Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Bury

  • April 18, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's promotion bid continues to stutter, after they were held to a goalless draw by Bury at Macron Stadium.

After moving 10 points clear of nearest challengers Fleetwood Town a fortnight ago, the Cod Army have since cut that gap down to a single point to pile the pressure firmly on Wanderers.

On a night where a nervy atmosphere was present at the Macron, Phil Parkinson's side came closest to securing the victory when Adam Le Fondre struck the crossbar in the second-half, but they ultimately failed to score for the fourth time in their last five games as the race to the Championship seems destined to go right down to the wire.

With Saturday's defeat at Oldham Athletic still fresh in the memory, Bolton lined up with just one change to the side that started at Park as the fit-again Andrew Taylor came in at the expense of Dean Moxey.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the hosts, as Joe Murphy was alert to make a routine save to keep out an improvised flick from Dorian Dervite, who had connected with a corner from Jay Spearing.

Le Fondre looked to have broken free of the Bury defence from the next attack, only to be thwarted at the death by Antony Kay's sliding challenge, shortly before both James Vaughan and then Paul Caddis failed to trouble Mark Howard at the other end.

Wanderers saw appeals for a penalty turned down when Le Fondre appeared to receive a push in the back on 20 minutes, with referee Simon Hooper ordering play to continue, before a break in play allowed Vaughan to receive treatment following a collision with his own player.

With Leon Barnett already in the book, Spearing joined that list on the half-hour for a challenge which saw the boot of the Shakers defender go flying across the pitch.

Barnett was back on his feet to make a last-ditch block to deny Josh Vela in the closing stages of the half, whilst a rare venture forward for Bury ended with Taylor Moore cutting in from the left before seeing his shot fly out for a throw-in on the opposite side.

Taylor dragged the final shot of the half wide for the home side, perhaps summing up a disappointing opening 45 minutes for both sides.

There were no changes to either side as the players emerged for the start of the second period, which began with Vaughan forcing Howard into an early save with a header.

Bolton's first chance after the restart fell the way of Darren Pratley. After Le Fondre had got on the end of a flick-on from Derik Osede, he teed up the captain, who could only direct his first-time effort over the crossbar.

Murphy was soon required to keep the scores level, as he twice made comfortable saves to deny both Le Fondre and Filipe Morais, shortly before Vela entered the referee's book for a late challenge on Caddis.

Then, at the midway point of the half, Bolton came close to breaking the deadlock as Morais beat his man before standing up a cross to the far post. Pratley was steaming in to surely head home, but couldn't quite stretch enough to make the contact required.

Taylor volleyed over as frustration began to take hold amongst the home supporters, while George Miller provided a timely reminder that the Shakers were still in the game by dragging an effort wide at the other end moments later.

Wanderers were temporarily reduced to 10 men while Pratley received treatment for a head wound, before Parkinson lost patience and acted quickly by throwing Chris Long into the action.

With the ball back in play, David Wheater soon took aim from 30 yards with a thunderous drive that brought the best out of a reeling Murphy in the Bury goal.

Le Fondre struck the underside of the crossbar two minutes later, just when it looked like the home side were finally set to make the breakthrough, while Mark Beevers couldn't keep his header down as he connected with a Morais corner soon afterwards.

Then, inside four minutes added for stoppages, Murphy was alert to keep out a flick-header from Le Fondre, shortly before he tipped a free-kick from Morais behind.

In the end, there was to be no goals for either side as the full-time whistle was greeted with jeers from the home support and a joyous cheer from the travelling Shakers, who look assured of a place in League One next season.

Wanderers remain in the driving seat as they continue in their quest for promotion, with four points from their remaining two games likely required to secure their place in the Championship next season.

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, Beevers, Wheater, Dervite, A Taylor, Spearing, Osede, (Henry 65), Pratley (Long 76), Morais, Vela, Le Fondre
Subs Not Used: Turner, Moxey, Karacan, Solomon-Otabor, Wilkinson
Booked: Spearing, Vela

Bury: Murphy, Moore, Barnett, Kay, Burgess, Leigh, Caddis, Burgess (Lowe 71), Tutte, Pope (Miller 62), Vaughan
Subs Not Used: Williams, Hope, Mackreth, Pennant, Hulme
Booked: Barnett

Referee: Simon Hooper
Attendance: 18,223

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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