Charlton Athletic 2-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 15, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton fought back from two goals down to claim a point on Tuesday, as they recovered to draw 2-2 with Charlton Athletic at The Valley.

Wanderers got off to the worst possible start, as Ademola Lookman broke the deadlock for the Addicks inside 26 seconds. He would then go on to double their advantage on 26 minutes, firing beyond Ben Amos from close range to seemingly put the result beyond doubt.

But Bolton weren't to be denied and they got themselves back into the game shortly after the half-hour, as Emile Heskey prodded home from close range, before Josh Vela scored his first senior goal to ensure the sides went in level at 2-2 - the scoreline that also greeted both sets of players at the full-time whistle.

Neil Lennon made three changes to the team that started at Hull City on Saturday, with Jay Spearing, Zach Clough and Heskey taking the places of Neil Danns, who dropped to the bench, and the injured duo of Darren Pratley and Shola Ameobi.

Spearing took responsibility for the captain's armband in Pratley's absence, but he, and Wanderers, could barely have got off to a worse start. After dispossessing the skipper in midfield, Ricardo Vaz Te picked out the run of Lookman and he made no mistake in slotting through the legs of a helpless Amos, with just 26 seconds on the clock.

Bolton responded well, with Liam Feeney shooting wide shortly afterwards, before the same player saw a deflected shot go behind on the quarter-hour. From the resulting corner, Prince-Desir Gouano rose highest to head the ball goalwards, only to see his effort parried away by Stephen Henderson.

Another corner followed, from which Heskey had a goalbound header blocked, before Gouano volleyed the rebound wide of the target.

Gouano was soon involved at the other end, producing an outstanding sliding challenge to halt Lookman's progress on goal, but the Charlton forward did grab a second on 26 minutes as he fired home from close range courtesy of another assist from Vaz Te.

Wanderers were back in the game six minutes later, though, as Heskey gambled to meet a Feeney cross and prod the ball beyond Henderson to reduce the deficit, moments before the Addicks goalkeeper was at his best to deny Zach Clough a goal on his return to first-team duty.

David Wheater stood strong to block a shot from Vaz Te as the half entered the final five minutes, while Feeney curled an attempt of his own over the crossbar at the other end.

Bolton did manage to pull themselves level before the break, however, courtesy of Vela's first senior goal. After a low cross into the Charlton box was cleared, an unmarked Vela drilled a low piledriver back through a crowded area and into the bottom corner of Henderson's goal.

Heskey almost completed the turnaround in the closing moments of the half, volleying behind, as the two sides remarkably went in at half-time level at 2-2.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Spearing firing wide of the target after a free-kick from Feeney was only cleared to the edge of the Charlton box.

Johnnie Jackson was the first Addicks player to attempt a shot on target after the restart, but could only shoot straight at Amos from distance, while the Wanderers goalkeeper was alert shortly afterwards to keep out a cross-cum-shot from Lookman.

Clough was given the opportunity to mark his return with a goal on the hour, but he shot straight into the arms of Henderson, before Johann Gudmundsson drilled wide at the second attempt after a free-kick had struck a wall at the other end.

Heskey was forced off the field midway through the half, with Gary Madine coming on to take his place, moments before Bolton had a goal ruled out for offside as Clough diverted the ball into the net.

There was then a delay of several minutes as Vela left the field on a stretcher, with Danns replacing him as Wanderers defended a corner. With the substitute still making his way on to the field, the home side quickly floated the ball into the box and Harry Lennon was unfortunate to see his header cannon back off the crossbar.

Clough twice came close to putting the visitors ahead as the game entered the final 10 minutes, while Madine had a golden chance to win the game but could only find the arms of Henderson with a header from close range.

Clough went close again in the final minute of normal time, racing on to a through ball from Feeney before dragging a shot across the face of goal, with what was his final action as he was replaced by Stephen Dobbie.

There were no further pieces of goalmouth action inside six added minutes for stoppages, as both teams left the field with a result that leaves them occupying places in the Championship relegation zone.

Bolton now find themselves six points from safety with 21 games played, having won just one of their last 27 matches dating back to April, while Charlton drop into the bottom three, five points above the Trotters.

Lennon's side return to action on Saturday, when they play host to Fulham at Macron Stadium.

Charlton Athletic: Henderson, Solly, Diarra, Lennon, Holmes-Dennis, Cousins, Jackson (Ahearne-Grant 80), Gudmundsson (Ba 70), Ghoochannejhad, Lookman (Makienok 60), Vaz Te
Subs Not Used: Sarr, Bergdich, Fox, Pope
Booked: Lennon, Ghoochannejhad
Goals: Lookman 1,26

Bolton Wanderers: Amos, Gouano, Wheater, Holding, Moxey, Vela (Danns 75), Spearing, Davies, Clough (Dobbie 90+4), Feeney, Heskey (Madine 66)
Subs Not Used: Rachubka, Casado, Twardzik, Walker
Booked: Spearing
Goals: Heskey 32, Vela 42

Referee: Graham Horwood
Attendance: 12,294

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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