7.05.23 Rovers v Bolton Match Report

Rovers lost their final game of the season to promotion-chasing Bolton in front of a sell-out crowd at The Memorial Stadium.

After Luca Hoole cancelled out an early Wanderers' strike, the visitors went 3-1 up before John Marquis pounced to set up a frantic finish, where only the crossbar prevented a Gas equaliser for Scott Sinclair.

Rovers boss Joey Barton made five changes for the final home game of the season on a sunny May lunchtime. In came Aaron Collins, Antony Evans, Luca Hoole, James Belshaw and Scott Sinclair.


The visitors started brightly and forced a couple of early corners. It was no surprise when they took the lead with a quarter of the game gone, as Shoretire fired home from close range.

Rovers were soon level, however, as Luca Hoole pounced to head home into an empty net after Finley's cross-cum-shot rebounded off the post.

Rovers were now in the ascendancy and should have been ahead as Coburn's header rattled the crossbar, before Ward's follow-up shot was somehow saved by Dixon.

Bolton's Adeboyejo grazed a post with a low shot but the teams went in level at the interval.

John Marquis replaced Josh Coburn at half-time, but it was the visitors who went ahead in the 69th minute against the run of play, when substitute Nlundulu fired home, and then stretched their advantage through a superb long-range strike from Morley.

Glenn Whelan came on for his 696th career game - and became Rovers' oldest player - after 78 minutes, before he was substituted himself in injury-time.

Collins' late flick was saved by Dixon, but the rebound was bundled home by Marquis to set up a grandstand finish. It was almost 3-3 but Sinclair's shot crashed against bar and Bolton hung on to secure the three points.


ROVERS: Belshaw (Balcombe 81), Hoole, Gibson, Quansah (Connolly 81), Gordon (Macdonald 81), Evans (Bogarde 81), Ward, Finley (c) (Whelan 78 (McCormick 89)), Sinclair, Collins, Coburn (Marquis 46).

Subs: Balcombe, Connolly, Whelan, McCormick, Marquis, Macdonald, Bogarde.


BOLTON: Dixon, Jones, John, Santos (c), Johnston, Sheehan, Morley, Shoretire, Toal, Thomason, Adeboyejo. 

Subs: Williams, Charles, Nlundulu, Lee, Kachunga, Williams, Jerome.


Referee: W Finnie

Attendance: 10, 085 (1,269 away). 

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