Cardiff City 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 27, 2013 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/9a1ce

The race for the Championship play-offs will go down to the final day of the season after Bolton drew 1-1 at Cardiff City.

Wanderers took the lead against the run of play at the Cardiff City Stadium, when Chris Eagles slotted home a Sam Ricketts cross with 18 minutes played.

Adam Bogdan kept the visitors in front with a series of fine saves but he was beaten midway through the second half as Craig Noone's 35-yard free-kick beat the Trotters goalkeeper at his near post, after Lee Chung-Yong had fouled the Bluebirds substitute.

Both sides had chances to win the game in the latter stages but neither could convert and the game ended all square, meaning Bolton remain sixth in the Championship - ahead of Nottingham Forest on goal difference.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made one change to the side that beat Middlesbrough last weekend, with Josh Vela taking the place of Craig Davies. The visitors began in a 4-5-1 formation, with Marvin Sordell acting as the lone forward.

Having won the Championship title with a draw at Burnley last weekend, the Cardiff players were given a guard of honour as they made their way onto the pitch as a mark of respect and tradition by the travelling Wanderers players.

Bolton have earned a reputation for being quick starters in recent weeks but the boot was on the other foot on this occasion, with the hosts coming desperately close to breaking the deadlock inside the opening 60 seconds.

Jordan Mutch had found space just inside the penalty area and looked certain to score, only to be denied by a stunning low save from Adam Bogdan.

The Trotters struggled to get into their stride inside the opening 10 minutes and when they did enjoy a spell of possession, they lacked the attacking intent to seriously threaten the hosts.

Zat Knight was shown a yellow card for a lunge on Kim Bo-Kyung with 12 minutes gone. The South Korea international picked himself up and directed the resulting free-kick on target, but Bogdan did well to get down and make the save.

Bo-Kyung came even closer two minutes later, with a section of the home support thinking the ball had gone in the goal. With Lee Chung-Yong keeping him occupied, the Cardiff player's cross deflected off his international colleague and went into the side-netting.

Then, against the run of play, Wanderers silenced the stadium by taking the lead. After a neat interchange of passes between Eagles and Sam Ricketts, the latter played a low ball into the Cardiff box for Eagles to fire past David Marshall with a powerful first time strike.

Going behind seemed to knock the stuffing out of the hosts and there was nothing in terms of goalmouth action until the half hour, when Bolton should have doubled their advantage.

A superb run from Eagles resulted in him cutting the ball back into the box. A dummy from Sordell took two Bluebirds defenders out of the game and allowed the ball to run through to Darren Pratley, who shot at the feet of Marshall.

With seven minutes of the half remaining, Craig Bellamy surged down the Cardiff right. After working his way past Marcos Alonso, the Wales international dinked the ball on to the top of the crossbar before seeing it settle on the roof of the net as the visitors took their lead into the break.

There were no changes to either side at the interval and it took until the hour for the first chance of the second half to arrive. Craig Conway's cross-cum-shot flashed across the face of the Bolton box and struck Craig Dawson. The home fans appealed for handball against the Wanderers defender, but referee Michael Naylor ordered play to continue.

That would prove to be Conway's final act, as he was replaced by Noone just moments later. Noone's introduction put a spring in the step of Cardiff and he had in immediate impact on the game, with his dangerous cross forcing Knight into a panicked clearance.

Both sides made changes just after the hour, with Craig Davies coming on for Sordell and Cardiff bringing on Tommy Smith in the place of Mutch.

Like Noone before him, Smith also made an instant impact. After finding space inside the Wanderers box, the ball fell kindly to the Cardiff forward and he looked destined to score. The substitute directed his shot on target, only to be denied by a world class stop from a sprawling Bogdan.

Bogdan's heroics counted for nothing, however, as the hosts equalised just over 60 seconds later. Chung-Yong was penalised for a foul on Noone 35 yards from goal. The Cardiff midfielder picked himself up to take the free-kick and fired the ball past Bogdan to lift the roof off the stadium.

Refusing to be downbeat by that setback, Bolton went forward in search of a winning goal. Dawson has made a name for himself by scoring headed goals during his time at the club and he came ever so close to nodding an Eagles free-kick into the net, but he failed to make the contact that was required.

With the game in the final five minutes, Wanderers could and arguably should have scored a late winner. A short back-pass from Ben Turner almost put Pratley clean through on goal. Marshall raced out of his box to clear the danger, whilst taking a knock in the process.

From the resulting throw-in, the ball fell kindly to Davies. The former Barnsley forward did well to turn and connect with a half-volley, which flashed agonisingly wide of Marshall's post.

Three minutes of stoppage time passed by without incident, as Bolton secured a point on their travels against a side who lifted the Championship trophy after the game.

The result means Bolton stay 6th in the Championship, with just one game left to play. They sit one point behind fifth-placed Crystal Palace but, more importantly, goal difference is all that separates themselves and Nottingham Forest - who are just outside the play-off places.

Wanderers finish the season at home to Blackpool next weekend while Forest play host to Leicester City, who are the only other side in contention for a play-off place.

Cardiff City: Marshall, McNaughton (Nugent 83), Taylor, Connolly, Turner, Conway (Noone 59), Bo-Kyung, Gunnarsson, Mutch (Smith 63), Bellamy, Gestede
Subs Not Used: Lewis, Whittingham, Velikonja, Mason
Goals: Noone 68

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Ricketts, Dawson, Knight, Alonso, Kamara, Vela (Holden 90), Pratley, Eagles, Chung-Yong, Sordell (C Davies 64)
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Ream, Hall, Wheater, Eaves
Booked: Knight, Ricketts, Alonso
Goals: Eagles 18

Referee: Michael Naylor
Attendance: 26,418

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Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Reading 46 47
21 Millwall 46 44
22 Rotherham United 46 40
23 Bolton Wanderers 46 32
24 Ipswich Town 46 31
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Poll

Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
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5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone