Bolton 2-1 Norwich: Trotters off bottom
By Press Association
Last Updated: 04/11/17 6:45pm
Improving Bolton, unbeaten in October, kicked off November with a 2-1 Skybet Championship victory over Norwich at the Macron Stadium.
Strikers Gary Madine and Adam Armstrong struck in the last 10 minutes of the opening period to make it five games without defeat for Phil Parkinson's Trotters.
Wanderers, who had thrown away six points in their previous three games, remain in the relegation zone. However, nine points from a possible 15 have lifted them off bottom before Sunderland's game against Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Norwich dominated the first 30 minutes and should have been in front before Wanderers took control. Ben Alnwick initially kept his team in the game, saving Cameron Jerome's drive with his legs. But Jerome, unmarked in the centre of the penalty area, 12 yards out, then spurned an even easier chance after nine minutes.
Armstrong had yet to score a Championship goal since arriving at the Macron Stadium during the summer. And he must have wondered when the drought might end after wasting a great opportunity presented to him by Sammy Ameobi after 31 minutes.
The latter's cross from the Wanderers right floated towards the far post but unmarked Armstrong headed over from six yards. Then Ameobi drove a shot into the side netting before Wanderers' spell of pressure brought its reward.
Skipper Darren Pratley produced a superb low cross and Madine stole in ahead of Christoph Zimmerman to beat Angus Gunn with a low right-footed shot from inside the six-yard box.
Even better was to follow for the Trotters, doubling their advantage four minutes later. Again Norwich were undone by a delivery from the right, this time provided by Mark Little. Madine provided a neat lay-off and Armstrong curled in a right-footed shot off Gunn's left-hand upright.
Bolton had their tails up and it needed Gunn's intervention to deny Armstrong Bolton's third goal in stoppage time. Skipper Pratley followed fellow midfielder Karl Henry after 58 minutes, two of six yellow cards dished out by referee Stephen Martin.
Norwich boss Daniel Farke introduced Josh Murphy and Marley Watkins after 63 minutes for Tom Trybull and Yanic Wildschut. Watkins immediately offered a threat, driving a shot into the side netting as City.
Armstrong made way for Will Buckley soon after in Bolton's first switch before Farke's last throw of the dice saw Harrison Reed withdrawn for Mario Vranic after 68 minutes. Antonee Robinson conjured up a vital intervention from Wes Hoolahan's cross with Jerome waiting for any slip by the on loan Everton full-back.
And it was game up for the Canaries when Alnwick spread himself superbly to win his one-on-one duel with substitute Murphy. By the time Murphy did find the back of the net with a terrific angled left-footed shot, four minutes of stoppage time were virtually over.
Phil Parkinson: "I could feel the rumblings - why is he still picking Armstrong? But Adam has put in some terrific performances, though he was desperate for that goal. So I am so pleased because of the work he has put in. He has got quality but he also has courage. He doesn't go under when he misses a chance because he is confident in his own ability.
"Adam has threatened to produce that moment, though in fairness he needed to for himself and the team - but it was a terrific finish."
Daniel Farke: "In the first 30 minutes we had the game totally under control. We missed four chances and it was just a question of time when we scored. But we have to say congratulations to Bolton. They were effective with their shots on goal and we weren't. We tried to get back in the game in the second half, created a lot of chances but missed chances as well.
"I am pretty annoyed and frustrated because we had the game under control. At the moment we have to defend perfectly to win games because we are scoring too few goals. When you miss so many chances then you have to at least defend 100 per cent perfect. We have done that in previous away games but for 10 minutes before half-time we didn't do that."