West Brom 1-2 Bolton: Baggies stunned in Championship opener
Yanic Wildschut scores late to nick the victory for Bolton at The Hawthorns
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 04/08/18 9:15pm
Bolton winger Yanic Wildschut made a dream debut as his late strike earned a 2-1 Sky Bet Championship win at West Brom.
Wildschut, who is on-loan from Norwich, stabbed home from close range in the 89th minute after David Wheater had headed a Josh Vela corner goalwards.
In a day for debutants, Bolton had taken the lead when Josh Magennis made a goalscoring bow. Magennis, whose £200,000 arrival from Charlton made him Bolton's first cash signing since the arrival of Filip Twardzik in January 2015, steered home an 18th-minute header.
Albion drew level in first-half stoppage time when winger Harvey Barnes, who was making his debut after arriving on a season-long loan deal from Leicester, scored from 25 yards.
But the home side, who are back in the Championship for the first time since 2010 after being relegated last season, paid the price for a late defensive lapse as Bolton matched their tally of away wins for all of last season.
Albion had made a rapid start to the match, winning two corners in quick succession, before Barnes forced goalkeeper Ben Alnwick into a save with a rising drive in the 12th minute.
Bolton then stunned their hosts when Magennis struck with a classy close-range header. Sammy Ameobi did superbly to cross the ball and Magennis angled his low header from six yards beyond goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
Albion were then fortunate not to concede a second goal in the 21st minute when a Wheater header drifted agonisingly wide of Johnstone's far post.
Albion briefly threatened when Matt Phillips saw a 27th-minute shot deflected wide but it was Bolton who looked the more dangerous side with Wheater forcing Johnstone into a save after another close-range header on the half hour.
Albion then mounted a determined search for an equaliser in the closing stages of the half with Jay Rodriguez off target with a header and Phillips having another long-range drive deflected before they drew level thanks to a sublime piece of skill from Barnes.
There looked to be little danger when Barnes picked up a pass from Allan Nyom some 25 yards from goal. But he let fly with a curling left-foot drive that whistled into the top corner of the net.
Barnes very nearly grabbed a second goal at the start of the second half only to see his 48th-minute drive blocked by Pawel Olkowski before Alnwick tipped a header from Ahmed Hegazi over the bar after 66 minutes.
While Albion were dominating affairs at that stage, they still had to be wary of the threat that Bolton posed and they were rescued by Johnstone in the 68th minute when he saved a point-blank header from Magennis but there was nothing he could do to keep out Wildschut.
Darren Moore: "Our possession and quality was there. It is getting the knowhow right. It is difficult when you have a team unit like that getting men behind the ball.
"The disappointing thing for us was conceding from two set plays. You are never happy to do that. But generally in the main we dominated even though it doesn't mean anything. But there are lots of positives to pick out of it."
Phil Parkinson: "It was always going to be a tough game but I thought that we were excellent. We set ourselves out in a very disciplined way and everyone did their job for the team.
"I was worried that West Brom would be lifted by their goal but credit to our boys, they kept going and we got our rewards in the end with a terrific finish from Yanic Wildschut."