Sunderland 2-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 28, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's fight for Premier League survival continues as they held Sunderland to a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light.

Kevin Davies put Wanderers ahead after 26 minutes, but the lead lasted just ten minutes as Nicklas Bendtner equalised before the break.

A stunning free-kick from James McClean gave Martin O'Neill's side the lead ten minutes after the break, but the Trotters left Wearside with well earned point as Davies headed home at the far post with 20 minutes to go.

Wanderers raced out of the blocks and piled the pressure on their hosts in the early stages, with Chris Eagles, David Ngog and Nigel Reo-Coker all having shots on goal inside the opening 10 minutes.

First, Eagles saw a wicked free-kick fly narrowly past Craig Gordon's far post, before Ngog had a header blocked at point blank range by Matt Kilgallon.

Reo-Coker was next to try his luck, sending an unstoppable shot inches wide of goal after embarking on a powerful surging run.

Bolton maintained their pressure and after Mark Davies had shot straight at Gordon from the edge of the box, Martin Petrov saw a goalbound strike blocked by a couple of Sunderland defenders as they managed to hold on to their clean sheet.

Wanderers had the ball in the net on 14 minutes as Mark Davies pulled the ball back for Ngog to tap home, only for the referee's assistant to rule the goal out for offside. Davies was the man flagged as offside, with television replays showing the decision to be incorrect.

Ngog headed over from a Petrov cross on 25 minutes, but Bolton were ahead a minute later as the Bulgaria international sent a superb cross to the far post, where Kevin Davies was waiting to volley the ball past Gordon to give the visitors a deserved lead.

With little over half an hour on the clock, Sunderland came close to an equaliser as John O'Shea glanced a McClean free-kick inches wide of Adam Bogdan's far post.

Then, with nine minutes left before the break, the hosts were level. After David Wheater had lost possession, Jack Colback slid the ball through to Bendtner, who made no mistake in slotting the ball beyond Bogdan and into the bottom corner.

The momentum was now on Sunderland's side and Bolton were thankful to Bogdan, who denied O'Shea moments later from close range.

In the final minute of the first half, Petrov's cross from the left flank picked out Ngog. The French forward volleyed the ball into the ground and saw it tipped onto the crossbar by Gordon.

Wanderers were first to take aim at the opposition in goal after the break, with a swerving strike from Eagles almost finding it's way past a surprised Gordon, who did well to keep hold of the ball.

Despite having the majority of the chances, Bolton found themselves behind on 55 minutes as McClean curled a free-kick beyond Bogdan from 25 yards.

After Kevin Davies had fouled Stephane Sessegnon just outside the box, McClean stepped up to hit the ball over the wall and down into the net, despite the best attempts of Bogdan, who got a hand to the strike.

After spending most of the game on the front foot, Owen Coyle's side were now in desperate search of an equaliser. They should have levelled when Wheater headed over from a Petrov corner, before almost finding themselves two down as Fraizer Campbell curled wide from the edge of the box.

Bolton's equaliser did arrive, however, with 20 minutes left to play. Sam Ricketts made room on the left and produced a fantastic cross to the far post, where Kevin Davies rose highest to nod past a stranded Gordon in front of the travelling Wanderers supporters.

Coyle's side were now going in search of the winning goal and some last ditch defending from the hosts prevented substitute Ryo Miyaichi a clear run on goal.

After coming on to replace Ngog, Ivan Klasnic came within a whisker of giving Wanderers a late winner when he shot narrowly wide of Gordon's right hand post and the Croatia international was denied late on as his close range turn and shot was blocked by Gordon, with the game ending all square.

The point moves Bolton level on points with Queens Park Rangers, but they remain in 18th position due to their inferior goal difference.

QPR travel to Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, while Wanderers return to action on Wednesday night when they host Tottenham Hotspur at the Reebok Stadium.

Sunderland: Gordon, O'Shea, Turner, Kilgallon (Bridge 82), Bardsley, Campbell (Elmohamady 72), Cattermole, Colback, McClean, Bendtner, Sessegnon
Subs Not Used: Westwood, Vaughan, Dong-Won, Meyler, Kyrgiakos
Booked: Cattermole
Goals: Bendtner 36, McClean 55

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Boyata, Ream, Wheater, Ricketts, Reo-Coker (Vela 78), M Davies, Petrov, Eagles (Miyaichi 64), Ngog (Klasnic 64), K Davies
Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Alonso, Knight, Sordell
Goals: K Davies 26,70

Referee: Lee Probert
Attendance: 40,768

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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