Bolton Match Zone

Mixed For Bolton But They Start Trophy Campaign With A Win

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Bolton got their EFL Trophy campaign off to a winning start after eventually seeing off Port Vale.

The game finished 3-2, we took the lead, were behind at the break, and then eventually won the game, with Eoin Doyle, Nathan Delfouneso and substitute Dapo Afolayan scoring our goals.

Changes were expected, but it was still a reasonably experienced side. Matt Gilks, Ricardo Santos, Alex Baptiste, Lloyd Isgrove and Eoin Doyle all starting meant five of last season’s best XI were in the team.

It took a while for us to get going, but Doyle would give us the lead, the right pass for him and he finished well, which made amends for dragging one badly wide earlier in the evening. The much-changed side played some decent stuff at times, but Port Vale did too, which helped them capitalise on our mini-meltdown at the end of the half. Tom Conlon and David Amoo both scored in the final 10 minutes of the first half, there might have been a foul on Elias Kachunga for the first but the defence was carved open, while the second saw Gilks beaten far too easily after Baptiste was out of position and Santos didn’t put a tackle in.

We settled back down in the second half though. Delfouneso wasn’t having the best night playing in that number 10 role but managed to sort that out by finishing off a good move for the equaliser, heading in Isgrove’s cross. Afolayan would then come on, the man who can win us a game, and win it he did, with a shot going in off the post. Overall, in a cup that’s a bit of a sideshow, with a rotated side, it was an okay performance. Not the best, but it got the job done. Special praise for Mitchell Henry, who came on for a few minutes, and showed a great deal of pace.

Our next game in this competition is at home to Liverpool Under-21s next month. They lost 4-0 at Rochdale in the other game in our group tonight.

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