FULL TIME: Chorley 1 Bolton Wanderers 3 - pre-season friendly

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FULL TIME: Chorley 1 Bolton Wanderers 3 - pre-season friendly
FULL TIME: Chorley 1 Bolton Wanderers 3 - pre-season friendly

WANDERERS’ undefeated start to pre-season continued – but Ian Evatt’s expression at the final whistle suggests he was far from pleased with their latest outing.

Dion Charles, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Elias Kachunga scored the goals in an awkward 90 minutes at Victory Park before former Bolton academy man Connor Hall grabbed one back in the closing stages.

Gethin Jones took the Harold Lloyd Memorial Trophy in what Wanderers fans hope will not be the last silverware this season.

But overall, Evatt’s side looked short on ideas as they struggled to come to terms with physical opponents and a pitch designed to ensure the game was played at a leisurely pace.

When Dion Charles opened the scoring two minutes into the contest, you had to wonder whether another goal-packed afternoon was on its way.

The Northern Ireland international scored a hat-trick at Longridge and picked his spot impressively once again from just inside the penalty box after some good work down the right from Conor Bradley and Aaron Morley.

Wanderers looked in the mood. Declan John drove an angled effort just wide of the post and then produced a deep cross for fellow wing-back Bradley, who couldn’t quite get his header on target.

Charles broke through the middle once more, this time pulling a shot narrowly wide, and also got a shot nicked off his toes right in front of goal.

The pace of the game dropped considerably after that, and Evatt’s side will have to take some of the responsibility as the speed at which they looked to move the ball became slow and the space they had enjoyed early on started to close up.

The pitch – covered by a thick, luscious and extremely long grass – also played a part in limiting Bolton’s effectiveness, particularly out wide.

Chorley worked a couple of reasonable chances and James Trafford allowed a couple of backpasses to either drift out of his control, or under his boot entirely.

Evatt was demanding more. And his own frustration spilled over at one stage after Chorley skipper Scott Leather went clattering into Jon Dadi Bodvarsson directly in front of the dugouts.

After a frank exchange with his opposite number, the former Bury boss – and no shrinking violet – Andy Preece, Wanderers finally regained some composure and doubled their lead.

Morley was the provider, producing a superb ball from the right hand side, and one hoped that would give the second-half side a good platform to go and make the score-line more convincing.

Unfortunately, things slowed down even further. With a new team on the field, Wanderers struggled to create anything of note, their attacking play so often reduced to a crawl by the tricky surface.

Amadou Bakayoko arguably got the closest to extending the lead, latching on to a long ball over the top and colliding with the goalkeeper to bring play to a halt.

Another counter attack was stopped in its tracks after the referee managed to deflect a rare pacy pass from the Bolton defence – prompting another angry outburst from Whites boss Evatt.

“Move the ball quicker!” he bellowed, with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Evatt’s words were never really heeded but Bolton did grab a third. Kieran Sadlier’s corner was headed home impressively by Elias Kachunga.

The sluggishness we had seen for 90 minutes was summed up, however, when Bolton old boy Connor Hall turned Ricardo Santos in stoppage time to roll home a consolation goal past Joel Dixon.

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