Bolton unable to build on first league win as Wolves pounce

Bolton's under fire boss Dougie Freedman
Bolton's under fire boss Dougie Freedman

Nouha Dicko’s third goal of the season helped Wolves extend their 100 per cent home record in the Sky Bet Championship with a 1-0 win over struggling Bolton at Molineux.

Dicko pounced three minutes before half-time as Kenny Jackett’s side took their unbeaten run to six games - thanks also in no small measure to goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who saved Owen Garvan’s 58th-minute penalty.

It was a hard-earned success which could have come by a greater margin had Wolves been more clinical in front of goal in the first half.

For Bolton it ensured that their hopes of an upturn in fortunes were short-lived.

They had won their first game of the season on Tuesday - beating Rotherham United 3-2 - but that proved to be a false dawn as they crashed to their fifth league defeat of the season with some disgruntled fans calling for the head of manager Dougie Freedman.

Bolton almost made a dream start inside 30 seconds through Jay Spearing when his long-range drive was deflected wide for a corner.

But after surviving that scare, Wolves went on to carry the greater attacking threat in the opening exchanges.

Bakary Sako was a menace on both wings and his persistence forced a corner from which Danny Batth was inches away from giving Wolves the lead in the 17th minute.

James Henry’s corner was met by Batth and his powerful header was expertly tipped over the bar by Andy Lonergan.

While that was an excellent chance, Bolton were presented with an ever better one just two minutes later but former Wolves striker Craig Davies fluffed his chance on his return to Molineux.

Davies only had Ikeme to beat from 14 yards when he was picked out by his strike partner Joe Mason, but the ex-Wales international meekly side-footed the ball into the arms of a grateful Ikeme.

It was a rare moment of worry for Ikeme as Lonergan was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers in the opening period.

Twice he had to deny Dicko from close range as well as doing well at his near post to hold on to a dangerous low cross from Sako.

Lonergan looked to have done enough to get Bolton to half-time on level terms only for Dicko to finally break his resistance.

Matt Doherty’s cross took a deflection on its way into the area and as Lonergan and Bolton defender Dorian Dervite left it to each other to deal with, Dicko nipped in to head home from six yards.

It was no more than Wolves deserved only for Batth to then hand Bolton a route back into the game in the second half with a rash challenge on substitute Jermaine Beckford.

Beckford had only been on the pitch two minutes when his presence in the area saw him fouled by Batth.

Referee Andrew Madley had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, but Garvan’s weak penalty was palmed out by Ikeme.

To add insult to injury for Garvan, the on-loan Crystal Palace midfielder had his follow-up shot saved by Ikeme as well.

Bolton then did mount a late rally but Ikeme was in commanding form - spreading himself at his near post to deny Liam Feeney in the 84th minute and then seconds later collecting a low drive from Beckford.