MATCH REPORT: Ipswich Town 1 Bolton 0

Ipswich v Bolton: David McGoldrick’s second-half penalty secured Ipswich Town a 1-0 home win over struggling Bolton.

The Blues striker – who had failed to score his previous two spot-kick attempts – confidently blasted the ball down the middle of the goal in the 55th minute to take his goal tally for the season to 15 in 32 games.

McGoldrick had won the penalty too, inexplicably dragged to the ground by keeper Andy Lonergan after the alert front man had forced the custodian to spill the ball following a bout of head tennis in the box.

It was enough to settle an instantly forgettable affair, with Bolton never mustering a response that worried a Blues side that has dropped 25 points from winning positions this season.

Town remain seventh and four points adrift of the play-off places, top six rivals Reading, Blackburn, Wigan and Leeds also winning. Bolton slip to 20th and remain four points above the drop zone.

During a slow start to the match, Mark Davies had air-kicked in a golden position for Bolton while Aaron Cresswell’s rising 30-yard effort was tipped over the bar by Lonergan at the other end.

The game was delayed for five minutes around the half hour mark when Town midfielder Cole Skuse lay concussed following a clash of heads. He eventually got to his feet and was able to walk from the pitch, replaced by Anthony Wordsworth.

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With Luke Hyam injured and Ryan Tunnicliffe having left the club on transfer deadline day, Town’s central midfield options had been further depleted – Jay Tabb and Stephen Hunt starting this match in the middle.

It was the latter two who were the home side’s most effective players, with the back four losing 50/50 aerial battles and the front three of Frank Nouble, McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy struggling to get a foothold in the match.

Bolton finished the half on top, Gerken making a good save from Neil Dann’s close-range volley and striker Lukas Jutkiewicz firing just wide on the turn.

Gerken made another smart stop at the start of the second half, keeping out Alex Baptiste’s effort at the near post, but the momentum of the match changed when the hosts broke the deadlock in the 55th minute.

Following a lengthy bout of head tennis in the Bolton box, McGoldrick got his head on the ball as Lonergan attempted to gather at the near post. The keeper, realising he had spilled his catch, ended up dragging McGoldrick to the ground and a penalty was awarded.

McGoldrick dusted himself down and slammed the resultant spot-kick down the middle to make it 1-0.

The goal appeared to knock all the stuffing out of a Bolton side who had claimed just two wins from their previous 11 league games, the match petering out to a 1-0 finish.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-3-3): Gerken; Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell: Tabb, Skuse (Wordsworth 32, Richardson 78), Hunt; Nouble, McGoldrick, Murphy.

Subs: Loach, Mings, Anderson, Edwards, Taylor.

BOLTON (4-2-3-1): Lonergan; Baptiste, Knight, Mills, Ream; Spearing, Medo (Lee 80); Pratley (Eagles 59), M Davies, Danns (Trotter 73); Jutkiewicz.

Subs: Bogdan, White, Vela, Moritz.

Attendance: 15,429 (372 away)

Referee: Charles Breakspear

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