Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • January 31, 2015 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/81893

James Henry's 95th minute equaliser denied Bolton a place in the top half of the Championship, as Wolverhampton Wanderers held them to a 2-2 draw at Macron Stadium.

Trailing to a quick-fire first-half brace from Zach Clough, which came after Nouha Dicko had earlier given Wolves a 3rd minute lead, Henry received possession inside the Bolton half and unleashed an unstoppable 30-yard strike that flew past Andy Lonergan.

It was a blow Bolton could have done without, as their hopes of a late-season push towards the play-offs continues to hit the rocks ahead of a difficult month of fixtures throughout February.

Neil Lennon made four changes to the team that started against Rotherham United on Tuesday, as David Wheater, Liam Trotter, Zach Clough were all recalled to the side and Adam Le Fondre was handed a debut. Matt Mills and Eidur Gudjohnsen dropped to the bench, alongside new signings Ben Amos and Rochinha, while Andy Kellett and Conor Wilkinson failed to make the squad.

After a difficult opening 45 minutes at the AESSEAL New York Stadium last time out, Lennon would have warned his weary side against conceding another early goal. They failed to heed the warning signs, though, as Wolves took the lead inside three minutes.

Moments after wasting an opportunity that arose down the Wolves right, Dicko raced away from Tim Ream and made no mistake in slotting the ball beyond Lonergan at his near post to put the visitors into a 1-0 lead.

Kevin McDonald fired over shortly afterwards, as Wolves pressed for a second, while Bolton had to wait until the 18 minute mark for their first chance as Le Fondre fired over on the half-volley.

The hosts were level at the midway stage of the half, however, with Clough marking his first Championship appearance with a goal right out of the top drawer.

The 19-year-old, who hasn't featured since his Man of the Match performance against Wigan Athletic on January 3, took responsibility for a free-kick which had been awarded for a trip on Darren Pratley. Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme set up his wall to defend the left-hand side of his goal, but Clough found a gap on the other side and bent an outstanding shot into the top corner of the net.

Many supporters in the stadium were perhaps seeing Clough in action for the first time and they were on their feet again just two minutes later, as he twisted and turned away from two Wolves defenders before bending a shot into the corner of Ikeme's goal to give Bolton a 2-1 advantage.

Clough then turned provider, knocking the ball off to Trotter, who then saw a long-range effort collected at the second attempt by the Wolves stopper.

Wolves hit back, though, and were denied an equalising goal by two superb last-ditch challenges from Wheater, before the half came to a close after an ambitious volley from Clough flashed wide of Ikeme's near post.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, but Bolton were forced into a change less than five minutes after the restart as Dean Moxey came on for the injured Pratley - who appeared to be holding his hamstring on his way off the field.

Former Bolton loanee Benik Afobe struck the side netting with 56 minutes on the clock, although he was adjudged to have been offside in any case.

The atmosphere inside Macron Stadium was rather flat at this stage, with the football on the field failing to inspire both sets of supporters on a bitterly cold afternoon in Lancashire.

Ikeme was back in the thick of the action at the midway point of the half, as he parried away a volley from Le Fondre, before the visitors made two changes in personnel as Henry and Lee Evans came on for David Edwards and Jack Price.

One of those to be introduced, Evans, almost made an instant impact, only to be denied a clear run on goal by Josh Vela, which happened moments after two-goal hero Clough had been substituted to a standing ovation by Robert Hall.

Hall shot over the crossbar within minutes of entering the field of play, moments before Moxey came within inches of getting on the end of a cross from Le Fondre with a diving header.

Wolves, who had mustered just one shot on target throughout the course of the 90 minutes, were awarded a succession of late corners. They failed to break through a resolute Bolton backline, but did manage to pull level in the final minute of five added for stoppages.

After the hosts failed to retain possession deep inside Wolves territory, the visitors broke up the field and substitute Henry, under no pressure from any backtracking defenders, unleashed an unstoppable 30-yard strike that flew into the top corner of Lonergan's goal to spark wild celebrations amongst the travelling support.

Such was the lateness of Henry's equaliser, there was no time for any more goalmouth action, as Bolton were left to count the cost of two dropped points after being held to a 2-2 draw.

That result sees them move up to 14th in the Championship table, ahead of next Saturday's trip to Derby County. Lennon's side are in action before that, however, as they play host to Liverpool in an FA Cup fourth-round replay at Macron Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Vela, Wheater, Dervite, Ream, Feeney, Trotter, Danns, Pratley (Moxey 49), Le Fondre, Clough (Hall 70)
Subs Not Used: Rochinha, Amos, McNaughton, Mills, Gudjohnsen
Booked: Danns
Goals: Clough 23,25

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme, Iorfa (Doherty 75), Batth, Stearman, Golbourne, van La Parra, McDonald, Price (Evans 67), Edwards (Henry 68), Afobe, Dicko
Subs Not Used: Ebanks-Landell, Jacobs, Kuszczak, Hause
Booked: Price, McDonald, Evans, Stearman
Goals: Dicko 3, Henry 90+5

Referee: Eddie Ilderton
Attendance: 15,869

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22 Southend United 5 0
23 Bolton Wanderers 4 -11
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