Bolton Wanderers 2-2 West Bromwich Albion

  • May 06, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's hopes of Premier League survival hang in the balance as they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with West Bromwich Albion.

Martin Petrov settled the early nerves at the Reebok Stadium by putting Wanderers ahead with a 24th minute penalty and Owen Coyle's side looked set for three points when Billy Jones put past his own goalkeeper with 18 minutes to go.

The Baggies fought back, though, and pulled one back three minutes later as Chris Brunt struck past Adam Bogdan from just inside the box.

That caused the tension that had surrounded the fixture prior to kick-off to return and as Bolton were pushed deeper back, James Morrison equalised in stoppage time to earn Roy Hodgson's side a deserved point.

With destiny out of their own hands, Bolton knew that only a win would be good enough if they were to, realistically, end the day outside of the bottom three.

The hosts started the game on the front foot and Chris Eagles had an early sight of goal, shooting into Ben Foster's side netting with little over two minutes on the clock.

West Brom were also in the game and they had their first sight of goal two minutes later as Marc-Antoine Fortune headed straight at Bogdan from close range.

David Ngog shot straight at Foster moments later, before Shane Long brought a good stop out of the Bolton goalkeeper in an entertaining start to the game.

Bolton should have taken the lead after 12 minutes as Petrov's cross from the left picked out Kevin Davies at the far post, but the Wanderers captain could only succeed in firing the ball high over the crossbar from six yards.

Gareth McAuley and Fortune both had efforts stopped by Bogdan, before Long turned away from David Wheater and saw a shot come back off the post with the Trotters 'keeper beaten.

Foster denied Ngog a goal after 21 minutes, but Wanderers were ahead two minutes later as Mark Davies tumbled under a challenge from Youssouf Mulumbu inside the box and Petrov slotted home the resulting penalty.

Following that goal, the game appeared to settle down, with neither side creating anything infront of goal until Keith Andrews brought a smart stop out of Bogdan with little over ten minutes of the half remaining.

Eagles came close to doubling the lead when he shot over the bar five minutes before the break, but Wanderers had to settle for one as they took their advantage into the interval.

Bolton were forced into a change at the break as Zat Knight came on in the place of Wheater, who had failed to recover from a knee injury he picked up in the latter stages of the first period.

The opening exchanges of the second half were a little stop start, with a succession of corners, free-kicks and throw-ins coming to nothing from both sides.

The first chance of the half arrived just before the hour as Brunt shot straight at Bogdan from the edge of the box, before Jonas Olsson headed at the Wanderers goalkeeper moments later.

Wanderers reacted well and Eagles came close to adding a second on the hour, while hesitation from Ngog prevented him from getting a shot on goal five minutes later.

Bogdan did well to deny Liam Ridgewell from an acute angle midway through the half, before Foster produced an outstanding save to deny Kevin Davies at the other end, as his header looked set for the bottom corner.

Foster's heroics were undone moments later, however, as confusion in the Albion backline resulted in Ridgewell hitting a Petrov cross straight at Jones, with the ball deflecting into the net and giving Wanderers a two goal cushion.

Looking comfortable in their lead, Bolton began to sit back and invite their visitors on. Wanderers were punished for their stance as the Baggies pulled one back with 15 minutes to go.

Long was given too much space inside the Trotters box and he squared the ball to Brunt, who fired the ball low and hard past Bogdan from just inside the area to make the score 2-1.

With 82 minutes on the clock, Lee Chung-Yong was brought on in the place of Petrov. It was the South Korea international's first appearance of the season after more than nine months out with a broken leg.

The change failed to have a positive impact on the hosts, as they continued to fall deeper into their own half.

Substitute Simon Cox shot straight at Bogdan with five minutes to go, but Hodgson's side were level in the final minute of normal time as Cox smashed the ball across the face of the Bolton box and Morrison was there to slam the ball into the roof of the net.

Mark Davies went down inside the box in the second of five added minutes, but referee Kevin Friend was not interested in the protests, as Wanderers failed to find a way through the Albion defence and having to settle for a draw.

The solitary point means Bolton stay in 18th place in the Premier League, two points behind Wigan Athletic and, more importantly, Queens Park Rangers, who beat Stoke City at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Rangers travel to the champions elect, Manchester City, next weekend knowing a point will keep them up, while Wanderers need to secure all three points at Stoke to have any chance of survival on the final day.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Boyata, Wheater (Knight 46), Ream, Ricketts, Eagles, Reo-Coker, M Davies, Petrov (Chung-Yong 81), K Davies, Ngog (Klasnic 68)
Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Alonso, Miyaichi, Vela
Booked: Boyata
Goals: Petrov 24(pen), Jones 72(og)

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Brunt, Mulumbu (Scharner 78), Andrews (Morrison 74), Dorrans (Cox 81), Fortune, Long
Subs Not Used: Fulop, Allan, Shorey, Dawson
Booked: Jones, Long, Andrews, Brunt
Goals: Brunt 75, Morrison 90

Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 25,662

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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