Bolton 3 Rotherham United 2: Millers’ turn to be on wrong end of late drama

Rotherham United's Anthony Wordsworth celebrates scoring against Bolton.Rotherham United's Anthony Wordsworth celebrates scoring against Bolton.
Rotherham United's Anthony Wordsworth celebrates scoring against Bolton.
Joe Mason left his mark on Rotherham’s defence with a second-half hat-trick to give under-fire manager Dougie Freedman a first Championship victory of the campaign.

The on-loan Cardiff marksman completed his treble with an 84th-minute winner to secure a 3-2 triumph after super-sub Jordan Bowery threatened to become United’s late saviour for a second time in four days.

Mason’s hat-trick was a first by a Wanderers player since German Fredi Bobic in April 2002. More importantly it has earned Freedman welcome respite after his team’s dismal start.

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Mason’s second 10 minutes from time appeared to wrap up Bolton’s first league win since April 12 only for Bowery, a 77th-minute replacement, to level at 2-2.

But two minutes later Mason struck once more to finally settle the contest as Alex Revell’s stoppage-time goal was disallowed for offside.

The frantic finale was not in keeping with much of what had gone before. Mason had a goal-bound shot blocked by Joe Skarz but generally there was a dearth of goalmouth action until Anthony Wordsworth curled in a superb left-footed free-kick from 20 yards after Matt Mills upended Luciano Becchio despite home protests of an Argentinian dive.

Mason and United States international Tim Ream had low drives saved by Adam Collin and Rotherham though could have sealed victory after 55 minutes as Paul Taylor smacked a shot against an upright. Four minutes later Mason drilled in a right-foot shot from the edge of the area for an unlikely equaliser – Bolton’s first goal in 285 minutes of Championship action.

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Mason put Bolton in front only for Bowery – Rotherham’s last-gasp hero at Bournemouth – to strike. However, Mason was not finished and could have ended the game with five as Wanderers held on despite frantic Rotherham pressure.

Bolton: Lonergan, Ream, Mills, Dervite, Moxey, Spearing, Pratley (Feeney 59), Danns (Lee 58), Mark Davies (Kamara 85), Mason, Craig Davies. Unused substitutes: Beckford, Garvan, Hughes, Fitzsimons.

Rotherham: Collin, Richardson, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz, Taylor (Bowery 78), Smallwood, Green, Wordsworth, Derbyshire (Clarke-Harris 67), Becchio (Revell 56). Unused substitutes: Loach, Broadfoot, Frecklington, Pringle.

Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire).