Bolton striker Gary Madine

Billy Sharp dig comes back to bite Bolton striker Gary Madine

Written February 26, 2017

BOLTON’s Gary Madine was left with egg on his face after Wanderers lost 2-0 away to League One leaders Sheffield United yesterday.

Last Sunday a video was posted on Twitter (which you can see below) of the former Sheff Wednesday striker, who’d clearly had a few, being collared by a Wednesday fan on a night out. Who knows when the clip was taken but when asked about Blades striker Billy Sharp, Madine called him a “fat little pig”.

Madine travelled to Bramall Lane and you got the feeling that clip would come back to haunt him when he  was left out of the starting line-up, with Conor Wilkinson handed his first Wanderers start of the season. Boss Phil Parkinson later explained that Madine, who has scored 8 goals this season, was ill.

And given Madine used to play for their derby rivals, you can imagine the United fans’ delight when Mark Beevers failed to cut out John Fleck’s pass and Sharp fired an early opener in off the far post. The league’s top scorer then celebrated by patting his belly.

Former Blade Mark Howard then made a point-blank save from Sharp in the second half but David Wheather was adjudged to have brought down Samir Carruthers on 70 minutes and Sharp swept in the penalty for his 23rd of the season.

Parkinson said: “First half, we were right in the match, but it’s a mistake which has cost us and Billy Sharp does what he does – one chance, one goal. I felt that in the second half, the penalty changed the game and I think it’s safe to say that it wasn’t one. The referee has been conned. Without making excuses, our preparation has been undone and you need to come here all guns blazing and with your key players in the team.”

Bolton are now 3 points outside the top 2 and Fleetwood’s home win against Northampton nudged the Trotters down to 4th. But Wanderers now have back-to-back home games against mid-table sides – Bristol Rovers (Tuesday) and AFC Wimbledon (Saturday).

BURY were the only local winners in the EFL as the Shakers made it 10 points from 12 in League One – and two back-to-back wins under new manager Lee Clark.

The ex-Birmingham boss saw Andrew Tutte join James Vaughan and Danny Mayor on the sidelines but gave Paul Caddis his debut at Charlton after signing the former Blues defender as a free agent.

Charlton went close to opening the scoring before Jacob Mellis burst through the defence and had two goes at pulling the ball back for Ryan Lowe. But the midfielder made it third time lucky, and the veteran striker stabbed in from close range to claim his first goal since returning to the club.

Lee Novak sourned three chances to equalise while Greg Leigh and Mellis almost doubled Bury’s lead, before on-loan keeper Joe Murphy parried Tony Watt’s late strike to secure his 3rd clean sheet in 4 games since coming into the side.

That sent the Shakers above OLDHAM into 19th, putting 3 points between themselves and the bottom 4. Latics are 2 points above it after a dramatic end to their 0-0 draw at home to Millwall.

Connor Ripley has become a fans’ favourite since arriving on loan from Middlesbrough last summer and the 24-year-old further endeared himself to the Latics faithful as he remarkably saved two late penalties.

Millwall went closest before their former winger Chris Taylor tripped Lee Gregory in the 90th minute but Ripley saved Gregory’s tame spot-kick. Sub Michael Ngoo then handled Shane Ferguson’s free-kick in the 5th minute of stoppage time and again Ripley denied Gregory to make it 4 unbeaten – Oldham’s best league run all season. Latics now host Northampton on Tuesday while Bury welcome rock-bottom Coventry.

ROCHDALE finished with 9 men as they lost 3-1 away to Peterborough, who also had a man sent off.

Jack Baldwin and Tom Nichols put the Posh 2-0 up on 38 minutes before Joe Thompson pulled one straight back from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s through-ball, but Dale defender Joe Rafferty was sent off in first-half stoppage time after a 2nd yellow. Donal McDermott was then shown a straight red for a late lunge on 52 minutes before Baldwin was shown a 2nd yellow with 10 minutes left.

But Paul Taylor sealed victory on 84 minutes to send Posh above Dale into 8th. Keith Hill’s men are now 10th, 5 points off the play-off places and are 8 without a win as they prepare to host 4th-bottom Port Vale on Tuesday.

WIGAN remain two points from safety in the Championship. 3rd-bottom Latics drew 0-0 at home to Nottingham Forest and, thankfully, title-chasing Newcastle came from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw and deny 4th-bottom Bristol City a shock win.