Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Bradford City

  • September 24, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's winless run was extended to six games, as they played out a goalless draw with Bradford City at Macron Stadium.

Both sides enjoyed large spells of possession on a blustery afternoon in Lancashire, but never really threatened opposing goalkeepers Mark Howard and Colin Doyle.

The pre-match hype surrounding Phil Parkinson's first match against his former employers yielded little more than murmurs of noise from the visiting supporters, who left the ground just as frustrated as Wanderers followers after seeing a 0-0 draw unfold in front of their eyes.

Parkinson made two changes to the Bolton side that started in defeat at Walsall last time out, as Dean Moxey and Jay Spearing returned to the side at the expense of Andrew Taylor and Chris Taylor, while Keshi Anderson missed out on a place in the squad due to suspension.

Wanderers burst out of the blocks at Macron Stadium, with Jamie Proctor firing an early warning to the Bantams, before Doyle was alert to keep out a piledriver from Spearing - an effort which turned out to be the hosts' only shot on target in the whole match.

A lull in play saw the game reach the midway point of the half without incident, with Bradford supporters cheering as their defence spread passes between each other about as good as things got.

Spearing became the first player to enter the book on 24 minutes, with referee Mark Heywood brandishing a yellow card for his strong challenge on Josh Cullen.

Sammy Ameobi came close to breaking the deadlock shortly before the half-hour, but his shot was deflected behind after he was set up by Proctor.

Bolton were looking threatening from set-pieces and came close again when Proctor glanced a header from a James Henry corner wide of the target, while City's first effort of the game saw Timothee Dieng fire over the crossbar from 25 yards.

Howard was called into action for the first time on 34 minutes, mopping up a shot from Mark Marshall with ease, before Josh Vela joined Spearing in the referee's notebook for yet another challenge on Cullen, who made the most of the incident right in front of the home dugout.

The sides played through to the break without finding the breakthrough and returned for the second period without any alterations, after which Marc McNulty failed to make the most of a slip from Moxey, who recovered superbly to deny what would surely have been a certain goal.

An accumulation of fouls resulted in Proctor being booked on the hour, shortly before Henry sent a dipping shot inches over the top after finding himself in space just outside the Bradford box.

City substitute Jordy Hiwula was next to try his luck, forcing Howard into a low save after being teed up by James Meredith.

Two changes in the space of a minute saw Tom Thorpe and Zach Clough introduced for Wanderers, with Liam Trotter and Ameobi coming off the field, and it wasn't long until the latter's impact was felt.

Proctor turned well from a Moxey throw-in and played the ball to the feet of Clough, who took a touch before sending a bending strike narrowly wide of Doyle's far post.

Henry received treatment for injury as the game approached the final 10 minutes and it wasn't long until he was replaced by Chris Taylor, as Parkinson looked to inject some fresh legs into a disappointing midfield performance.

Bradford's Marshall was then shown a yellow card with five minutes to play, with referee Heywood adjudging him to have taken a dive in the Bolton box as he attempted to force his way through both Buxton and Taylor.

Pressure from Proctor forced Doyle into a hurried clearance in the final minute of normal time. The Bolton forward managed to charge down a clearance from the City goalkeeper, only to see the ball bounce out of play and not towards the unguarded goal.

Wanderers saw penalty appeals of their own turned down when Clough went to ground whilst under pressure from Stephen Darby, before Bradford turned the screw in stoppage time but ultimately failed to find a way through.

First, Nicky Law headed straight at Howard after he had gotten the better of David Wheater in the air, before Hiwula headed wide in the final minute after meeting a cross from Marshall.

The goalless draw sees Bolton drop to 3rd place in the League One table. Despite losing just once in their opening nine league encounters, Wanderers are now six without a win in all competitions and have failed to score in back-to-back games.

They return to action on Tuesday when they make the short journey to Rochdale, where they will be looking to bounce back to winning ways.

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, Buxton, Wheater, Beevers, Moxey, Spearing, Trotter (Thorpe 69), Vela, Henry (C Taylor 80), Ameobi (Clough 70), Proctor
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Osede, A Taylor, Wilson
Booked: Spearing, Vela, Proctor, Henry

Bradford City: Doyle, Darby, Vincelot, Knight-Percival, Meredith, Marshall, Cullen, Dieng, Law, McNulty (Hiwula-Mayifuila 62), B Clarke
Subs Not Used: Sattelmaier, Vuckic, Morais, McArdle, Devine, Kilgallon
Booked: Marshall

Referee: Mark Heywood
Attendance: 17,486

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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