Imps Bolton Wanderers

The Imps battled hard against Bolton Wanderers but were undone by a late Eoin Toal header at the LNER Stadium.

Bolton enjoyed more of the ball in the early stages but only managed their first shot on target in the 16th minute as George Thomason played the ball forward to Victor Adeboyejo whose effort from range was held comfortably by Lukas Jensen.

City didn’t get phased by this pressure and continued to press, with a good crossing chance falling to Lasse Sorensen whose back post delivery was met by Ethan Hamilton and hooked clear of danger by Ricardo Santos.

Ian Evatt’s side launched a clever counter attack in the 37th minute which saw Thomason find Dion Charles who went on a surging run towards the box before dragging his shot wide of the far post.

A few moments later the visitors created another opportunity as a ball in from the left came to Thomason whose goalbound effort was blocked by Eyoma, with the rebound sent wide by Charles from a few yards out. 

Michael Skubala’s side kept battling after the break and were almost ahead in the 55th minute as Santos nodded Sorensen’s cross only as far as Sean Roughan on the edge who sent a half-volley whistling just past the top corner.

The Trotters hit back with a chance of their own as Paris Maghoma’s lofted ball forward wasn’t dealt with by the City defenders, leaving Charles to send a first-time effort narrowly wide of the left post.

Danny Mandroiu looked to break the deadlock just after the hour mark after winning the ball in Bolton’s half before sending a fizzing drive goalwards from outside the box which was pounced on by Nathan Baxter.

About 10 minutes later City were reduced to 10 men after Mandroiu’s late sliding challenge on Morley was deemed to be a straight red offence by referee Neil Hair.

Ian Evatt’s side wanted to make this man advantage count and held a lot of the ball from this moment onwards, but a resilient City denied Kyle Dempsey and Charles’ consecutive close-range efforts.

The pressure paid off for the visitors in the end who took the lead in the 89th minute as Toal rose highest to flick home a header into the far corner from Josh Sheehan’s inswinging cross.

Imps: Lukas Jensen, Lasse Sorensen, Alex Mitchell, Paudie O’Connor ©, TJ Eyoma (Hakeeb Adelakun 90+1’), Sean Roughan, Ethan Erhahon, Ted Bishop (Ali Smith 78’), Ethan Hamilton, Danny Mandroiu, Jovon Makama (Jack Vale 70’). Subs (not used): Jordan Wright, Jaden Brown, Dylan Duffy, Mide Shodipo.

Bolton: Nathan Baxter, Ricardo Santos ©, Gethin Jones, Eoin Toal, Josh Dacres-Cogley, Randell Williams, George Thomason (Kyle Dempsey 73’), Aaron Morley, Paris Maghoma (Josh Sheehan 81’), Victor Adeboyejo (Jon Bodvarsson 73’), Dion Charles. Subs (not used): Zac Ashworth, Jack Iredale, Will Forrester, Cameron Jerome.

Goal: Toal (89’).

Attendance: 10,064 (1,870 away).

Referee: Neil Hair.