Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Nottingham Forest

  • January 11, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's unbeaten start to 2014 was extended to three games, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Nottingham Forest at the Reebok Stadium.

Jamie Paterson netted a hat-trick in Forest's 5-0 victory over West Ham United last weekend and he put the visitors in front two minutes after the break, finishing off a fine counter attacking move.

Wanderers upped their game in the final half-hour and got the equaliser their play deserved 15 minutes from time, as Matt Mills rose highest to head an Andre Moritz free-kick into the top corner of Karl Darlow's net.

Forest hit the post in the latter stages, but both sides were made to settle for a point on a cold January afternoon in the North West.

Bolton boss Dougie Freedman made three changes to the side that beat Blackpool last time out, Moritz, Medo Kamara and Chris Eagles all dropped to the bench. Taking their places in the Wanderers midfield were the returning Neil Danns, Mark Davies and Lee Chung-Yong.

Both sides began the game brightly, with Andy Reid shooting wide for the visitors before Davies brought a smart save out of Darlow, who just about did enough to prevent Danns from firing home the rebound.

Andy Lonergan did well to deny Greg Halford with 10 minutes gone, while Jay Spearing hit a free-kick straight at the goalkeeper at the other end just moments later.

Forest looked set to take the lead in the 13th minute, but Lonergan clawed away Jamaal Lascelles goalbound header from six yards. Lascelles appealed that the ball had crossed the line, but referee Michael Naylor ordered play to continue.

Djamel Abdoun fizzed a shot just past the post, four minutes later, before David Ngog spurned Bolton's best chance of the game by shooting straight at Darlow at the midway point of the half.

With the half-hour approaching, Davies and Chung-Yong looked to get on the end of a Jermaine Beckford pass, with the latter eventually taking a shot that found the side netting.

In creating that opportunity, Beckford went down with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. His afternoon was over at that stage, with Moritz coming on to replace him.

That change meant a slight change in formation for the hosts, but it didn't stop their attacking intent as Ngog saw a deflected shot land on the roof of the net shortly afterwards.

Alex Baptiste shot wide from 25 yards as the half entered the final 10 minutes, before stoppage time attempts from Chung-Yong and Ngog both failed to find a way past Darlow.

Forest made one change at the start of the second half, with Simon Cox taking the place of Abdoun. Wanderers started the half with the same team that ended the first period.

Having been on the field for little over 60 seconds, Cox was soon involved in the thick of the action by playing a through ball that saw Paterson lift the ball over an oncoming Lonergan to put the visitors in front.

The game then went through a stop-start 10 minutes, with injuries and fouls meaning the ball was in play for a very short period of time. Moritz was the first to receive treatment after landing awkwardly on his knee, before Jack Hobbs had to be replaced after taking a knock of his own.

Moments before that chance, Forest should have doubled their lead but Lascelles somehow put his effort wide of the target after being found unmarked inside the box.

Tim Ream dragged a shot wide of goal on the hour, before Ngog entered the referee's notebook for attempting to put the ball in the net with his hand.

The game was threatening to boil over in the final quarter, with heavy challenges in effect from both sides and Forest guilty of excessive time wasting. Moments after Ngog had been denied by Darlow, Bolton pulled level with 16 minutes to go.

A number of inswinging set-pieces were easily claimed by the Forest goalkeeper, so a different approach was made. This time, Moritz hit an outswinging free-kick into the box and Mills rose highest to nod the ball across the face of goal and into the far corner of Darlow's net to bring the scores level.

Wanderers pushed forward for a winning goal in the final 10 minutes, with Ream, Moritz and Danns all taking shots at goal but with no success.

Forest struck a post as the board went up for six minutes of stoppage time, while Darlow did well to deny Mills a second and surely match-winning goal.

Paterson looked set to seal an unlikely late victory for Forest in the final minute of added time, but Lonergan threw himself across his line to deny him and ensure both sides took a point away from the game.

The draw sees Bolton remain 18th in the Championship, with their next league action being away at Reading next Saturday. They return to the Reebok on January 25, when Cardiff City are the visitors in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Baptiste, Mills, Knight, Ream, Danns, Spearing, M Davies, Chung-Yong, Ngog, Beckford (Moritz 30)
Subs Not Used: Eagles, Pratley, White, Bolger, Lee-Barrett, Kamara
Booked: Mills, Ngog
Goals: Mills 75

Nottingham Forest: Darlow, Jara (Henderson 77), Lascelles, Hobbs (Collins 59), Harding, Moussi, Reid, Paterson, Lansbury, Abdoun (Cox 46), Halford
Subs Not Used: Mackie, Vaughan, Derbyshire, de Vries
Booked: Lansbury, Halford, Reid, Henderson
Goals: Paterson 47

Referee: Michael Naylor
Attendance: 17,046

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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