Melbourne City FC defeated a Bolton Wanderers XI side 5-1 on Wednesday evening.
Melbourne City FC accounted for a select Bolton Wanderers XI side 5-1 with an impressive display of attacking, possession-based football at County Ground, Leyland, on Wednesday evening.
While Bolton did not field a full-strength side - Liam Trotter was one of the few regulars - Melbourne City FC were clinical going forward, patient in the build-up, enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and dispatched Bolton in the Club’s final match of its UK tour.
Heading into the match with two draws against opponents from the Greater Manchester region (Bury 2-2 and Oldham Athletic 1-1) John van’t Schip’s side enjoyed a win to conclude the Club's tour, with players set to depart from Manchester on Thursday morning.
Despite going down to an early goal, Melbourne reacted well, with Patrick Kisnorbo equalising from a set-piece, before David Williams and Aaron Mooy gave the team a two-goal cushion at the break.
Second-half substitute James Brown added a fourth, before Mate Dugandzic rounded out the score in the second period.
Damien Duff started against Bolton and was immense down the right-hand side, linking with Jason Hoffman and Massimo Murdocca well, and was the catalyst for numerous forward forays.
But it wasn’t initially plain-sailing for the Hyundai A-League side – with van’t Schip’s side conceding a clumsy goal in the first five minutes, following a miss-timed back-pass to Tando Velaphi.
Bolton's Conor Wilkinson chased down the loose ball and while Velaphi beat Wilkinson to the ball, his clearance ricocheted off the Bolton man into the net.
After sustained pressure, Melbourne responded through Kisnorbo, who smashed a powerful volley home, direct from Mooy’s corner in the 20th minute, past Bolton ‘keeper Ross Fitzsimons.
Williams finished a neat move seven minutes later to give Melbourne City the lead for the first time in the match – and the chances continued to flow as Melbourne looked to add more to its tally.
A slick interchange between Nick Kalmar and Murdocca nearly produced a third on the half-hour mark, but Dugandzic, who received a loose ball on the edge of the area, poked a half-volley wide of the target.
During one of Melbourne’s most impressive periods, Duff, Murdocca, Williams and Hoffman – the later who overlapped and combined with Duff like the two had previously played a season together – and Dugandzic again shot wide as Duff sliced open Bolton’s back four.
It was Duff’s superb turn, run and cross to Mooy at the back post in the 35th minute which was one of the highlights of the first half, with Mooy’s cool head, clever first touch and then clinical low finish which gave Melbourne City a 3-1 lead.
While both teams rung the changes at the break, Melbourne City continued to enjoy periods of possession and strengthened at the back.
James Brown was introduced at the break for Duff, who completed an impressive first half, but Brown stood up to the task vacated by his counter-part on the right wing.
Brown netted the fourth – latching onto a well-executed aerial through-ball from Mooy which forced the Bolton keeper to commit, but Brown beat him to it and slotted home.
Substitutions continued to flow and so did chances for Melbourne City, with Williams pick-pocketing his opponent on the right, before crossing to Dugandzic, who buried the chance from close-range for the fifth in the 73rd minute.
Wednesday 23 July 2014
Bolton Wanderers XI 1 (Conor Wilkinson 5')
Melbourne City FC 5 (Kisnorbo 20', Williams 27', Mooy 35', Brown 63', Dugandzic 73'))
County Ground, Leyland