Bolton 1 Peterborough 0: match report – Craig Dawson scores winner
| Craig Dawson continued his fine start to life at the Reebok Stadium as Bolton dented the survival hopes of npower Championship basement boys Peterborough.
Dougie Freedman’s side are unbeaten in five games since Dawson arrived on loan from West Brom in the January transfer window.
The central defender scored twice in Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing of Hull and grabbed the only goal tonight with a firm header from Jay Spearing’s fifth-minute corner.
Big winner: Dawson wheels away after scoring the Trotters’ winning goal Match facts Bolton: Bogdan, Ricketts, Knight, Dawson, Alonso, Mark Davies (Holden 24), Spearing, Pratley, Lee, Sordell (Craig Davies 58), Ngog (Kevin Davies 72).
Subs not used: Lonergan, Wheater, De Ridder, Medo.
Goals: Dawson 5.
Peterborough: Olejnik, Little (Alcock 85), Bostwick, Zakuani, Rowe, Mendez-Laing, McCann, Petrucci (Payne 42), Swanson (Newell 71), Gayle, Tomlin.
Subs not used: Day, Brisley, Ferdinand, McDonald.
Attendance: 15,675 Referee: Andy D’Urso (Essex).
Latest Championship results, fixtures and table Bolton proved far superior to their opponents in the first half, but lost their way after the interval and were grateful for Peterborough’s lack of penetration.
While Freedman will retain hope of a late play-off push, with his side now up to 10th, Posh remain at the foot of the table and face an uphill battle to avoid relegation.
Bolton were unchanged from their convincing weekend win, while Peterborough replaced Joe Newell and Kane Ferdinand with Danny Swanson and the fit-again Davide Petrucci.
Having been three up inside eight minutes against Hull, Wanderers wasted little time in taking the lead on this occasion.
Spearing’s opening corner from the left failed to beat the first man, but his second delivery was much more inviting and Dawson got a run on his marker to head home.
Grant McCann shot tamely at Adam Bogdan as Peterborough looked to respond, but Bolton remained firmly in the ascendancy with two presentable chances falling to Lee Chung-yong.
Slim pickings: Peterborough remain rooted to the bottom of the league The South Korean midfielder failed to keep a left-footed effort down, after Darren Pratley’s low cross had come through a crowd of bodies, and then forced Bobby Olejnik into a fine diving save following a swift break.
There was a blow for the hosts midway through the half when Mark Davies appeared to injure a knee when going down unchallenged.
His place was taken by Stuart Holden, a player continuing his comeback from two knee operations.
In the hunt: Freedman’s side are edging towards the play-off places Bolton soon went close again, with Olejnik denying David Ngog from a corner and Marvin Sordell heading wide seconds later.
Yet Peterborough, for whom Petrucci limped off to be replaced by Jack Payne, threatened prior to the break as some casual home defending culminated in Nathaniel Mendez-Laing dragging a shot wide from close range.
A scrappy start to the second period prompted Wanderers to introduce Craig Davies for Sordell in the 58th minute.
By that stage the visitors were enjoying their best spell, although Bogdan remained untroubled.
Bolton briefly sparked back into life and both Ngog and Marcos Alonso saw efforts fly narrowly past Olejnik’s left-hand post either side of the former making way for Kevin Davies.
Tommy Rowe could only muster a weak goalbound effort at the other end following a neat passing move from Posh, who continued to huff and puff without reward.
Despite enjoying more and more possession as the final whistle approached, Peterborough could find no way through and it was Craig Davies who came closest to scoring late on with a scuffed strike on the turn that Olejnik parried away.