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Dion Charles double puts Bolton in box seat in play-off clash with Barnsley
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Dion Charles scored twice against Barnsley (Danny Lawson/PA)
Dion Charles scored twice against Barnsley (Danny Lawson/PA)

Dion Charles’ double ensured Bolton have the upper hand in their Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final against Barnsley after they triumphed 3-1 at Oakwell.

Ian Evatt’s side were two goals up with 15 minutes left to play before Sam Cosgrove halved the deficit to keep Barnsley in it, but Randell Williams netted in stoppage time to restore Bolton’s two-goal lead.

The result gives the Trotters the advantage heading into Tuesday evening, after the Tykes got the better of them in last season’s play-offs at the same stage.

Barnsley are currently under the interim care of Martin Devaney after Neill Collins’ departure last week and are now without a win since Easter Monday.

The hosts troubled in the 13th minute when John McAtee crossed from the left to find Devante Cole. The ball was then slotted back to Adam Phillips who curled off target.

After an even opening to the affair, it was Wanderers who took the lead in the 23rd minute.

They attacked down the right through Paris Maghoma, who picked out Charles in the middle to fire home.

Maghoma very nearly made it two in the 29th minute. A misplaced pass from Mael de Gevigney allowed the 22-year-old to break into the box and strike, seeing his right-footed effort bend narrowly away from the top left corner.

Evatt’s side were awarded a penalty in the 52nd minute after Jordan Williams’ poor backwards header led to Liam Collins bringing down Josh Sheehan inside the box.

Charles stepped up and slotted into the bottom right with enough power to beat Collins who managed to get a hand to the ball.

Maghoma almost made it three in the 59th minute as he turned an effort goalwards form inside the box, but his shot was deflected behind.

Barnsley pulled one back against the run of play with 15 minutes to go. A long ball from Josh Earl found Conor Grant, who played to fellow substitute Cosgrove to smash beyond Nathan Baxter from inside the box.

Phillips thought he had headed Barnsley level with five minutes left, but Baxter somehow got down to turn it behind.

Kyle Dempsey could have put the game to bed in the third minute of stoppage time as he broke through the defence, but Collins rushed out to make an important save.

After withstanding spells of pressure from the hosts, Bolton restored their two-goal advantage in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Williams scored from the subsequent corner.


League OneBarnsleyBolton
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