Brentford 2-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 18, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton twice came from behind to earn a point at Brentford, as goals from Adam Le Fondre and Mark Davies sealed a 2-2 draw at Griffin Park.

Wanderers fell behind when Alex Pritchard put the Bees in front on 35 minutes, but the visitors levelled within four minutes as Le Fondre raced on to a through ball from Emile Heskey to stroke home.

Jonathan Douglas put the home side ahead again three minutes later, sending them in 2-1 up at the break, but Davies ensured the game ended all square by robbing goalkeeper David Button of possession on 71 minutes before rolling the ball into the empty net.

Neil Lennon made five changes to the team that began against Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night, as Oscar Threlkeld, Paddy McCarthy, Dean Moxey, Giles Coke and Heskey came in at the expense of Josh Vela, Matt Mills, Rochinha and two players who were dropped after a breach of club discipline - Barry Bannan and Neil Danns.

Earlier in the day, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Ipswich Town played out a 1-1 draw at Molineux, which meant Brentford went into the game four points adrift of the final play-off game and in desperate need of victory if their promotion hopes were to remain a realistic prospect.

Indeed, the home side started well. Jake Bidwell's early pressure forced Bolton into conceding an early corner, Alan Judge bringing Adam Bogdan into a smart save, while Paddy McCarthy was shown the first yellow card of the game for hauling down Andre Gray.

Despite an encouraging opening 10 minutes, Brentford should have gone behind from Wanderers' first attack of the game as Heskey shot wide after being played clean through on goal by Le Fondre.

Gray was denied an almost certain goal after play was brought back for a foul on McCarthy with 17 minutes played, before a speculative long-range strike from Jota cleared the crossbar.

A shot from Liam Feeney deflected just wide at the midway point of the half, moments before a curling free-kick from Pritchard cleared the bar at the other end.

Dorian Dervite saw a goalbound header cleared off the line on 26 minutes, as he connected well with a Tom Walker corner, before Feeney suffered the same fate as his shot from an acute angle was cleared after he had rounded goalkeeper Button.

In a half of little in terms of goalmouth activity, we were then presented with three goals in the space of just seven minutes - beginning with Brentford taking the lead.

A counter attack from the Bees saw them outnumber the Wanderers defence by three-to-two, with Pritchard completing the move in style by firing past Bogdan at the far post.

Threlkeld was booked for a challenge in the build up to that goal, but Bolton hit back instantly and were denied an equaliser when Button got down to push away a powerful strike from Coke.

The Brentford goalkeeper was beaten just seconds later, however, as Heskey played Le Fondre clean through on goal and he netted his eighth goal since joining on loan from Cardiff City by rolling the ball home.

Gray struck the post as the home side looked to go back in front, and they did have the ball in the net from their next attack as a looping header from Douglas went over Bogdan and underneath the crossbar to put Mark Warburton's side ahead for the second time.

Mark Davies replaced the injured Moxey in the final minute of the half, which ended with Wanderers trailing by two goals to one at the interval.

There were no further changes to either side as the players emerged at the start of the second period, which began with Jota having a low shot gathered in by Bogdan.

Bolton had a great opportunity to equalise moments later, as Threlkeld's run down the right resulted in him playing a ball into the box. Heskey's initial shot was charged down, before Le Fondre's fired the rebound over the top.

Le Fondre shot wide again shortly afterwards, after Brentford had failed to deal with Walker's corner into the box, before a number of substitutions halted the flow of the game soon after the hour.

Stuart Dallas replaced the goalscorer, Pritchard, for the hosts, while Eidur Gudjohnsen came on for Coke as Lennon looked for a response from his travelling team.

The introduction of the Iceland international had an instant effect, as he released Threlkeld down the right. His cross struck a hand inside the Brentford box, but the assistant referee signalled for a corner.

Then, amazingly, Bolton pulled themselves level with 19 minutes left to play with one of the most bizarre goals of the season.

A shot pass back to Button left the Brentford goalkeeper in all kinds of trouble. He was dispossessed by Davies, who had the simple task of tapping the ball into the unguarded net to level the scores at 2-2.

The hosts immediately went in search of a lead for the third time, only to find Bogdan in top form, while Dallas scuffed a shot wide inside the final 10 minutes as the game began to settle down.

Saidy Janko came on for Threlkeld shortly afterwards, while Tommy Smith replaced Gray for Brentford, before Jake Bidwell shot straight at Bogdan from a central position once play had resumed.

Dallas was shown a yellow card for simulation with five minutes to go, as he went down in search of a penalty, moments before Feeney also entered the book for an apparant case of time wasting.

Bogdan got down well to keep out a deflected shot from Smith as the board for five minutes of stoppage time was displayed, before an injury to McCarthy halted the progress of both teams as the clock wound down to finish the game with a 2-2 draw.

The point means Bolton are now mathematically safe from relegation, guaranteeing Championship football next season, while Brentford occupy 7th place - three points outside the play-offs with just two matches left to play.

Wanderers return to action in nine days, following a weekend of action, when they travel to Bournemouth on Monday week.

Brentford: Button, Obubajo, Dean, Tarkowski, Bidwell, Douglas, Diagouraga, Jota, Judge (Toral 79), Pritchard (Dallas 61), Gray (Smith 79)
Subs Not Used: Craig, McCormack, Bonham, Udumaga, Dallas
Booked: Dallas, Douglas
Goals: Pritchard 35, Douglas 42

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Threlkeld (Janko 80), Dervite, McCarthy, Moxey (M Davies 44), Ream, Feeney, Walker, Coke (Gudjohnsen 67), Heskey, Le Fondre
Subs Not Used: Trotter, Rochinha, Lonergan, Twardzik
Booked: McCarthy, Threlkeld, Walker, Feeney
Goals: Le Fondre 39, M Davies 71

Referee: Carl Boyeson
Attendance: 11,874

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
2 Peterborough United 4 9
3 Portsmouth 4 8
4 Bolton Wanderers 4 8
5 Exeter City 4 7
6 Charlton Athletic 4 7
View Full Standings >>


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