BOLTON WANDERERS 3, SOUTHEND UNITED 0
Bolton Wanderers’ great revival continues to gain momentum following a fifth straight victory in all competitions.
And a fourth success in Sky Bet League Two lifted Ian Evatt’s side to ninth place and only one point from the play-off places.
It is a sharp contrast to a tortuous start to the season in which Bolton won only one on their first 11 competitive games, eight of which were in the league.
Nathan Delfouneso gave Bolton the lead in first half stoppage time and Eoin Doyle sealed victory with two strikes in the second period.
Evatt described it as a “workmanlike” display.
“I am satisfied, not ecstatic. There are a lot of things to work on and improve,” he said.
Evatt added winning breeds confidence and helps with morale.
He said: “I have to manage expectations at this club.
“When we were losing, we went through pain and adversity.
“Winning runs are hard to come by and you have to fight for it to continue.”
Evatt praised 38-year-old goalkeeper Matt Gilks, the former Scotland international, who made key saves when the game was goalless.
He said: “Matt made great saves when called on and has been a huge part in the run.
“His communication, experience as well as being a leader on the pitch has helped us keep back to back clean sheets.”
Southend manager Mark Molesley, whose side is rooted to bottom spot with five points from 14 games.
He described his side as “architects of our own downfall”.
“We had good moments and didn’t make them count while Bolton had their chances and took them. We have to be ruthless,” said Molesley.
While Bolton dominated possession, Southend had three great chances to take the lead as Terrell Egbri and Brandon Goodship were both denied by Gilks’ heroics while Alan McCormack volleyed just wide.
Bolton took the lead in first half stoppage time when former Aston Villa striker Delfouneso was left unmarked to head home Alex Baptiste’s cross for his sixth goal of the season.
They doubled their advantage midway through the second period when Doyle, tripped by John White, picked himself up to smash home the spot.
And Doyle found the net again with nine minutes left when he slid in at the far post to convert Baptiste’s cross from inside the six-yard box