Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Sunderland

  • January 05, 2013 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/d4f7d

A replay will decide who advances into the fourth round of the FA Cup, as Sunderland came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Bolton.

For the first time since they were relegated last May, Wanderers welcomed Premier League opposition to the Reebok Stadium and the game did not disappoint.

Dougie Freedman's side were handed the lead on 12 minutes, as Lee Chung-Yong capitalised on a stray pass from Carlos Cuellar to slot the ball past Simon Mignolet from the edge of the box.

Wanderers would take advantage of another mistake just after the break, as Adam Johnson needlessly conceded a corner. Sunderland would only manage to half-clear the resulting cross and Marvin Sordell nodded a Keith Andrews header in from close range.

From that point on, Sunderland took complete control of the game and pulled one back on the hour courtesy of Connor Wickham.

Andy Lonergan produced a number of stunning saves to deny Steven Fletcher an equaliser, but he was powerless to prevent Craig Gardner with 15 minutes to go - as he arrowed a thunderbolt into the top corner and earning the Black Cats a replay at the Stadium of Light.

Bolton made six changes to the side that lost at Leeds United on New Year's Day, with Andy Lonergan, Joe Riley, Sam Ricketts, Martin Petrov, David Ngog and Sordell all coming into the side, while there was a place on the bench for academy starlet Chris Lester. Keith Andrews was sporting the captain's armband.

The first chance of the game arrived with just three minutes on the clock, with Ngog heading narrowly wide of the target - although the assistant's flag had already been raised for offside against the former Liverpool forward.

Most of the opening stages of the game was being played in the midfield area and it looked like a mistake or a moment of magic would be either side's best chance of a goal, as proved to be the case.

Under pressure from two Bolton players, Cuellar played a sloppy pass across the face of his own penalty area. The ball fell straight at the feet of Chung-Yong, who calmly slotted the ball past Mignolet to open the scoring on 12 minutes.

Sunderland's first chance arrived with 20 minutes on the clock, but Lonergan was equal to a long-range strike from Gardner.

Lonergan was called upon once more just two minutes later. This time, he made a comfortable stop from a 25-yard David Vaughan shot.

The visitors almost got an unlikely equaliser on 27 minutes, as a mix-up involving Lonergan and Pratley resulted in the ball sailing inches over the top of the Bolton crossbar.

Martin O'Neill's side came close to levelling four minutes before the break, but Fletcher's header summed up a disappointing half for the visitors, as Bolton took their lead into the interval.

With both sides making a change in the first half, it was perhaps understandable that they came out unchanged for the second period.

Within four minutes of the restart, Wanderers were gifted a corner from which they doubled their advantage.

Sunderland failed to deal with the ball into their box, allowing Andrews to head the ball into the six-yard box for Sordell to nod home from close range.

Less than 60 seconds after conceding that goal, Sunderland broke straight up the other end of the field and would have pulled one back, but for the athleticism of Lonergan in the Wanderers goal.

An unmarked Fletcher looked certain to head home from six yards, but the former Leeds stopper flung himself at the Black Cats forward and made a world class stop.

Fletcher headed over the top soon after, before bringing another excellent save out of Lonergan from close range on the hour.

Lonergan's latest save would mean nothing, however, as Wickham fired home from the resulting corner to reduce the deficit - just moments after coming on as a substitute.

From that point on, the visitors would enjoy large spells of possession and continued to pepper the Bolton goal.

Midway through the half, Lonergan did well to push away a swerving free-kick from Sebastian Larsson, before Johnson struck the rebound well over the top.

With 20 minutes to go, Petrov embarked on a rare attack into Sunderland territory. The former Bulgaria international cut in from the right flank and curled a shot towards goal, only to see it fly just wide of Mignolet's right-hand post.

Fletcher was denied by yet another fine Lonergan save on 73 minutes, but the visitors got their deserved equaliser from the resulting corner.

Pratley managed to get his head to the cross, but Wanderers left Gardner unmarked on the edge of the box. The Aston Villa academy graduate took one touch to control the ball, before arrowing a stunning strike into the top corner of the goal located in front of the 5,000 travelling supporters.

Bolton struggled to cope with a succession of Sunderland corners in the final ten minutes, with Tyrone Mears in the right place at the right time on 86 minutes to clear the ball off the line.

Moments later, a deep cross from Jack Colback evaded everybody inside the Wanderers penalty area before curling inches wide of Lonergan's far post.

In stoppage time, one final Sunderland corner caused yet more havoc in the Bolton defence and Titus Bramble thought he had won the game, only to realise his close range shot had hit the side netting.

A superb FA Cup tie ended in a 2-2 draw, meaning the two sides will meet again to determine who will advance into the fourth round of the competition.

The replay will be held at the Stadium of Light on 15/16 January 2013. Details will be posted as soon as they have been confirmed.

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Riley (Mears 36), Knight, Ricketts, Alonso, Chung-Yong, Pratley, Andrews, Petrov, Ngog (Eagles 81), Sordell (K Davies 64)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Ream, Spearing, Lester
Booked: Pratley
Goals: Chung-Yong 12, Sordell 48

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Bramble, Cuellar (Wickham 57), Rose (Colback 20), Johnson, Larsson, Gardner, Vaughan, McClean, Fletcher
Subs Not Used: Westwood, Campbell, McFadden, Kilgallon
Goals: Wickham 60, Gardner 75

Referee: Michael Jones
Attendance: 12,204

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22 Tranmere Rovers 0 0
23 Wycombe Wanderers 0 0
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