Date: 11th February 2017 at 6:50pm
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Bolton got their first win of 2017 as they put a week of off the field nonsense behind them, thrashing Walsall at the Macron.

It wasn’t like that from start to finish though, and it was the Saddlers who opened the scoring with Erhun Oztumer spotting Ben Alnwick slightly off his line and planted a lovely strike into the top corner from 40 yards.

But that aside, Wanderers had started well, and were level 11 minutes later when Gary Madine headed in a corner.

Wanderers were exposing Walsall’s set-piece uncertainty and they took the lead when Jay Spearing but in one of those balls that would go in if anyone connected, and it was James O’Connor who put it past his own keeper.

Liam Trotter extended the advantage, with a thumping effort into the top corner just before the break.

It turned out to be a long break, as assistant referee Helen Byrne was taken ill and the officials had to rejig things around. We think officials are terrible but seriously, we wish her well.

Walsall threatened in the second half, with Mark Beevers clearing a Florent Cuvelier shot off the line and Joe Edwards being a threat from the left.

Wanderers were playing much more on the front foot than usual though, and when Chris Long came on, he provided an extra dose of pace and energy, and with three minutes to go lashed in a fourth for us, just minuted after he had a goal ruled for offside.

Also, in a tough week, fair play to Phil Parkinson and the players for putting on a performance like that, changes were made and it’s worked well.


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