Coventry City 2-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • January 02, 2017 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL:

Bolton left it late for the second time in three days, as Max Clayton came off the substitutes' bench to earn Wanderers a draw at Coventry City.

Following James Henry's stoppage-time winner against Scunthorpe United on New Year's Eve, the Trotters needed added time once more as Clayton lashed home his first goal since November 2014 to earn the visitors a point at the Ricoh Arena.

Coventry had twice led through Marcus Tudgay and Stuart Beavon, while Zach Clough, also on as a substitute, equalised inbetween from the penalty spot, but it was Wanderers who had the final word as Clayton's strike ensured they ended the festive schedule with seven points from a possible nine.

At the end of a busy festive period which had seen Bolton play three times in the space of nine days, Phil Parkinson made three changes to the side that beat Scunthorpe United on New Year's Eve.

James Henry, who scored the winner in that game, came in at the expense of Zach Clough, while Liam Trotter took the place of Tom Thorpe, who joined Clough on the bench after failing to completely recover from a blow to the jaw.

The rib injury that forced Lawrie Wilson off against Iron forced the third alteration, with Derik Osede starting at right-back.

It was a tepid first-half affair at the Ricoh, with chances at a premium. The first talking point arrived with 10 minutes on the clock, with referee Carl Boyeson turning down the Sky Blues' appeals for a penalty when Stuart Beavon went down inside the box whilst under pressure from Mark Beevers.

Similar to the way they opened the scoring against Scunthorpe, Wanderers then aimed long towards Gary Madine. Josh Vela was the man on target last time out but this time the ball fell kindly to Jay Spearing, although a flag had been raised for offside just prior to the captain volleying off-target.

Bolton's first real chance arrived midway through the half as they were awarded a free-kick 20 yards from goal. Henry took responsibility for the set-piece, but failed to test Lee Burge as he fired aimlessly over the crossbar.

Both sides then had opportunities to break the deadlock. First, George Thomas headed inches wide of Ben Alnwick's target after meeting a corner from Jordan Turnbull, shortly before Osede drilled through a body of players inside the Coventry box with an effort that whistled past the post.

The hosts had the ball in the net with eight minutes of the half remaining, however, as Beavon's cross to the far post was headed back across goal by Kyel Reid, allowing Tudgay to convert from close range.

Reid was involved again as Coventry went in search of a second, this time turning provider for Andy Rose, but his header was wide as the sides went in at the break with City holding a 1-0 advantage.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Trotter volleying wide as Bolton looked to draw level.

That was as exciting as the action got as the clock ticked towards the hour, leaving Parkinson with little option but to make a double substitution - with Clough and Clayton coming on for Henry and Trotter, the latter of whom was jeered off the field by his own supporters.

Seven minutes later, Bolton were level and it was one of those introduced who got the all-important goal. After Madine was bundled over inside the Coventry box by Haynes, Clough took responsibility for the penalty-kick and made no mistake, sending Burge the wrong way as the ball rippled the back of the net.

Parity was short-lived, however, as City regained the lead just two minutes later. Haynes, guilty of conceding a spot-kick moments before, lofted the ball into the Wanderers area, where Beavon fired past Alnwick to make it 2-1.

From that point on, Wanderers looked devoid of ideas, with a half-chance for Clough sailing harmlessly over the top with 10 minutes remaining the best it got.

Coventry had the ball in the net once more shortly afterwards, with Thomas correctly adjudged to have been offside, but there was to be one final goal as the afternoon ended in wild scenes for the away side.

Clayton, who had been restricted to just one appearance in 13 months prior to the game, popped up in the Sky Blues box and drilled a strike beyond Burge for his first goal in more than two years.

A remarkable comeback was almost complete in the final minute of added time, as Madine shot inches wide on the turn, but Bolton left the Ricoh with a point that, for long periods, looked beyond them.

Parkinson's side remain 2nd in League One after their last-gasp draw. They are still one point ahead of Scunthorpe, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Peterborough United, and sit three points behind leaders Sheffield United, who won 3-1 at Bury.

Wanderers' closest rivals in the promotion race are in league action again on Saturday, while the Trotters take a break - with Crystal Palace on their agenda in the third round of the FA Cup.

Coventry City: Burge, Sterry, Clarke, Turnbull, Haynes, Thomas, Rose, Reilly, Reid (Bigirimana 81), Beavon (Lameiras 77), Tudgay
Subs Not Used: Stevenson, Jones, Gadzhev, Charles-Cook, Kelly-Evans
Booked: Haynes
Goals: Tudgay 37, Beavon 69

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Osede (Proctor 82), Spearing, Trotter (Clough 59), Vela, Ameobi, Henry (Clayton 59), Madine
Subs Not Used: Turner, Moxey, C Taylor, Thorpe
Goals: Clough 67(pen), Clayton 90+1

Referee: Carl Boyeson
Attendance: 10,339

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 >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston