John Mousinho was pleased with Portsmouth’s 1-1 draw at Bolton despite the leaders’ bid for promotion and the Sky Bet League One title put on hold.

Abu Kamara’s seventh-minute goal put the visitors in front, but Aaron Collins’ fifth goal in three games after 36 minutes ensured Pompey need a point against Barnsley at Fratton Park on Tuesday to reach the Championship.

“It keeps Bolton at arm’s length which was an important thing for us to do,” said manager Mousinho.

“We came here for the win and during the game we made substitutions to try and win it. I think though on balance, Bolton probably deserved to win it.

“I was displeased how we reacted to going a goal up. I thought we were poor.

“We made some poor decisions, slashed at a few clearances and didn’t do enough to track runners.

“It took Bolton equalising for us to click back into gear and decide we wanted to play and be more recognisable.

“We regrouped at half-time and it was a much better performance in the second half. Hopefully, now we can get the job done on Tuesday.

“There was talk in the week whether it was better to go and do it at Fratton. But we were desperate to try and get the job done here.

“Obviously we couldn’t, but going back to Fratton with the opportunity to do it in front of the long-suffering home fans and needing a point will be a fantastic occasion.”

Bolton have three games remaining, but need a slip up by Derby in order to gain automatic promotion.

Collins’ header from Nat Ogbeta’s cross after 36 minutes was his seventh since joining the club.

The Trotters could easily have become only the fifth side to beat Portsmouth this season.

Instead, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson missed an easy second-half chance, while substitute Dion Charles hit the post late on.

“It is frustrating but it hard to be too critical of the players,” said manager Ian Evatt.

“Portsmouth are top of the league for a reason and bar the first seven to 10 minutes where we conceded a poor goal in transition to their most dangerous player, I thought we dominated.

“We had opportunities to win, missed a couple of big opportunities and had 19 shots to their five.

“When you watch a game you get a feel for who is the most dominant team and then the data backs it up. That was the case.

“It was a good performance and we deserved more. Now we have to pick everyone up because we haven’t lost it.

“There can be turns left, right and centre. So, the most important for us is to win the game on Tuesday (at home to Shrewsbury) and get it back to a point (on Derby).

“But we have to pick the players up because they are disappointed. They know we should have won the game. But now is not the time to be feeling sorry for ourselves.”

Aaron Collins’ latest Bolton goal earned a 1-1 draw to ensure Portsmouth’s Sky Bet League One title and promotion celebrations remain on ice.

Pompey were heading back to the Championship for the first time in 12 years when Abu Kamara scored a classy seventh-minute opener.

But Wanderers kept alive their own hopes of promotion to the second tier without need of the play-offs nine minutes before half-time.

Nat Ogbeta had not distinguished himself when Kamara raced beyond him to score with a low left-footed finish.

However, the former Manchester City prospect provided the assist for Collins to head in for a fifth goal in three games and his seventh since signing from Bristol Rovers.

It was nothing more than Ian Evatt’s side deserved in front of the club’s highest ever third tier attendance of 25,738.

Collins was denied a second by goalkeeper Will Norris in first-half stoppage time with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson unable to convert the rebound.

Bodvarsson missed a great chance to win it for Bolton after 69 minutes, while substitute and leading scorer Dion Charles hit the post three minutes from time.

Aaron Collins returned to haunt his former club Bristol Rovers as promotion hopefuls Bolton won 2-0 at the Memorial Stadium.

The 26-year-old striker scored in the 52nd minute as his right-footed chipped finish sailed over the onrushing Jed Ward and into the Pirates’ goal following a George Thomason pass.

Rovers had enjoyed their best spell of an even contest just before their nominated player of last season netted on a windy afternoon in Bristol.

Connor Taylor was adjudged to have fouled Cameron Jerome with a minute of stoppage time left to play, and substitute Aaron Morley sealed the win by converting the resulting spot-kick.

The Gas went close to scoring when Nathan Baxter clawed Chris Martin’s diving header from off his goal-line a minute after the restart.

Baxter also saved low at his near post to deny both Luke Thomas and Antony Evans in the first half, as Rovers made it six games without a goal, and the visitors won a first away game in seven matches.

Ian Evatt reckons Bolton can achieve promotion from Sky Bet League One provided they can replicate the performance of their 5-0 demolition against shell-shocked Oxford.

Josh Dacres-Cogley scored on his 28th birthday with further goals coming from Nathaniel Ogbeta, George Thomason, Aaron Collins and Josh Sheehan.

“If we can replicate that eight more times we won’t have too much to worry about,” said Evatt as Bolton stay hard on the heels of the top two – Portsmouth and Derby.

“That is what I want my team to look like,” added Evatt. “When they play like that, it makes me a proud manager.

“Everyone knows we are capable of that performance, we have got to do it more and more.

“We have been asked a lot of questions and it is up to us to come up with the answers. And the players know if they dip below those standards I will tell them.”

Ogbeta set Bolton on the way to victory with a sweet 19th-minute strike from Thomason’s pass.

Dacres-Cogley was gifted a present of his celebratory goal. Goaleeper Jamie Cumming and defender Greg Leigh collided attempting to deal with a long ball from Ricardo Santos and the full-back fired into an empty net.

Thomason’s long-range strike took a deflection past Cumming, but there was no mistaken identity as Collins finished off a flowing passing move to make it 4-0 and register Bolton’s 100th goal of the season in all competitions.

Man of the match Sheehan curled in a superb fifth goal after 69 minutes.

“We don’t score tap ins or scruffy goals,” said Evatt. “I am so proud of the players.

“Our focus in and out of possession was great and we looked sharp with the ball. When this team is at its fluid best we are a good team to watch.”

Oxford boss Des Buckingham admitted the result was a “difficult one to take” as they suffered a third defeat in their last four games.

“It is not something I saw coming,” Buckingham admitted. “Bolton played extremely well, but we played poorly and that’s the reality of it.

“We will get to the bottom of it. I don’t want to jump to things right now. I need to take the emotions out of the situation.

“The scoreline isn’t a true reflection of who we are and what we are. We will make sure we delve deep to ensure it does not happen again.

“If you get beaten anywhere 5-0, it is an embarrassment. It is difficult one to take, even more so because we were on TV trying to showcase what we do and how we do it and showcase Oxford across the country.

“We couldn’t do that across any area and we made it very easy for them at times.”

Birthday boy Josh Dacres-Cogley scored as Bolton revved up their automatic promotion push in Sky Bet League One with a 5-0 demolition of Oxford.

Dacres-Cogley, who turned 28 on Tuesday, was gifted his 27th-minute goal as goalkeeper Jamie Cummings and Greg Leigh collided attempting to deal with skipper Ricardo Santos’s long ball.

Wanderers, back to winning ways after two successive away draws – were already 1-0 ahead.

Nathaniel Ogbeta produced a superb finish in the 19th minute from George Thomason’s assist to register his first goal since a debut strike at Carlisle.

Cameron Brannagan’s free-kick into the side-netting was Oxford’s only response in the opening half.

In front of the Sky TV cameras, things went from bad to worse for Des Buckingham’s side in a 10-minute spell after the break.

Both Thomason and Aaron Collins claimed Bolton’s third goal after 59 minutes, though, the former was credited with the goal after his shot took a deflection in off luckless Leigh.

Wanderers’ fourth scorer was definitely Collins, who finished off a sweeping move six minutes later.

Josh Sheehan then wrapped up a statement victory with a superb left-foot finish as Bolton cemented third spot.

Reggae Boy Ravel Morrison finds himself at the center of attention as Sheffield Wednesday, Bolton Wanderers, and Peterborough United have expressed interest in securing the services of the 31-year-old midfielder.

A free agent since parting ways with Major League Soccer side DC United at the beginning of this year, Morrison is eager to return to regular football action, sparking the interest of clubs across the English Championship.

Sheffield Wednesday, currently grappling with the challenges of a survival fight in the Championship, sees Morrison as a potential boost to their attacking options. The free agent status of the Jamaican international has also piqued the interest of League One promotion hopefuls Bolton and Peterborough, both aiming to strengthen their squads for the crucial final weeks of the season.

Having made his debut for Jamaica in November 2020, Morrison showcased his prowess by scoring his first international goal in a crucial World Cup qualification match against Honduras in March 2022. However, despite his impressive international outings, the 31-year-old has been sidelined from the Reggae Boyz squad since March 2023 due to a lack of club football activity.

Should Morrison secure a contract with any of the three English Championship clubs currently courting him, it could potentially reignite his chances of returning to the national team. The window of opportunity, however, seems tight, with Jamaica's Reggae Boyz gearing up to face the United States in the CONCACAF Nations Cup semi-finals in late March.

The possibility of a move to Sheffield Wednesday adds an intriguing layer to the narrative, considering Morrison's past stint with their cross-city rivals Sheffield United during the 2019-20 season.

With a football journey that has taken him through clubs in six different countries, Morrison stands at a crossroads, contemplating a return to the league where it all began for the talented midfielder, or the prospect of venturing into League One for the first time in his career.

 

Ian Evatt hailed Bolton’s “best victory of the season” as they saw off Fleetwood on a windswept night on the Lancashire coast.

Dion Charles and Victor Adeboyejo scored in the second half to leave Wanderers just two points behind League One leaders Portsmouth.

Evatt told Wanderers TV: “That was a proper performance, I’m so pleased with that.

“For me, the best victory of the season in the circumstances – the weather, the storm, the wind, the pitch was all against us really, but I thought we were just so professional.

“I think we dominated both halves really, with the wind and against it. Obviously disappointed not to score in the first half but stayed calm, stayed composed and did the business in the second half.”

Charles opened the scoring four minutes after half-time with his 12th goal of the league season and stepped over Kyle Dempsey’s pass for Adeboyejo to hammer in a late second.

“Great time to score,” said Evatt of the first goal. “I’m delighted for Dion, who I thought was excellent tonight, and then a bit of magic from Dion again with the ‘over’ for the second one for Victor.

“As away performances go, that’s a proper performance.”

Lee Johnson rued individual errors which meant an otherwise impressive battling display from his Fleetwood side went unrewarded.

“It was a tough game,” he said. “We knew the quality Bolton have – they’re a well established side in the division that’s had time to build, and an ex-Premier League club.

“But we felt, genuinely, at half-time that we had a good chance in this game. We defended ever so well in treacherous conditions, the spirit was good, the blocking was good.

“We’re not affecting boxes anywhere near enough, we know that, and we have to because wins are very important.

“You have to give credit to Bolton but again we’re masters of our own downfall with individual errors and that seems like the story of almost the calendar year. If we want to get out of trouble, they’re the bits we have to stop.

“We had 15 players, for various reasons, unavailable for this game and it’s difficult for a club like us.

“We’re not throwing the towel in, I’m well up for the fight. We’ve got 23 games now in which we need a number of wins.

“The first thing we’ve got to stop is the individual errors because there was a clean sheet in that game, and that’s what’s frustrating.”

Manager Michael Carrick praised Middlesbrough’s “spirit and togetherness” after stoppage-time goals from substitutes Riley McGree and Morgan Rogers sealed a 3-1 Carabao Cup comeback win at Bolton.

Dion Charles celebrated his new contract extension by giving the League One outfit a 23rd-minute lead.

Matt Crooks equalised 10 minutes later but it took Boro until the first minute of stoppage time to grab a deserved lead and avoid a penalty shootout.

Three minutes later Rogers netted his first goal since a summer move from Manchester City to seal only a second win of the campaign for the Teessiders.

“I am delighted for the players and delighted for the supporters,” said Carrick of his side’s second-half domination.

“Even if we hadn’t got that goal at the end everyone could see how well the boys had played.

“It summed up how we have started the season with things not dropping for us. But the boys stuck at it, kept believing and found a way.

“It looked like only a matter of time and so it proved to be. It shows the spirit and togetherness in the group which considering results doesn’t always prove the case.”

Wanderers boss Ian Evatt, whose side are now without a win in three, insisted: “I thought we were the better team in the first half.

“We had good control for large spells. They scored slightly against the run of play.

“In the second half what happens when you don’t manage the ball, you are out of possession for long periods.

“A bit like we do to teams in our own division eventually you get fatigued.

“Against the best teams you get picked off. There are lots of positives to be taken and lots of lessons to be learned.”

Substitutes Riley McGree and Morgan Rogers scored stoppage-time goals to steer Middlesbrough into round three of the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 comeback win at League One Bolton.

Australian ace McGree had only been on the pitch five minutes before rounding off sustained Boro pressure with a superb low left-foot finish.

Rogers, a summer signing from Manchester City, completed a deserved win for Michael Carrick’s Championship side with his first goal for the club.

The game started promisingly for Bolton in this repeat of the 2004 League Cup final.

Fresh from signing a new contract extension, Northern Ireland international Dion Charles gave Wanderers a 23rd-minute lead after Tom Glover could only parry Josh Sheehan’s shot.

The home lead only lasted 10 minutes as Matt Crooks lofted Paddy McNair’s through ball past Joel Coleman for his first goal since last April.

Coleman, injured at the end of the first half, didn’t reappear for the second which produced more bookings (5) than chances until the closing stages.

Sub goalie Nathan Baxter saved from Samuel Silvera and then brilliantly tipped McNair’s piledriver onto the bar.

But Boro’s pressure finally told with the late double from McGree and Rogers, giving the visitors only a second win of the campaign.

Bolton boss Ian Evatt felt his side should have been returning from Burton with a three-point haul rather than just one despite their slow start to the match and falling a goal behind.

Wanderers, looking to bounce back from last weekend’s 4-0 home mauling by Wigan, trailed to Mark Helm’s goal just after the break but drew level before the hour through Dion Charles.

However, Bolton could not go on to find a winner – and a first-ever victory at the home of the Brewers – as the match finished 1-1, much to Evatt’s frustration.

“It’s a game we should have won,” he said.

“First half we didn’t start great and for the first 20 minutes they put us under pressure, and we didn’t make the right decisions, which is understandable after last week, which really rocked us.”

Helm caught Bolton cold with Albion’s goal less than a minute into the second half which also irked the Bolton boss.

“We didn’t start the second half well either, making a critical error in the first minute,” Evatt said.

“To be fair, after that we rallied and took over the game, but we have missed some critical chances that should have put the game to bed.

“I think we can do better. We know we can do better. It would have been easy going behind again to feel sorry for ourselves and the only real frustration is that we should have gone on to win.”

Burton boss Dino Maamria was pleased with his team’s performance, but the former striker was also frustrated by their failure to kill off the game when Albion were on top.

“The performance is there to see. An excellent performance. I might have to put my boots on because we do everything apart from that last seven or eight yards,” he said.

Bobby Kamwa, making his first league start of the season, was guilty of an early miss having rounded Bolton keeper Nathan Baxter and hitting the post, a chance that would have capped a dominant opening to the game for Albion.

“A game like today should have been done and dusted in the first half but we just lack that quality in those final yards to score goals but everything else was excellent,” Maamria said.

“We played in their half and pressed them really well but couldn’t get the goal we deserved.”

He added: “Second half we got the goal and needed to kick on but the disappointment is that we conceded from a second ball from a long ball and it’s preventable.

“Is it a fair result?. I think if we had the killer instinct in those final 10 yards, we would have won the game.

“Their keeper denied Deji (Oshilaja) with his trailing leg at point-blank range and any other day that goes in, and we win the game. It wasn’t meant to be.”

Burton and Bolton had to settle for a point apiece as goals from Mark Helm and Dion Charles cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw at the Pirelli Stadium.

Helm put Burton ahead soon after half-time before Bolton, looking to get back to winning ways after their 4-0 home defeat to Wigan last time out, equalised through Charles just before the hour.

Albion had the clearest opening of the first half when winger Bobby Kamwa took advantage of some poor Bolton defending to run through and round goalkeeper Nathan Baxter only for his effort to hit the post.

Kamwa also fired wide from the edge of the box as Wanderers made a nervy start but the visitors grew into the game and both Randell Williams and Charles forced good saves from Max Crocombe in the Brewers goal.

The second half could not have started any better for Burton with Helm firing home a minute after the break when the Wanderers defence failed to deal with Kamwa’s cross.

However, Bolton were level just before the hour when Charles pounced on indecisive Burton defending on the edge of the box to score.

Crocombe made an outstanding save to deny former Burton striker Victor Adeboyejo as Bolton pushed for all three points but neither side could find a winner in a pulsating encounter.

Shaun Maloney saluted two-goal marksman Charlie Wyke as Wigan wiped out their eight-point deduction inside four League One games after thrashing Bolton 4-0.

Wyke started and finished the scoring at Toughsheet Community Stadium with a Stephen Humphreys’ double sandwiched in between as Latics ended Wanderers’ 100 per cent start to the campaign in emphatic fashion.

The visitors’ third win of the season lifted them on to two points while Ian Evatt’s Trotters suffered a harsh reality check after four wins in all competitions.

“Every bit of credit goes to Charlie,” said Wigan manager Maloney of his frontman who had a defibrillator fitted after suffering a cardiac arrest in 2021.

“He came back on day one of pre-season in incredible condition. It was like signing a new player.

“What he has been through is well documented but he has put a lot of hard work in and continues to put hard work in.

“So, every bit of praise he gets is well deserved.”

Wigan’s eight-point deficit over wages payments had some fans fearing a second successive relegation, but the club’s flying start to the season has indicated a much brighter future.

“We came to terms with it (the deficit) in the summer,” added Maloney. “I understand why we got it, the situation the club was in.

“What was hard was how to broach it over the summer. We gave ourselves six games and we are obviously ahead of schedule.

“We could not have thought we would have this good a start. But I knew with the players we brought in and during pre-season, something was happening.”

Wanderers bossed possession and created 20 shots but rarely looked capable of getting back into the contest after Wigan’s Wyke-inspired start.

Wyke opened the scoring in the 12th minute before Humphrys’ brace in the 24th and 45th minutes made it 3-0 at the break.

Bolton boss Ian Evatt said: “There is an awful lot to take in. We can all be honest and say we didn’t see it coming.

“We have got to make sure this result doesn’t define our season which is crazy to say after just four games.

“For the first time though someone has punched us on the jaw and we didn’t recover. The game was gone before we knew it.

“It was one of those games where we lost every moment, lost every duel and just lost the basics of football.

“The ball seemed to fall to them every time but I am a firm believer you make your own luck

“On the day though Wigan played it was like a derby. We played like we were going to come and have everything our own way as we have done so far this season.

“The general performance wasn’t a 4-0 game. But they punished us on every moment and the first 10 minutes rocked us and we didn’t recover.

“Every time we looked like we were going to gain momentum we got punched on the jaw again.”

Charlie Wyke and Stephen Humphrys scored twice as Wigan moved out of the Sky Bet League One relegation zone with a 4-0 derby rout of leaders Bolton.

Latics started the campaign with an eight-point deduction but have won three and drawn one of their opening four fixtures to wipe out that deficit.

And this impressive success over previously unbeaten Wanderers could not have been sweeter for Latics’ 4,000 travelling fans.

Striker Wyke started and finished the scoring, heading the visitors in front after 12 minutes and firing in his fifth goal of the season 15 minutes from time.

Humphrys had been the star of Wigan’s first-half show, netting in the 24th minute when Nathan Baxter could only parry skipper Callum Lang’s shot.

In first-half stoppage time, Lang broke the offside trap and as Bolton failed to clear their box, Humphrys fired into the unguarded net.

For all their possession and goal attempts Bolton were well beaten and Josh Dacres-Cogley’s 47th-minute miss from close range summed up their afternoon.

Bolton boss Ian Evatt was sent off for “misuse of technology” after Victor Adeboyejo’s first-half hat-trick set-up the League One leaders’ 3-1 win over Fleetwood.

Northern Ireland international Dion Charles was also dismissed by referee Tom Nield for a caution in each half.

Charles was the first to receive his marching orders after 69 minutes following a clash with Town keeper Jay Lynch.

Evatt followed five minutes later and under this season’s new regulations was unable to take his post-match press conference.

Instead, assistant manager Peter Atherton explained: “We saw Dion come alongside the keeper who stuck out his leg and tripped Dion.

“What he saw was very different to what we saw and unfortunately for Dion it was a second yellow.”

After watching on a pitchside monitor, Atherton added Evatt then drew the incident to the fourth official’s attention.

“The gaffer said he had seen it back. There was no misconduct in terms of abusive language.

“He just said, ‘I have seen it back and you got it wrong. From just referring to saying he had seen it back, that is a red card.”

Bolton fans’ anger was heightened by an incident last season against Forest Green Rovers when Nield mistakenly dismissed Charles instead of former team-mate Elias Kachunga.

On the plus side was Adeboyejo’s first hat-trick since his move from Burton.

“Last year Dion was the main goal scorer,” said Atherton.

“But we have said we have to share (goals) among the team.

“Vic has worked hard on the training ground and it’s nice to see him get the rewards with the hat-trick.”

Fleetwood have picked up only one point from their first three games and were also knocked out of the League Cup,

Josh Earl scored a stoppage-time consolation though home goalie Nathan Baxter twice denied Bolton old boy Josh Vela and a Scott Robertson free-kick.

Manager Scott Brown said: “It starts tough because we lost a goal after three minutes. They get that momentum.

“They had great shape and great structure behind and in front of the ball.

“It’s that bit of quality in the final third they had that was a lot better than we had.

“Their wing-backs were bolting in behind, first-time deliveries across the goal and their striker wanted it more and was switched on more than our defenders.

“It comes down to desire but also ruthlessness. They had that ruthlessness and we didn’t.

“The ball was a magnet to him .We had five defenders in the box at one point circulating him and he found the space.

“We had a few chances we probably should have scored off but we end up scoring off a corner in the 94th minute. We didn’t give ourselves a chance.”

Victor Adeboyejo netted a first-half hat-trick but strike partner Dion Charles and manager Ian Evatt were sent off as leaders Bolton beat Fleetwood 3-1 in League One.

The former Burton star became only the second Wanderers player in nine years to score a treble, firing the Trotters towards a third consecutive league victory.

Paris Maghoma claimed assists for his team-mate’s first two goals after three and 14 minutes, while a third right-wing cross from Josh Dacre-Cogley was also converted by Adeboyejo eight minutes from the interval.

Bolton’s win was soured by referee Tom Nield’s dismissal of Northern Ireland international Charles.

Last January, Nield mistakenly sent off Charles instead of then team-mate Elias Kachunga in Bolton’s win over Forest Green.

This time he booked Charles for a first-half stoppage-time foul and cautioned him again for clashing with ex-Wanderers’ keeper Jay Lynch in the 69th minute.

Five minutes later Evatt followed after protesting too vehemently over a Fleetwood challenge.

The 10-man eventually conceded their first goal of the campaign to Josh Earl’s stoppage-time consolation.

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