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Club News

Match Preview | Bolton Wanderers (H)

12 August 2022

Club News

Match Preview | Bolton Wanderers (H)

12 August 2022

Vale Park plays host to Sky Bet League One action once again this Saturday, as Bolton Wanderers come to town to face the mighty Vale.

It’s sure to be a tense match between the two sides, here is some interesting pre-match reading as we prepare for the Greater Manchester side.

The view from Darrell Clarke:

 Darrell Clarke explained, “Bolton are a big club.

“With a healthy budget, with healthy players, competition in every area of the pitch, Ian’s [Evatt] done that.

"Sometimes it's not rocket science, the better players you have the better you become, but we do things in a different way, that’s right for this football club.”

 Opposition’s Boss thoughts:

“Port Vale will be a completely different test and challenge to what we’ve faced the last two games. History says it’s an intimidating and difficult place to go,” explained Ian Evatt.

“We’ve had two excellent home performances, but we have to replicate the home form away, especially if we’re going to achieve anything this season.

“I thought we let ourselves down at Ipswich but hopefully we can perform a lot better on Saturday at Port Vale.”

Fixture Flashback:

 Sky Bet League Two, The University of Bolton Stadium, Saturday 5th December 2020: Bolton Wanderers 3-6 Port Vale

 Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back to when we last defeated Saturday’s visitors.

We go back only two years to 2020, and Vale hadn’t beaten Wanderers since 1988, that all changed though, with the Valiants putting six past Bolton in their own backyard.

It was the first time the Whites had conceded that many goals at their current ground, where they have played since 1997, and it was Manny Oyeleke who started the fireworks after just six minutes.

All of Vale’s goals came from different scorers and after Oyeleke’s prodded finish, we added another three minutes later through Leon Legge, after he latched on to a wonderful David Worrall cross.

However, Vale’s two-goal lead didn’t last long when the hosts Gethin Jones cut inside, had his initial shot blocked but his second curling effort nestled into the bottom right corner.

This crazy game showed no signs of slowing down in the first- half when with just four minutes of the first period remaining, Devante Rodney won the visitors a penalty.

It was Tom Conlon who was given the duty of taking the kick, and he slotted it away into the top right-hand corner with ease, restoring the two-goal lead.

New half of football, same result, just minutes after the break Vale continued applying the pressure and added a stunning fourth when Cristian Montano executed a lovely chip over Matt Gilks.

The goals just didn’t stop coming for the Valiants, and in the 50th minute, they got their fifth with Worrall turning from provider to scorer when he broke through and rifled home into the bottom corner, the Vale were running rampant.

They didn’t stop there though, and Worrall was involved once again completing a hattrick of assists when he lofted a ball into Nathan Smith’s path to head home, it was now 6-1, an unbelievable score line.

Bolton didn’t go down without a fight though, getting two goals in the remaining 25 minutes through Eoin Doyle and Lloyd Isgrove, making the scoreline more respectable for the Wanderers.

The result was a huge one, after having lost a few on the bounce it was a much-needed lift, a couple of months later Vale secured the services of Darrell Clarke, with the gaffer leading the team away from the drop and into a 13th place finish that season.

 Bolton Wanderers | Gilks, Delaney (Comley 54’), Santos, Baptiste (Darcy 54’), Kioso, Jones, Sarcevic (White 79’), Thomason (Greenidge 54’), Crawford (Isgrove 54’), Doyle, Delfouneso.

 Unused subs | Crellin, Mascoll, White.

 Port Vale | Brown, Mills, Smith, Legge, Fitzpatrick, Joyce, Oyeleke (Burgess 88’), Conlon, Worrall, Montano (Hurst 68’), Rodney.

 Unused Subs | Visser, Brisley, Cullen, Clark, Pope.

 Last Time Out (League):

 Sky Bet League One, University of Bolton Stadium, Saturday 6th August 2022, Bolton Wanderers 3-0 Wycombe Wanderers

 In the battle of the Wanderers, it was Bolton that came out on top as Kyle Dempsey netted his first goals for the club to maintain the Whites unbeaten start.

Dempsey had not scored since netting against Bolton in 2021, but his lengthy drought ended 15 minutes in when he was fed in the box by Liverpool loanee Conor Bradley, after taking a tough he slotted home calmly.

Four minutes from half-time the lead was doubled through Aaron Morley, his second of the season after netting on the opening day at Ipswich, when he latched on to Dapo Afolayan's exquisite pass and finished sweetly.

The hosts put the game out of Gareth Ainsworth’s side’s reach in the second half, as Dempsey grabbed his second of the match, drilling home Amadou Bakayoko's brilliant through ball.

The visitors really struggled to get going, but they had a very good opportunity to pull one back through Lewis Wing, but his effort smashed against the bar whilst the score was at 2-0.

Anis Mehmeti also came close for the hosts when he latched on to a Gareth McCleary cross, it just wasn’t to be for the away side when he saw the header land on the top of the net.

The result meant the Trotters were unbeaten in their first two league fixtures, getting their first win of the season, Vale will be hoping to be the first team to give them a loss this campaign.

 Ins and Outs:


Bolton have bolstered their squad with three strong signings, and also keeping James Trafford on loan for another season.

Perhaps the best signing of the lot, is the loan of right-wing back Conor Bradley from Liverpool.

The loanee has lit up the Bolton team in the few appearances he has already made, including scoring a brilliant strike in the recent 5-1 win over Salford City.

All arrivals | Jack Iredale, Eoin Toal, Conor Bradley, James Trafford


The Greater Manchester side has released a few players with a few not having found a club yet, but the big departure is that of their former youngster Ronan Darcy, who has signed for Sky Bet League Two outfit.

The Whites, also let go of players like Nathan Delfouneso and Liam Gordon, the latter moving to Walsall, whilst Eoin Doyle also left the club during last season to move home to Ireland and play for St Patricks Athletic.

All Departures | Liam Edwards, Liam Gordon, Ronan Darcy, Alex Baptiste, Nathan Delfouneso, Reiss Greenidge, Matthew Alexander

Team news:

The visitor's captain, Ricardo Almeida Santos, will return to action after a recent foot injury left him out of the squad that faced Salford City in the Carabao Cup.

Striker Dion Charles, and their new signing Eoin Toal will both miss out in Burlsem, with respective Thigh and Ankle problems keeping them on the sideline.

Josh Sheehan and Lloyd Isgrove will also not be available for the Whites as Saturday just comes too soon for the pair.

Form: DWW

30/07/22: Ipswich Town 1-1 Bolton Wanderers, Sky Bet League One

06/08/22: Bolton Wanderers 3-0 Wycombe Wanderers, Sky Bet League One

09/08/22: Bolton Wanderers 5-1 Salford City, Carabao Cup first round

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