Blake prompts the P word

Bolton Wanderers 4 Port Vale 2

Colin Todd refuses to use the P word, as he puts it, but promotion is coming into view at an accelerating rate. Bolton are now 16 points clear at the top of the First Division and with only seven matches to go are threatening to lap the back-markers.

This win, their 15th at home this season, was secured with two goals in the last nine minutes from Chris Fairclough and Nathan Blake after a pedestrian performance that threatened to have the manager using plenty of P words - poor and plodding come to mind - when Port Vale looked likely to take a point.

In this division Bolton, even at their most sloppy, are too strong for most of their rivals and, with Wolves and Sheffield United also losing last night, their advantage at the top stretched even further. The rest are playing for second place.

What the Premiership will make of their defence next season is another matter. There is a theory that Bolton's attack and midfield are good enough for the elite. The back four might not be - and this match did nothing to dispel it.

Jon McCarthy slipped through the home rearguard like a ghost for Ian Bogie's goal after two minutes and Wanderers' players were not conspicuous by their presence when Lee Mills flicked on a free-kick after 50 minutes for Stuart Talbot to get Vale's second.

In between Bolton had scored twice. After eight minutes John McGinlay found his route to the right wing blocked and turned inside to locate Per Frandsen charging through. The Dane's shot did not look particularly threatening but it squeezed in at the near post as Paul Musselwhite anticipated a shot to the opposite corner.

Then, after 37 minutes, Scott Sellars crossed to the far post where Blake and the visitors' Dean Glover combined to knock the ball in. The Bolton player claimed it, although the last touch seemed to belong to the Vale defender.

Talbot's equaliser gave Vale hope in their pursuit of a play-off place, which was confounded by a thumping header by Fairclough from Sellars' corner after 81 minutes. Blake, strolling round Musselwhite a minute later, added an embellishment Bolton did not really deserve.

Flattered was the word that seemed pertinent and, yes, Todd did use it.

Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2): Branagan; McAnespie, Fairclough, Taggart, Phillips; Johansen, Frandsen, Thompson, Sellars; McGinlay, Blake (Paatelainen, 86) Substitutes not used: Sheridan, Ward (gk).

Port Vale: Musselwhite; Hill, Aspin, Glover, Tankard; McCarthy, Porter (Naylor, 83), Bogie, Koordes (Corden, 83); Talbot, Mills. Substitute not used: Walker.

Referee: G Cain (Bootle).

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on