straight in, and the Blues probably should have made more an opportunity when Hanlan outmuscled Ricardo Santos down the left and broke through on goal, but he couldn't dig out a shot or pick out the unmarked Vokes and the chance broke down.

But moments later, he made amends with a goal from a similar starting point. He found plenty of space down the left to run at goal from just inside the Bolton half, and as MJ Williams backed off and invited the pressure, Hanlan reached the edge of the box and unleashed an unstoppable low effort into the far corner.

The goal quelled Bolton's pressure and the half appeared to be ending to a tame conclusion, but tensions rose amongst the home fans which began to spill onto the pitch, with a series of niggly battles and free-kicks culminating in 13 minutes of injury time, with Wycombe holding firm into the break, though McCleary and Tafazolli were both booked during that period.

The start of the second period had all the hallmarks of a game that could easily boil over; fast switches of play from end to end, firm tackles, and a building atmosphere in the stands.

So it needed another Wycombe goal to calm any nerves, and it came from perhaps the most unlikely of sources. Joel Dixon's clearance was poor and straight to Anthony Stewart, so when he fed Joe Jacobson, the defence was out of shape to deal with the long diagonal that reached Brandon Hanlan. The scorer of the first goal held the ball up and teed up Jack Grimmer, who bent a first-time shot with his left foot into the far corner.

Bolton responded well, carving open decent opportunities to break into promising areas, but the visiting defence held firm as the game reached the three-quarter mark.

Gareth Ainsworth freshened things up with the introduction of Curtis Thompson and Daryl Horgan as Joe Jacobson and Anis Mehmeti made way, shifting to a four-man defence.

There were no chances of note at either end as the clock struck 90, with Tjay De Barr replacing Brandon Hanlan just beforehand.

De Barr was almost teed up by Vokes for a third Wycombe goal, but two were enough to secure a second win in three games in 2022 ahead of the visit of Oxford to Adams Park on Saturday.

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