PHIL SAYS IT’S ON AS COD ARMY RUN ENDS
First loss in 19 for the hosts
BOLTON Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson insists it’s ‘game-on’ in the race for automatic promotion after ending Fleetwood’s 18-game unbeaten league run to move within a point of their secondplaced hosts.
Adam Le Fondre’s wayward cross and a David Wheater volley put Bolton ahead, but Kyle Dempsey pulled one back midway through the first half.
The second half was a repeat, however, as Mark Beevers’ volley was added to by Le Fondre’s second before Bobby Grant’s late finish halved the deficit.
And Parkinson believes his players have put out a statement of intent for the final run-in while being full of praise for Filipe Morais, who earned a hat-trick of assists.
He said: “We knew that Fleetwood were above us and if they won the gap would increase, although it wouldn’t be over, but it’s game on now.
“We said to the lads it’s a 12game season which starts now – and we’ve started it well. This was a committed, disciplined display with some quality in there too.
“Morais was up against a very good player as well. Amari’i Bell is one of the best wing backs in this division but Fil had him on toast.
“In the final third, you just felt Fil was going to produce something and his set-play delivery was excellent.”
There was more than an element of luck for Bolton’s opener as Le Fondre’s cross looped over Alex Cairns and into the far corner.
The Trotters were celebrating again just four minutes later as Wheater volleyed in Morais’ freekick for his sixth goal of the season.
Unbelievably, there was to be a third goal in the promotion sixpointer just three minutes later despite neither goalkeeper making a save.
Rather than the Wanderers killing the game off, however, it was Fleetwood getting themselves back in contention, as Dempsey curled into the corner from the edge of the box.
Cairns finally got a touch of the ball – outside of picking it out of
“The only disappointing thing about the whole day was that we didn’t defend from in-swinging free-kicks.
“Their players didn’t even have to head the ball, they could use it with their foot.
“We had the second-best home defensive record and particularly from set-pieces. But here we conceded. We marked body spaces but we need to mark the man. From that point we had an off-day.” winger chipped wide. Although his finish let him down on that occasion, there was no let-up in his fantastic deliveries into the box as Le Fondre headed in at the near post to seal the game.
The Cod Army did pull one back through Grant with a composed finish into the bottom corner but boss Uwe Rosler admitted his players were too ‘nice’ after their first defeat since November.
Rosler said: “We need to take more body contact. My players are really nice, sometimes we need to be more brutal in those situations.
“We have to give credit to Bolton. Whether you like their way of playing or not, they’ve been effective for sure. his net – as he palmed Le Fondre’s drive around the post before Gary Madine headed narrowly wide from the resulting corner.
Bolton and Wheater’s aerial dominance continued as the centre-back headed against the bar before Madine’s effort was tipped over by Cairns.
Fleetwood didn’t heed the multiple warnings, however, as another set-piece brought another Wanderers goal in the second half with Beevers turning in Morais’ back post free-kick.
Morais could have sealed the game himself moments later after Cairns had been caught with the ball, 30 yards out from goal by Le Fondre, but the former Bradford
CLINICAL: Mark Beevers gives Bolton a 3-1 lead at the back post
HOW’S THAT? Adam Le Fondre celebrates scoring his first and, inset, Fleetwood’s Kyle Dempsey pulls one back
HUGS ALL ROUND: David Wheater celebrates