Aston Villa 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • September 18, 2010 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton bounced back from defeat at Arsenal last weekend by earning a point in a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

Ashley Young gave the hosts an early lead at Villa Park after guiding a superb free-kick beyond Adam Bogdan, before Kevin Davies equalised ten minutes before the break.

Lee Chung-Yong and Johan Elmander both had penalty appeals turned down for Wanderers, who fluffed a number of chances to win the game in the latter stages as the match ended all square.

Wanderers started well and almost took the lead inside four minutes as Kevin Davies turned away from James Collins before curling an effort marginally wide of Brad Freidel's left hand post.

That sparked Villa into action and they came close to breaking the deadlock themselves just a couple of minutes later when young Marc Albrighton shot across the face of Bogdan's goal.

With 13 minutes gone though, Villa took the lead in style. After being brought to the ground by Fabrice Muamba, Ashley Young picked himself up and curled a 30-yard free-kick beyond the reach of Bogdan and into the bottom corner.

From that point on, it looked as though Bolton could be in for a long afternoon. Five minutes after the goal, Zat Knight was cautioned for a foul on the Villa goalscorer and then Andy O'Brien, deputising for the suspended Gary Cahill, was forced off the field with a hamstring injury, with Sam Ricketts left to take his place.

Moments after the change, Martin Petrov hit a volley over the Villa crossbar, before Wanderers saw a penalty appeal turned down as Lee Chung-Yong went to ground under a challenge from Stephen Warnock.

The Wanderers captain was then denied a certain goal when his volley was blocked by Luke Young, but he wasn't to be denied when his next opportunity arrived as the visitors deservedly pulled level.

After Stuart Holden's cross was overhit, Petrov sent the ball back into the box and there was Davies to turn and put the ball into the roof of Freidel's net.

Just two minutes later, Bolton hit Villa on the counter attack. Receiving the ball ten yards inside his own half, Johan Elmander ran the full length of the pitch before being upended by Richard Dunne inside the box, but yet again the referee waived away the protests and play continued.

As they did with the previous appeal, Wanderers continued to press and were inches away from taking the lead before the break as Holden's shot from 25-yards flew inches wide of the target as the sides went in all square.

Ireland came close to restoring Villa's lead six minutes after the restart. Showing a turn of pace to get away from Knight, the former Manchester City midfielder curled an effort goalwards, but it was seen wide by Bogdan.

Stewart Downing was next to try his luck but once again Bogdan was in the way to block the shot, this time with his legs after the ball came through a crowd of players.

Bolton came to life after the hour mark and should have taken the lead when Petrov volleyed goalwards on 63 minutes, but Freidel threw himself to his right and palmed the ball behind for a corner.

With 70 minutes gone, Holden had a great chance to put Owen Coyle's side ahead but after opting to shoot with his weaker right foot, the ball was blocked by Freidel as Villa just about managed to hold on.

Downing had a half chance at the other end a couple of minutes later, chesting down the ball on the edge of the area before volleying into the stands.

Petrov, still looking for his first goal in Bolton colours, came close again moments later, only to find Luke Young in the way with yet another superb block to keep the hosts on level terms.

Villa countered and won a corner, from which they almost took the lead. Ashley Young curled the ball in at the near post and Bogdan hurled himself across his line to make sure the ball stayed out.

Matt Taylor came on for Petrov in the final six minutes and almost instantly scored with his first touch. After Carlos Cuellar was penalised for a push on Kevin Davies, Taylor struck the resulting free-kick over the wall only to see Freidel desperately push the ball away.

Then, just a minute later, Chung-Yong cut in from the left and teed up Elmander, but the in-form striker shot straight at the Villa goalkeeper as the game faded out in it's closing stages, resulting in a point for each side.

Bolton return to action on Tuesday night when they face Burnley in the Carling Cup. The match will see Wanderers boss Coyle return to his former club for the first time since swapping Turf Moor for the Reebok Stadium at the start of the year.

Aston Villa: Freidel, L Young, Collins, Dunne (Cuellar 46), Warnock, Petrov, Albrighton, Ireland (Carew 72), Downing, A Young, Agbonlahor
Subs Not Used: Guzan, Heskey, Reo-Coker, Clark, Bannan
Booked: Warnock
Goals: A Young 13

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Steinsson, Knight, A O'Brien (Ricketts 18), Robinson, Petrov (Taylor 84), Muamba (M Davies 69), Holden, Chung-Yong, K Davies, Elmander
Subs Not Used: Lainton, Klasnic, Moreno, Blake
Booked: Knight, K Davies
Goals: K Davies 35

Attendance: 34,655
Referee: Mike Dean

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Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Exeter City 2 1
20 Tranmere Rovers 2 1
21 Bolton Wanderers 2 0
22 Oldham Athletic 2 0
23 Grimsby Town 2 0
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