Reading 0-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 06, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton extended their unbeaten run to five games, as they banished memories of last season's humiliating defeat at Reading by claiming a goalless draw.

Prior to the game, all the talk was about Wanderers' 7-1 reversal at the Madejski Stadium in January. They were good value for a point on this occasion, however, and could have taken all three had they found a little more composure in front of the Reading goal.

Darren Pratley came closest to winning the game for the visitors, as he drilled inches wide on the hour mark, while Andy Lonergan was on top form again in the Bolton goal as he denied Glenn Murray on numerous occasions.

Neil Lennon named the same team that started against Huddersfield Town last time out, with the only changes to the squad seeing David Wheater and Conor Wilkinson take the places of Liam Trotter and Oscar Threlkeld on the bench.

Eidur Gudjohnsen, who officially completed his move to Bolton on Friday, was left out after the club failed to receive international clearance in time for the game.

Bolton had the better of the early play at the Madejski, with Max Clayton, in particular, posing a threat to the Reading defence. The former Crewe Alexandra forward brought Adam Federici into an early stop, moments before Lee Chung-Yong failed to connect when put clean through by Pratley.

A wicked teasing cross from Clayton was just too far ahead of Craig Davies in the 10th minutes, while, Glen Murray headed over at the other end as Reading made their first foray into the Wanderers box.

Davies was denied a shooting opportunity at the midway point of the half, as he was outmuscled at the death, before he and Clayton combined well to bring a smart stop out of Federici.

Bolton displayed some excellent moments of defending as the game passed the half-hour, with Oliver Norwood being left frustrated with two attempts at goal, but it was the visitors who were visibly frustrated soon thereafter as appeals for a penalty went unheard by referee Keith Hill, after Chung-Yong had been upended just inside the box.

Dorian Dervite did well to head the ball away from danger, whilst under pressure from Murray, before a goalmouth scramble failed to produce a goal for the hosts as the two sides went in goalless at the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which started with Reading putting the ball in the Wanderers net within 90 seconds of play resuming.

Murray, who had been denied on multiple occasions by Lonergan, finally got the better of his adversary, only to turn around and see he had been flagged for offside by the referee's assistant.

Buoyed by that moment of fortune, Bolton went up to the other end of the field and almost broke the deadlock themselves - with Tim Ream's header from a Clayton corner being clawed away by Federici.

Michael Hector headed over as Reading threatened from a corner shortly afterwards, before the same player flashed a shot inches wide of the post with Lonergan seemingly routed to the spot.

Lonergan produced a stunning save to deny Murray from close range, tipping the ball over the crossbar on 56 minutes, before Bolton made their first change of the afternoon as Conor Wilkinson came on for Davies.

The visitors were close to opening the scoring just before the hour, with Liam Feeney inches away from connecting with Clayton's cross, before Pratley fired just wide of the target after being put through on goal by Chung-Yong.

Appeals for a penalty were rejected once again when Matt Mills went down inside the box on 63 minutes, shortly before Wilkinson saw a goalbound strike blocked with Federici stranded.

Murray and Danny Williams both failed to find a way through as the game entered the final 10 minutes, while Ream saw a free-kick deflect behind as both sides searched for a late winner.

Feeney and Hector had chances at either end of the field as the game drew to a close, but both goalkeepers ended the game with clean sheets intact - in a game which was a complete contrast to the last meeting, 11 months ago.

Bolton leapfrog Fulham into 17th position in the Championship, after the Cottagers' 5-0 defeat at home to Watford on Friday night, while Reading find themselves in 14th. Wanderers return to action next Saturday, when they play host to 2nd-placed Ipswich Town at Macron Stadium.

Reading: Federici, Kelly, Hector, Cooper, Gunter, McCleary (Blackman 78), Norwood, Williams (Taylor 85), Obita, Murray, Robson-Kanu (Cox 68)
Subs Not Used: Pearce, Tshibola, Cummings, Andersen
Booked: Norwood, Murray, Obita

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Vela, Mills, Dervite, Ream, Danns (Spearing 90), Pratley, Feeney (Hall 90), Chung-Yong, Clayton, C Davies (Wilkinson 57)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Moxey, Mason, Wheater

Referee: Keith Hill
Attendance: 15,421

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


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