Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Ipswich Town

  • March 08, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Stephen Dobbie scored a stoppage-time penalty, as Bolton came from two down to draw 2-2 with Ipswich Town on an emotional night at Macron Stadium.

Trailing to goals either side of the break from Kevin Bru and Christophe Berra, Wanderers gave themselves a fighting chance with 17 minutes to play when Lawrie Wilson pounced on a poor clearance from Town goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski to fire into an empty net.

Wellington Silva was introduced in the closing stages and, moments after being booked for a dive inside the box, won a penalty that was duly converted by Dobbie to ensure the game ended all-square.

Neil Lennon made two changes to the side that started against Leeds United on Saturday, as Wilson and Liam Trotter came in at the expense of Gary Madine, who was named amongst the substitutes, and Josh Vela, who was left out of the squad completely.

Kaiyne Woolery was initially listed as a substitute, but was replaced by Tom Walker after falling ill during the warm-up.

Pre-match attention was focused on events of 70 years ago, when 33 supporters lost their lives on March 9, 1946, at Burnden Park. Joanna Forest provided her own rendition of 'Abide With Me' before a moment of silence was observed in memory of the deceased.

With play underway, Wanderers, sporting a special edition memorial kit to mark the anniversary, started on the front foot, with Darren Pratley firing over the top inside the opening two minutes.

Mark Davies was next to try his luck for the hosts, bringing a full-stretch save out of Bialkowski in the Ipswich goal, before Zach Clough shot into the stands after latching on to a ball from Trotter on the edge of the box.

Derik Osede and Liam Feeney both failed to convert when presented with opportunities on the quarter-hour, but it was Ipswich who took the lead with their first attack of the game.

With 24 minutes on the clock, Bru received the ball on the right-flank before cutting inside and sending a looping shot beyond the reach of Paul Rachubka and in off both the underside of the crossbar and post.

Jay Spearing had a shot charged down as Bolton looked for an immediate response, before an unplanned applause broke out in the 33rd minute in memory of the Burnden Disaster victims.

Back to the action, Feeney should have drawn Wanderers level when picked out inside the six-yard box by Davies, but somehow failed to make the necessary contact that would have put the ball over the line, shortly before Bialkowski produced a series of world-class blocks to deny Trotter, Rob Holding, Dean Moxey, Osede and Clough in the space of 30 seconds.

The ball just wouldn't go in for the home side, with Feeney next to have an attempt charged down, this time by Luke Chambers, as Ipswich took their lead into the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Clough heading narrowly over the bar after getting on the end of a floated ball into the box from Feeney.

Trotter was next to be presented with a goalscoring opportunity, but Bialkowski raced off his line to make a block, while Davies had an attempt charged down as the clock ticked beyond the hour.

But, for all their attacking intent, Bolton suddenly found themselves further behind when, with 18 minutes to go, Berra sneaked in unmarked at the far post to head home a free-kick from Ainsley Maitland-Niles and seemingly put the game to bed.

Wanderers gave themselves a lifeline just a minute later, however, as Bialkowski opted to punch a cross into his box. The ball fell kindly at the feet of Wilson, though, who showed superb technique to volley the ball back into the empty net to bring the score back to 2-1.

Bolton were then gifted a great chance to equalise, but Clough could only direct his header straight at the goalkeeper from six yards after rising highest to meet a cross from Feeney, before Ipswich wasted an opportunity to seal the points.

Luke Varney's flick inside the Wanderers box went all the way through to Tommy Smith, whose diving header caused looked set for the bottom corner, only to flash agonisingly wide of the far post.

The turning point arrived in the first of six added minutes for stoppages, when Silva was introduced as a late substitute for Pratley.

His first contribution saw him receive a yellow card for simulation inside the Ipswich box, but referee Mark Haywood pointed to the spot in the final minute after the same player went down in similar circumstances under a challenge from Maitland-Niles.

Silva, criticised for recent performances by his manager, wanted to take the resulting spot-kick, but Dobbie assumed responsibility and made no mistake in finding the bottom corner to ensure the game ended level.

The point wasn't enough to lift Bolton off the foot of the Championship table, as they remain 10 points from safety. Lennon's side return to action on Saturday, when near neighbours Preston North End make their first trip to Macron Stadium since August 2000.

Bolton Wanderers: Rachubka, Wilson, Osede, Holding, Moxey, Spearing, Trotter (Madine 67), Pratley (Silva 90+1), Davies, Feeney, Clough (Dobbie 84)
Subs Not Used: Danns, Walker, Finney, Campbell
Booked: Spearing, Silva
Goals: Wilson 73, Dobbie 90+7(pen)

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Bru (Varney 51), Douglas, Foley (Hyam 68), Pringle (Maitland-Niles 70), Sears, Pitman
Subs Not Used: Gerken, Tabb, Digby, Toure
Goals: Bru 24, Berra 72

Referee: Mark Haywood
Attendance: 12,681

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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