Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Yeovil Town

  • September 28, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Alex Baptiste scored a controversial stoppage time equaliser, as Bolton moved off the bottom of the Championship table with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Yeovil Town.

Baptiste bundled the ball home in the second minute of stoppage time, after Matt Mills' header had come back off the crossbar. However, in the build-up to the goal, Liam Feeney's cross appeared to have gone out of play before being hooked back across the six-yard box by Zat Knight.

The goal was allowed to stand though as Wanderers' blushes were spared somewhat, after Edward Upson's 79th minute strike somehow found a way through the legs of an embarrassed Adam Bogdan.

Knight almost clinched an unlikely stoppage time winner for Dougie Freedman's under fire team, but he headed straight at Yeovil goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey with the final action of the match.

Wanderers began the game with two changes to the side that were beaten 3-1 at Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, as Medo Kamara and Robert Hall took the places of David Wheater and Darren Pratley - the latter of which was named on the bench. Recent loan signings Feeney and Neil Danns were named as substitutes, although Kevin McNaughton missed out as the club wait for international clearance on his move from Cardiff City.

The game started on a quiet note, with the first chance falling the way of the hosts on six minutes. Chris Eagles raced deep into opposition territory before laying the ball off to Hall, who tricked his way beyond the full-back before smashing his shot across the face of goal.

Eagles had the ball in the net shortly afterwards, but the goal was ruled out due to an offside flag against the former Manchester United and Burnley midfielder.

Wanderers maintained their early pressure and came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock on the quarter-hour, as Medo's 25 yard strike beat Wayne Hennessey in the Yeovil goal. However, the Sierra Leone international's shot came back off the post and trickled into the safety of Hennessey's gloves.

Yeovil's first chance arrived moments later, as a poor clearance from Marc Tierney fell kindly for Paddy Madden. He failed to make the desired connection with his volley, though, and the ball sailed harmlessly out of play.

At the midway stage of the half, Hall raced down the right-flank and cut the ball back to David Ngog. The Frenchman took one touch and took aim at goal, but his shot was well charged down by the committed Shane Duffy.

Gary Johnson's side were relying on counter-attacks to find a way through their hosts and they came close on the half-hour, as Joe Ralls' volley from distance narrowly missed the target.

The visitors then spurned an opportunity to take a lead just four minutes before the break. A neat counter-attack from Andy Williams ended with him laying the ball off to Madden. The Republic of Ireland international took his shot first time, but Bogdan was in the way with a fine save down low to his right.

Lee Chung-Yong wasted a chance to send Wanderers in ahead at the break, as his stoppage time shot was straight at Hennessey, with the two sides going in goalless at the interval.

Bolton started the second half much the same way as they did the first, pushing forward for the opening goal but failing to find it. Ngog and Eagles both shot wide inside the opening five minutes after the restart, while Joel Grant brought a superb save out of Bogdan at the other end just moments later.

Freedman responded by making a double substitution, as Feeney and Jermaine Beckford took the places of Ngog and Chung-Yong. For a while it looked as though Jay Spearing would also leave the game, but he returned to the field after taking five minutes to have a bandage applied to a nasty head wound.

Wanderers' decision to wait for Spearing to return proved to be a fortunte one just after the hour, as Tierney came out of a 50/50 challenge with Duffy with what appeared to be a nasty leg injury. The full-back had to be replaced by Knight, when the departure of Spearing could have seen them play the final half-hour with ten men.

Beckford's introduction almost paid off with an instant reward. Medo sliced open the Town defence with a superbly weighted through ball. Beckford latched on to his pass and found himself one-on-one with Hennessey, who made a good save down to his right to deny the Wanderers forward.

Yeovil then came close to taking the lead, with 20 minutes to go, as Madden outpaced Knight and beat Bogdan to the ball. Madden managed to loop the ball over the head of the Bolton goalkeeper, but the ball landed behind the goal in front of the 448 travelling supporters.

If he disappointed by missing a one-on-one earlier in the game, Beckford almost made up for that miss soon after. Eagles capitalised on a poor clearance and found the former Leeds United forward on the right-hand edge of the box. Beckford opted to take the opportunity first time, but his curling strike flew inches wide of the far post.

Mills was fortunate not to put the ball into his own net moments later, but Bolton did hand Yeovil an opening goal with just over 10 minutes remaining. Poor defending from Wanderers allowed Upson time and space on the edge of the box. Despite that, his strike was tame and looked certain to be a routine stop for Bogdan. However, the Hungary international seemingly took his eye off the ball for a split second and allowed it to trickle through his grasp, through his legs, and into the back of the net in comical fashion.

In an attempt to claw a way back into the game, Freedman responded by moving Knight into an attacking position in hope of playing with a more direct approach. Bolton pressed hard and came agonisingly close to levelling with three minutes left, as Medo's flick header clipped the outside of the post.

Then, in the second of four added minutes, Wanderers equalised in controversial circumstances. Feeney's cross from the right appeared to have gone out of play. But Knight reacted quickly to flick the ball back across the six-yard box, where Mills saw a header come back off the bar, before Baptiste bundled it into the roof of the net.

Fortunate to be on level terms, Bolton almost won it with the last kick of the game but Knight's powerful downward header was straight at Hennessey and the game ended all square.

The result sees Yeovil move out of the Championship's bottom three, while the Trotters leapfrog Barnsley as they move off the foot of the table. Wanderers return to action on Tuesday night, when they face Paul Ince's Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Baptiste, Mills, Ream, Tierney (Knight 64), Kamara, Spearing, Eagles, Hall, Chung-Yong (Feeney 54), Ngog (Beckford 54)
Subs Not Used: Danns, Pratley, Lonergan, Odelusi
Booked: Kamara
Goals: Baptiste 90+2

Yeovil Town: Hennessey, Ayling, Seaborne, Duffy, Davis, Grant (Dawson 88), Edwards, Upson, Ralls, Madden, Williams
Subs Not Used: McAllister, Hayter, Foley, Ngoo, Hoskins, Dunn
Booked: Seaborne, Ayling
Goals: Upson 79

Referee: Tony Harrington
Attendance: 14,716

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Pos Team Pld Pts
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20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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