Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Chesterfield

  • April 01, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton moved seven points clear of Fleetwood Town in their race for automatic promotion, despite being held to a 0-0 draw by struggling Chesterfield.

With more than 23,000 in attendance at Macron Stadium, Wanderers' biggest gate of the season, the home supporters were left frustrated as they watched their side struggle to break down a resolute Spireites defence.

The visitors ended the game with 10 men, as Jon Nolan was sent off in the final minute for a second yellow card, but both sides had to settle for a point.

Going into the game on the back of a five-match winning run, Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson made four changes to the side that started at Shrewsbury Town last time out.

Three of those were enforced, as Ben Alnwick, Andrew Taylor and Gary Madine missed out through injury, while Derik Osede dropped to the substitutes' bench. Jay Spearing was recalled at the Spaniard's expense, while Mark Howard, Dean Moxey and Chris Long were all handed starting roles in place of those out injured.

In a lacklustre first-half at the Macron, it was the visitors who created the first shooting chance of the game, but Dan Gardner fired straight into the wall from a free-kick after Joe Rowley had been fouled on the edge of the Wanderers box.

Nolan was next to try his luck for the Spireites, forcing Howard into a parry from just inside the area, while, at the other end, Chesterfield goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann was alert to the threat of long-throws, punching clear with ease on more than one occasion.

Bolton's first piece of attacking intent arrived on 16 minutes, as Moxey saw a goalbound strike charged down, moments before a chipped cross-cum-shot from Filipe Morais landed on the roof of Stuckmann's net.

Howard got down well to keep the scores level midway through the half, diving low to his right to push away an effort from Gardner, after he had been teed up by Nolan.

The hosts were awarded a free-kick seven minutes before the break after Mark Beevers had been brought down by Gardner. After lumping the ball into the box, Adam Le Fondre went for the spectacular, only for his overhead kick to fly harmlessly wide of the target.

Bolton were lucky go in level at the break after Howard had fumbled a shot from Gardner straight into the path of Kristian Dennis, but the Wanderers goalkeeper recovered well to make the block from Kristian Dennis' follow-up.

Paul McGinn and Darren Pratley both shot over at either end of the pitch in the closing moments of the half, which ended with both teams going in level with the deadlock still intact.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Spearing sending a volley over the Stuckmann's crossbar as Bolton made an early sign of intent.

Stuckmann was then called into action for the first time on 55 minutes, as he made a superb reaction save to keep out a half-volley from Pratley, who pounced on a loose ball following a cross from Moxey.

Struggling to find a way through, Wanderers made their first change just after the hour - introducing Max Clayton in place of Long.

The hosts continued to press forward as the clock ticked into the final 20 minutes and they came close to opening the scoring when Morais' cross to the far post picked out an unmarked Moxey, whose drilled effort back across goal flew just wide of the upright.

Clayton, like Long before him, had struggled to make his presence felt but suddenly burst into life with 80 minutes gone, heading the ball down for Le Fondre, who couldn't keep his volley down as he shot into the stand behind the goal.

With that elusive goal continuing to evade them, Parkinson sacrificed the defensive Moxey for the final eight minutes in favour of the more attacking James Henry.

Five minutes of time was added for stoppages at the end of the allotted 90, during which Chesterfield defenders put their bodies on the line to keep out a succession of efforts from Le Fondre, David Wheater and Morais.

All that happened moments before Nolan was sent off for a second bookable offence, as Chesterfield survived a second-half battle to claim a point in their unlikely battle against relegation.

Bolton, meanwhile, will see it as a case of two points dropped, despite extending their advantage over 3rd-placed Fleetwood to seven points, after the Cod Army were beaten at home by Swindon Town.

Wanderers return to action on Tuesday evening, when they face Southend United, managed by former player Phil Brown, at Roots Hall.

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, Beevers, Wheater, Dervite, Moxey (Henry 82), Spearing, Pratley, Vela, Morais, Le Fondre, Long (Clayton 62)
Subs Not Used: Turner, Karacan, Osede, Wabara, Wilkinson

Chesterfield: Stuckmann, McGinn, Hird, Anderson, Gardner (Grimshaw 85), Dimaio, Rowley (Ebanks-Blake 90), Donohue, Nolan, Maguire, Dennis (Simons 80)
Subs Not Used: Fulton, Martinez, Mitchell, Beesley
Booked: Dimaio, McGinn, Nolan
Sent Off: Nolan

Referee: Eddie Ilderton
Attendance: 23,376

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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