Crawley Town 1-4 Bolton Wanderers: Bolton secure promotion with final day thrashing of Crawley
Photo by Steve Bardens / Getty Images

Bolton Wanderers secured their automatic promotion to League One with an emphatic win against Crawley Town on the final day of the season. 

A goal each from Antoni SarcevicOladapo AfolayanEoin Doyle and Lloyd Isgrove secured the three points for the Whites in what proved to be a clinical display. 

Mid-table Crawley were forced to play the majority of the game with just 10 men and could only offer any resistance against their high-flying opponents with a late consolation goal from Davide Rodari

Story of the match 

Bolton came into the game knowing that victory would be enough to confirm their automatic promotion regardless of the result involving their closest promotion challengers Morecambe, and they wasted little time in getting on the front foot, taking the lead after just nine minutes when Declan John produced a good ball to find captain Antoni Sarcevic in the box who smashed home from 10 yards. 

Oladapo Afolayan then doubled the lead for Ian Evatt's side not long after, when full-back Gethin Jones skilfully wriggled his way into the the penalty area before pulling the ball back to Afolayan who was left with a tap-in with 26 minutes gone. 

Things then got even worse for Crawley just minutes later when midfielder George Francomb was sent off after picking up a second yellow card for pulling back on the shirt of Afolayan.  

The Wanderers then came close to adding a third to the score-line before half time when a close range shot from Eoin Doyle was only denied by an good quick save by Reds 'keeper Glenn Morris after 35 minutes.

The Bolton attack did not let up after the break however, with Doyle this time finding the net just three minutes after the restart when he was played in by the impressive Sarcevic before coolly finishing past Morris into the bottom corner. 

Winger Lloyd Isgrove then capped off what proved to be a clinical performance from Bolton with a fourth goal in the 78th minute after he latched onto a loose pass round the back from the Crawley defence before hammering the ball in from close range.   

Town did manage to grab a late goal however, when substitute Davide Rodari scored his first goal for the club in the 89th minute with a good close range finish after being played in by Tyler Frost on the edge of the Bolton box. 

The result means Bolton confirm their promotion to League One, bouncing back up at the first time of asking after being relegated last year, with the Wanderers ending their season in third place. 

Crawley on the other hand, end their season in 12th place, capping off what has been a generally positive season for the Sussex team. 

Man of the match - Antoni Sarcevic

The 29-year-old ended what has been an impressive first season at Bolton with another stellar performance. 

His early goal set the tone for the rest of the match and helped lift the tension on what could have proved to have been a nervy afternoon for his side. 

Sarcevic was truly able to dominate the game from the middle of the pitch and will surely be invaluable for Bolton when they look to progress in League One next season.