Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Crystal Palace

  • January 07, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton will be in the hat for the FA Cup fourth round draw, after being held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace in their third round clash at Macron Stadium.

Both sides came close in an entertaining affair between League One and Premier League opposition, with Loic Remy striking a post for Palace inside the opening 45 minutes.

James Henry had the best of the chances for the hosts, and he too hit the woodwork after the break, seeing an effort come back off the post after he appeared to have finally found a way through.

Phil Parkinson made three changes to the Bolton side that started the 2-2 draw at Coventry City on Monday, as Zach Clough, Tom Thorpe and Lawrie Wilson returned at the expense of Sammy Ameobi, Derik Osede and Liam Trotter.

With the pre-match fog lifted at the Macron, it was Palace who created the first shooting opportunity and it arrived inside four minutes.

A poor defensive clearance from David Wheater was pounced upon by Lee Chung-Yong, who fed the ball to Remy. He made half a yard of space, before dragging an effort wide from the edge of the box.

Bolton soon found their stride and worked their way deep into Palace territory, with Henry wasting a hat-trick of chances that fell his way.

First, he worked his way through challenges from Joe Ledley and Zeki Fryers before forcing Julian Speroni into a save from a narrow angle.

Next, he cut in from the right before bringing Speroni into another stop from the edge of the box, before finally heading over the top after outmuscling Damien Delaney to get on the end of a cross from Andrew Taylor.

Bolton were in the ascendancy at this stage and should have gone ahead on 19 minutes, only for Gary Madine to head over unopposed from a Vela cross, moments before Ben Alnwick was tested at the other end as Remy looked to strike on the counter attack.

Clough was next to have an attempt for the hosts, finding space at the far post as Palace failed to deal with a routine clearance, but the much-watched forward got his angles wrong as his volley rolled harmless wide of the target.

Palace should then have gone ahead on the half-hour, as Fraizer Campbell worked his way in from the left flank and squared the ball to an unmarked Mathieu Flamini, who somehow shot over when presented with a one-on-one situation on the Bolton goal.

That sparked confidence into the Eagles, who came even closer to breaking the deadlock five minutes later. Neat interplay involving Chung-Yong and Campbell ended with the ball at the feet of Remy, who took a touch before drilling a shot against the post.

The visitors were back on the attack again moments later, with Remy once again the instigator. He received possession on the left and played a one-two with Jordon Mutch, before seeing his toe-poke turned away by the outstretched leg of Alnwick.

Despite their best efforts, the sides went in goalless at the break - with Palace making one change as the players emerged for the restart, as Yohan Cabaye came on for Remy.

Both teams enjoyed spells in possession during the early stages of the second half, but it was Bolton who fashioned the first shooting opportunity, with Henry once again guilty of the miss.

Jay Spearing found space down the Wanderers left and picked out an unmarked Henry at the far post, but he couldn't keep his side-footed volley down as he spurned another glorious chance to break the deadlock.

Henry's one-man mission continued on 54 minutes. This time he robbed possession from Martin Kelly just inside the Palace half, ran at the defence before shooting inches over the crossbar from 25 yards.

Chung-Yong's presence was always going to be felt against his former club and he was involved in two runs which brought yellow cards as the game ticked towards the hour. First, Mark Beevers went in the book for an aerial challenge which left the Palace winger requiring treatment, before Spearing soon followed for a lunge in which he appeared to win the ball cleanly.

The visitors were back on the attack on 63 minutes, but once again couldn't find a way through as Ledley's goalbound header from a Joel Ward cross brought Alnwick into a comfortable stop.

Bolton then came agonisingly close to taking the lead at the other end, as Henry's cross picked out Vela, whose powerful header got the better of Speroni but, unfortunately for him, crashed back off the post.

Wanderers had another chance as the clock ticked into the final 20 minutes, which came about from neat play involving both Clough and Henry. The duo combined well just inside the Palace box, ending with the latter seeing an effort deflected behind by Mutch.

An end-to-end game provided Palace with the next opportunity, with Cabaye seeing a goalbound strike turned behind, as both sides looked for that elusive goal.

They were back on the attack again with 15 minutes remaining. After a slip from Clough conceded possession, Townsend shrugged off challenges from both Spearing and Thorpe before spreading the play to Chung-Yong, whose shot after cutting in from the left was blocked by Wheater.

The hosts then made a double change, introducing Max Clayton and Jamie Proctor in place of Clough and Madine, as Parkinson looked to inject some fresh legs into his tiring side. Palace responded immediately, bringing Sullay Kaikai on for Campbell.

Henry had come close on half-a-dozen occasions throughout the afternoon and did so once again on 82 minutes as Speroni palmed his shot into the side netting, with sections of the home support thinking the ball had gone inbetween the posts.

Proctor rose highest to meet the resulting corner from Spearing, but there was once again no way through as Speroni made the save.

Wanderers made their final change with four minutes to go, as Chris Taylor replaced Henry - all while Vela received treatment on the sidelines for a facial wound.

Thoughts then began to turn towards a replay at Selhurst Park, as the fourth official indicated there would be four minutes of added time.

Wheater joined the Bolton attack as they went in search of a late winner but it wasn't forthcoming as the game ended goalless, ensuring they will go at it once again for a place in the fourth round.

That replay will take place on January 17, but Wanderers return to League One action before then when they host Swindon Town at the Macron next Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Wilson, Thorpe, Spearing, Vela, Henry (C Taylor 86), Clough (Clayton 79), Madine (Proctor 80)
Subs Not Used: Turner, Moxey, Osede, Trotter
Booked: Beevers, Spearing

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Kelly, Fryers, Chung-Yong, Ledley (Townsend 66), Flamini, Mutch, Remy (Cabaye 46), Campbell (Kaikai 80)
Subs Not Used: Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Perntreou, Husin

Referee: Roger East
Attendance: 11,683

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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