Millwall 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • August 12, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton picked up their first point of the season, as Filipe Morais came off the bench to score in a 1-1 draw at Millwall.

Trailing to George Saville's 49th-minute opener, Morais, on for Mark Little, picked out the top corner with a perfectly-placed free-kick shortly after the hour.

The result means Wanderers' 26-game wait for an away win at Championship level continues, but they will take heart from the display having twice come from behind to claim a result on the road in the space of four days.

After making 10 changes to the Bolton side for their midweek Carabao Cup victory at Crewe Alexandra, Phil Parkinson reverted back to a line-up more akin to the one that faced Leeds United on opening day - with David Wheater and Josh Vela missing through injury, while Stephen Darby wasn't included in the matchday squad.

In at their expense came Reece Burke, Little and Darren Pratley, all of whom also started at the Alexandra Stadium on Wednesday night.

Bolton got off to a poor start in their first game of the campaign last weekend and were left fearing the worst inside four minutes at The Den, as Burke, on loan from the Lions' fierce rivals West Ham United, went into the referee's book for a poor challenge on Shane Ferguson.

Jed Wallace headed straight into the arms of Mark Howard on the quarter-hour, after Ferguson had done well to make space for himself, moments before Jem Karacan set his sights on the Millwall goal, only to see his effort fly harmlessly over the top of Jordan Archer's crossbar.

Steve Morison then fired straight at Howard as the clock ticked beyond the 20-minute mark, before the hosts were denied a clear strike on goal as Josh Cullen tracked back almost the entire length of the field to slide in with a perfectly-timed challenge on Wallace.

There was a moment of nervousness amongst the visiting supporters as Burke sent Lee Gregory tumbling to the ground shortly before the break, but referee Andy Davies, fully aware of an earlier caution for the Wanderers loanee, ignored the temptation to brandish a red card as the two sides went in goalless, and with 11 players aside, at the break.

There were no changes to either side as the players emerged for the start of the second period, which began with the hosts breaking the deadlock, as Gregory's strike appeared to take a deflection on it's way beyond a helpless Howard.

Just as he did in midweek, Parkinson responded to falling behind by making a substitution - marking the end of Little's league debut, with Morais coming on with just 53 minutes played.

His introduction sparked an instant improvement in Bolton, who should have been level within 60 seconds as Morais' cross from the right picked out an unmarked Adam Le Fondre, who couldn't hit the target with a header.

Millwall would have doubled their advantage on the hour but for their former defender Mark Beevers, who was in the right place at the right time to clear a goalbound effort from Morison off the line - a moment which would prove vital as Wanderers equalised just two minutes later.

Taking responsibility for a free-kick 25 yards from goal, Morais sent the ball up and over the wall before seeing his curling strike fly past a motionless Archer to level the score at 1-1.

Millwall, undeterred by that setback, went in search of a lead for the second time, with Gregory denied by Howard midway through the half, while Wallace fired high and wide as the game closed on the final 10 minutes.

Beevers, who had earlier cleared a Morison shot off the line, was once again perfectly placed to deny his former teammate with three minutes to play, putting his body on the line to throw himself in front of a volley which had seemed destined for the net.

Andrew Taylor and Karacan both joined Burke in the book in the latter stages, as Bolton held on to claim a point on their travels that gets them off the mark on their return to the second-tier.

Wanderers return to action on Tuesday, when they once again line-up away from home - this time against Birmingham City.

Millwall: Archer, McLaughlin, Hutchinson, Webster, Meredith, Wallace, Saville, Williams, Ferguson (Onyedinma 77), Morison, Gregory (Elliott 82)
Subs Not Used: King, Craig, Worrall, Thompson, Cooper
Booked: Hutchinson, McLaughlin
Goals: Saville 49

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, A Taylor, Beevers, Burke, Dervite, Little (Morais 53), Pratley, Karacan, Cullen, Le Fondre (Armstrong 69), Madine (Wilbraham 83)
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Buckley, Robinson, Osede
Booked: Burke, A Taylor, Karacan
Goals: Morais 62

Referee: Andy Davies
Attendance: 12,238

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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