TROTTERS ARE OH SO CLOSE TO GLORY

Just win or draw needed

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Colin Hen­rys

BOLTON took a huge step closer to au­to­matic pro­mo­tion with vic­tory against ten-man Port Vale, but boss Phil Parkin­son warned his play­ers not to take any­thing for granted ahead of the fi­nal day.

Wan­der­ers host Peter­bor­ough next week­end, know­ing a draw should be enough to seal sec­ond place and pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship, af­ter David Wheater and Gary Ma­dine’s goals at Vale Park.

Vale – who played for an hour with ten men af­ter Rig­ino Cilia’s send­ing-off – must now win both of their re­main­ing games, at Walsall and Fleet­wood, to stand any chance of stay­ing up.

Wheater’s goal sparked a pitch in­va­sion, which led to the play­ers be­ing taken off for ten min­utes, and at the time – with Fleet­wood los­ing at Gilling­ham – it looked as though Wan­der­ers were fin­ish­ing the job with a game to spare..

But Parkin­son in­sists Fleet­wood’s stop­page-time win­ner, which takes the pro­mo­tion race to the fi­nal day, will not play on Bolton’s minds this week.

“We couldn’t have asked any more of the lads – it was a solid away-from-home per­for­mance and it was re­ally im­por­tant to get a con­fi­dence-boost­ing win af­ter re­cent re­sults not go­ing our way,” he ex­plained.

“Like I’ve said to the lads, noth­ing is ever given to you. No point that we’ve earned, es­pe­cially on our trav­els, has been given to us this sea­son.

“Pro­mo­tions are cer­tainly not handed to you on a plate and we’re go­ing to have to go out and earn it next week.

“With­out doubt we were dis­ap­pointed when we heard about Fleet­wood’s win­ner but I’ve said to the lads to just imag­ine how Fleet­wood are feel­ing – when they see our re­sult, that will qui­eten them down.”

Vale care­taker boss Michael Brown is re­fus­ing to throw in the towel, mean­while, de­spite now be­ing on the verge of rel­e­ga­tion to League Two.

“I think there’s a chance of stay­ing up, but we’ve got to win on Tues­day,” he said.

“If we play like we did un­til the first goal, with that en­deav­our and de­sire, then we’ve cer­tainly got a

chance. We’ll be tak­ing the game to Walsall.

“I think we can get a re­sult, and I want to see a re­sult so we can go into that last game. Ten­sions will be high and you can never say never.”

On the game, Brown ad­mit­ted the de­lay af­ter the first goal took the sting out of the match at a cru­cial time.

“The sus­pen­sion of the match im­pacted every­body and it let Bolton con­sol­i­date a lit­tle bit and for us it was a case of try­ing to get go­ing again,” he added.

“It is very dis­ap­point­ing to see scenes like that at foot­ball matches. We un­der­stand fans want to cel­e­brate but un­for­tu­nately some peo­ple take it that bit too far.”

Chances were few in the firsthalf, and the game-chang­ing mo­ment came on 33 min­utes when Ci­cilia was pe­nalised for hand­ball – re­ceiv­ing a sec­ond yel­low card just eight min­utes af­ter be­ing booked for a rash chal­lenge on Ma­dine.

De­spite be­ing a man down, Port Vale re­sponded well and Jerome Thomas hit the post on 51 min­utes when a loose ball fell to him in the area.

Mo­ments later, Fo­ley’s lon­grange ef­fort was head­ing well wide across goal, but Dan Turner dived in to de­flect it goal­wards and Howard saved low.

Against the run of play, Wan­der­ers took the lead though – Wheater ris­ing high­est to head in Filipe Mo­rais’ right-wing free-kick on 66 min­utes af­ter An­dre Bikey clum­sily fouled Adam Le Fon­dre to give them the op­por­tu­nity.

When play re­sumed af­ter the ten-minute de­lay the im­pe­tus had been taken out of the game and Ma­dine sealed vic­tory with ten min­utes re­main­ing.

He eas­ily tapped in from closerange af­ter Mo­rais’ pre­cise pull-back.

HALT: The game is stopped dur­ing the sec­ond half af­ter a pitch in­va­sion

PIC­TURE: ProS­ports/ Mark Do­herty & Ac­tion Im­ages

JUMP FOR JOY: David Wheater cel­e­brates scor­ing Bolton’s first goal af­ter which, in­set, Bolton fans in­vade the pitch

DE­JECTED: Rig­ino Ci­cilia is sent off

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