Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Milton Keynes Dons

  • September 10, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Mark Howard produced a second-half penalty save, as Bolton clung on to top spot in League One with a 1-1 draw at home to Milton Keynes Dons.

Mark Beevers got Wanderers off to the perfect start, volleying home via the underside of the crossbar inside seven minutes at Macron Stadium, but the Dons improved as the half progressed and were level shortly after the break when Ryan Colclough bundled home.

The visitors were awarded a penalty shortly after the hour when Lewis Buxton took Kieran Agard down inside the Trotters box, but the Dons forward saw his penalty tipped onto the crossbar by Howard, who claimed the loose ball at the second attempt.

Phil Parkinson made two changes to the Bolton side that started the draw against Southend United last time out, with Andrew Taylor and Jamie Proctor coming in at the expense of Dean Moxey and the injured Gary Madine.

Wanderers started brightly on home turf and were ahead inside seven minutes. Proctor's effort from a Jay Spearing corner was parried away, but Beevers reacted quickest to volley the ball back towards goal and in off the underside of the crossbar.

The Dons responded well, with Ben Reeves shooting straight into the arms of Howard in the Bolton goal, shortly before Agard couldn't quite grow enough to pull the visitors level.

After George Baldock's initial shot had been pushed away by Howard, Dean Bowditch rolled the ball across the face of goal for Agard, whose stretching attempt to slot home didn't quite fall the right side of the post.

David Wheater headed over, while Proctor and James Henry had attempts blocked as the clock ticked towards the half hour, before Bolton saw penalty appeals turned down as Proctor and Baldock collided inside the Dons box.

With 10 minutes remaining before the break, a neat move involving both Spearing and Josh Vela ended with the ball at the feet of Henry, but his curling strike was comfortably saved by David Martin.

A seemingly harmless cross from Baldock then clipped the top of the Wanderers bar, sparing the blushes of Howard, who almost turned provider in the final minute of the half when his throw put Keshi Anderson clear on goal, but he was thwarted by Martin as the score remained at 1-0 going into the interval.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Proctor heading over from a central position after an expert cross from Spearing.

The Dons looked certain to equalise on 51 minutes, as a free-flowing move ended with Colclough backheeling the ball to Agard. His curling shot looked set for the top corner, but Howard stuck out an arm to tip the effort behind.

The visitors continued their pressure on the Wanderers goal, with Ben Reevers' 25-yard half-volley just clearing the crossbar moments later, but they only had to wait until 54 minutes before the ball was in the Bolton net.

After being denied at the first attempt by Howard, Colclough reacted quickest to get his foot the ball and watch it roll over the line despite the best efforts of both Beevers and Wheater.

Henry headed behind as the hour approached, while Wheater headed wide from a Vela corner, before the first substitution of the afternoon saw Sammy Ameobi come on in place of Anderson.

MK Dons were then awarded a penalty as Buxton collided with Agard inside the box. The forward picked himself up to take the spot-kick himself, but Howard tipped his shot onto the bar before collecting at the second attempt as Wanderers were handed a reprieve.

The hosts thought they should have had a penalty of their own from the next attack, as Henry went down whilst under pressure, but referee Peter Bankes ordered play to continue, much to the chagrin of the home supporters behind the goal.

Further appeals went unheard when Proctor was bundled over as he looked to connect with a cross from Vela, before Martin was called into action to keep out a stinging strike from Ameobi.

Carruthers headed off the line to keep out a goalbound header from Henry inside the final five minutes, before Wanderers tried to force the issue with a double change when Chris Taylor and Tom Thorpe came on in place of Henry and Vela.

Ameobi was denied by Martin once again as five minutes of added time were indicated by the fourth official, but there was to be no further chances of note as two of the sides relegated from the Championship last season held each other to a 1-1 draw.

The result sees Wanderers cling on to top spot in League One, two points ahead of chasing Scunthorpe United, who do have a game in hand. Parkinson's side return to action next Saturday's when they face Walsall at the Banks's Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, Buxton, Wheater, Beevers, A Taylor, Spearing, Vela (Thorpe 87), Trotter, Henry (C Taylor 87), Proctor, Anderson (Ameobi 62)
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Moxey, Osede, Wilson
Booked: Buxton, Spearing, Trotter
Goals: Beevers 7

Milton Keynes Dons: Martin, Baldock, Walsh, Downing, Lewington, Reeves (Powell 86), Upson (Carruthers 73), Potter, Colclough (Maynard 90), Bowditch, Agard
Subs Not Used: G C Williams, G Williams, Nicholls, Tshimanga
Booked: Lewington, Upson, Walsh, Carruthers
Goals: Colclough 54

Referee: Peter Bankes
Attendance: 12,727

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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