The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John McDougall To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

AF­TER see­ing his side se­cure their first league win since late De­cem­ber, re­lieved Bolton man­ager Dougie Freed­man claimed the con­vinc­ing vic­tory over Wat­ford was the least they de­served.

Strikes from Lukas Jutkiewicz and Joe Ma­son se­cured three points for the Ree­bok Sta­dium out­fit and con­demned Wat­ford to their first loss in Fe­bru­ary.

And Freed­man was as pleased with the clean sheet and so­lid­ity of his back four as he was with the win and nu­mer­ous goalscor­ing chances.

“They got what they de­served, at last re­ally,” he said.

“The mar­gin of vic­tory was at least what we de­served.

“I think we worked very hard as a team to keep that clean sheet as we’ve been miss­ing that.

“We even­tu­ally got what we de­served as I felt we’ve been play­ing well and scor­ing goals but we’ve just never quite de­fend­ing wise as a team the way we should be so I felt that was the dif­fer­ence.

“When Wat­ford asked us a few ques­tions I thought we de­fended very well – that gives you the op­por­tu­nity to then play your stuff and get goals.

“Over the past four or five home games we’ve been play­ing well, it’s been very tight in this di­vi­sion with a lot of draws but we’ve been play­ing a lot of good foot­ball.”

The Trot­ters could have taken a tenth minute lead af­ter Mark Davies’s through-ball found Ma­son but Manuel Al­mu­nia di­verted the ef­fort wide with his out­stretched foot.

Troy Deeney could have put Wat­ford ahead four min­utes later af­ter con­nect­ing with Ikechi Anya’s left-wing cross but Adam Bog­dan made a point-blank save.

Ma­son’s pace caused Wat­ford prob­lems, weav­ing his way through the vis­it­ing de­fence and past Al­mu­nia on 16 min­utes only to be de­nied by a su­perb last-ditch tackle from Marco Faraoni.

Bolton took a de­served 35th minute lead when Jay Spear­ing’s whipped free-kick trick­led its way through to Jutkiewicz who fired home.

Ma­son added Bolton’s sec­ond on the stroke of half-time af­ter run­ning clear of Wat­ford’s de­fence and slot­ting past Al­mu­nia.

Bolton could have added a third af­ter the break but Davies slipped and skewed Neil Danns’s cut­back wide, with Al­mu­nia sav­ing the on-loan Le­ices­ter man’s am­bi­tious vol­ley from the fol­low­ing cross.

Ma­son nearly grabbed his sec­ond on 75 min­utes af­ter run­ning onto Danns’s through-ball but watched his ef­fort smoth­ered by an on­rush­ing Al­mu­nia.

Dis­ap­pointed Wat­ford man­ager Giuseppe San­nino said: “I know that it’s not pos­si­ble but if pos­si­ble I would like to re­play the game now. I take all re­spon­si­bil­ity for the re­sult.

“It was a bad day at the of­fice for all of us.

“What I want to do now is to say sorry to all the people from Wat­ford who trav­elled here to watch the game.

“Maybe we were in a po­si­tion to think that fi­nally we found our so­lid­ity in terms of shape and or­gan­i­sa­tion in de­fence but we did lack a lot in this phase and we were ex­posed to them and cre­ated us prob­lems.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed also be­cause we need to for­get as soon as pos­si­ble this game but at the same time we need to not for­get that we made a lot of mis­takes.

“If the re­sults say that we don't win away then we play with two faces and in the away games we ob­vi­ously need to change some­thing. I told the play­ers be­fore the game that we need to win one away game and we chose to play higher up the pitch be­cause we wanted to cre­ate more.”

DANCE TIME: Bolton Wan­der­ers’ Lukas Jutkiewicz cel­e­brates scor­ing. In­set: Joe Ma­son scores

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