‘SOFT’ TROT­TERS THROW IT AWAY

Wat­ford de­light at Deeney’s late goal

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John McDougall

NEIL Len­non branded his Bolton play­ers soft af­ter they lost to a last-minute Troy Deeney goal in an ab­sorb­ing seven-goal en­counter against Wat­ford.

Zach Clough can­celled out Odion Ighalo’s opener be­fore Adam Le Fon­dre handed Wan­der­ers a half-time lead.

Al­men Abdi equalised af­ter the break be­fore Joel Ek­strand handed the Hor­nets the lead once more, and though Clough lev­elled with five min­utes to go, Deeney fired home a late Wat­ford win­ner.

“We did bril­liantly to get back to 3-3, we’re at­tack­ing and five sec­onds later, the ball’s in our net,” re­flected Len­non. “It is not good enough at any level.

“We had a four-against-two sit­u­a­tion when the ball’s cleared.We never laid a glove on Wat­ford and the ball ends up in our net. It is men­tally soft.

“When you get to 3-3 with a cou­ple of min­utes to go, take the point, see the game out.

“But we looked ten­ta­tive at times at the back and that’s some­thing I need to look at go­ing for­ward.

“There are balls off the line, the goal­keeper mak­ing a save on the line, we had clear chances to win the game com­fort­ably and against a team that you know have got at­tack­ing prow­ess.”

The Hor­nets took the lead when Ben Wat­son’s 25th-minute through-ball found Hor­nets top scorer Ighalo, who out­smarted David Wheater to slot calmly past Andy Lon­er­gan.

Wan­der­ers nearly drew level six min­utes later af­ter a quick­ly­taken cor­ner even­tu­ally fell to Le Fon­dre whose ef­fort was blocked on the line by Wat­son.

Bolton equalised when Feeney’s low right-wing 37thminute cross was slot­ted home by an un­marked Clough, though a hand­ful of Wat­ford play­ers claimed off­side against Le Fon­dre in the build-up.

The Trot­ters went ahead when the im­pres­sive Clough found Feeney on the left and his 41stminute cross was met by Le Fon­dre.

Af­ter the break, Abdi – who drew a string of su­perb saves from Lon­er­gan – fi­nally beat the stop­per with a fab­u­lous lon­grange curl­ing ef­fort on 69 min­utes to see Wat­ford draw level with their hosts once more.

A minute later, Heurelho Gomes de­nied Feeney and Le Fon­dre from close range be­fore sav­ing Clough’s ef­fort on the line to keep the score level.

And Bolton were made to rue their missed op­por­tu­ni­ties when Ek­strand got the bet­ter of Tim Ream to nod in Abdi’s teas­ing 74th-minute cross and ap­par­ently com­plete the turn­around.

Teenager Clough thought he had sal­vaged a point when he drew Wan­der­ers level again late on by slot­ting Feeney’s 85th minute cross be­yond Gomes’ reach.

But there was an­other twist in the tail when Ighalo twisted and turned in the Bolton area just be­fore full-time and found Deeney who buried the chance to seal a re­mark­able victory for the vis­i­tors.

Hor­nets boss Slav­isa Jokanovic said: “It’s a re­ally in­cred­i­ble game.

“At the end I must be happy with the per­for­mance of my team.

“I must be happy how my team play with con­fi­dence, with high morale, with be­lief in them­selves at the end and then we score this last goal in the last minute and win th­ese three points.

“They scored af­ter three crosses, we have enough in­for­ma­tion that th­ese sit­u­a­tions are go­ing to hap­pen and we don’t avoid th­ese sit­u­a­tions.

“It’s very in­ter­est­ing for sup­port­ers and we must avoid this sit­u­a­tion be­cause to win the game and some away games, it’s enough to score one goal.

“But if we al­ways must score four for three points it’s very com­pli­cated for us.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

STING IN THE TAIL: Troy Deeney scores in the fi­nal minute

AHEAD: Adam Le Fon­dre scores to give Bolton the lead for the first and only time

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