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The key takeaways from Wanderers' 2-0 defeat against Ipswich

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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Wanderers slipped to sixth in the League One table following a 2-0 defeat against an in-form Ipswich side.

George Hirst opened the scoring on the stroke of half time, beating James Trafford with a ruthless volley following a well-worked counter attack.

The Whites had a big chance to get back on level terms early in the second half after Conor Bradley was brought down in the box, but Dion Charles was denied by Christian Walton from the spot.

Cameron Burgess doubled the visitors’ lead 22 minutes from time with a clinical header from Leif Davis’ corner.

Missed chances

While Wanderers were below their best against the Tractor Boys, they certainly had chances to get something from the game.

Charles’ spot kick is an obvious talking point, with Walton making a smart stop low to his left to deny the Northern Ireland international a 19th goal of the campaign.

Conor Bradley also had some joy in the final third and was unlucky not to score after a mazy run during the first half, although the Liverpool loanee was perhaps in a better position to cross.

Meanwhile, Cameron Jerome thought he had pulled one back late on with a deft header but Walton was again equal to the danger.

Costly errors

The Whites will be disappointed with the goals they gave away against a side battling for an automatic promotion spot.

Hirst’s opener was a pinpoint finish, but it could have been avoided after Luke Mbete lost possession cheaply in the Ipswich half.

There will also be an element of frustration with the amount of space Burgess was given for the second goal before powering past the helpless Trafford.

Evatt’s men have one of the best defensive records in the division - having conceded just 30 league goals since the start of the campaign - but will be keen to eradicate those mistakes ahead of Friday’s trip to leaders Sheffield Wednesday.

Rivals dropping points

Several results went Wanderers’ way yesterday, with Wycombe, Portsmouth and Peterborough all losing.

Wycombe remain six points behind the Whites heading into the final stages of the campaign, albeit with a couple of games in hand.

Evatt has admitted his side are now unlikely to finish in the top two, but there is still plenty of work ahead to ensure they secure a play-off spot.

Bolton’s destiny is still in their own hands, and having points on the board could well pay off come the end of the season.

Nothing to lose

Wanderers will travel to Hillsborough as underdogs, but that mindset might just suit them to a tee.

Since Evatt took charge at the UniBol, the Whites have arguably been at their best when they have had a point to prove.

It will certainly not be easy, with Darren Moore’s side on a club-record unbeaten run as they aim to secure a return to the Championship.

But Bolton will be eager to put in a good performance against the Owls and build momentum ahead of next month’s Wembley final.

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