Norwich City 0-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • February 24, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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A resolute defensive display from Bolton was rewarded with a point, as they held Norwich City to a goalless draw at Carrow Road.

Despite giving up 75% of the possession and failing to muster a single shot on target, Wanderers were rarely troubled in Norfolk as they continued their battle against relegation with a rare positive result on their travels.

City boss Daniel Farke was sent to the stands in second-half stoppage time for his reaction to a foul-throw, having entered the field of play to demonstrate his frustration by kicking the ball away, and it was the visiting fans who were celebrating at the end with a rendition of 'We Are Staying Up' echoing around the stadium.

Having made six changes for the midweek victory over Sunderland, Phil Parkinson's rotation policy continued by making another four for the trip to the Canaries.

Out went Andrew Taylor, Zach Clough and Aaron Wilbraham, all of whom dropped to the substitutes' bench, while Karl Henry began a two-match suspension. In their places came Antonee Robinson, Darren Pratley, Reece Burke and Adam Le Fondre.

With the action underway, the hosts enjoyed almost 100% possession inside the opening five minutes but failed to turn that into goalmouth action as Wanderers held firm in midfield.

That resistance was put to the test on eight minutes, however, as Norwich created the first shooting opportunity of the game, but James Maddison's curling effort from 25 yards came back off the post before being cleared to safety.

Maddison turned provider five minutes later, with his free-kick being headed wide of the target by former Blackburn Rovers defender Grant Hanley, while a rare venture forward from the visitors came to an end when goalkeeper Angus Gunn came to collect a set-piece from Filipe Morais.

Alnwick was brought into action for the first time at the midway point of the half, comfortably keeping out a long-range attempt from Maddison, shortly before Le Fondre glanced a cross from Morais inches wide of the far post as Bolton came close to leading against the run of play.

City had the ball in the net on the half-hour as Harrison Reed found a way past Alnwick, but his effort was ruled out due to an earlier offside flag against the midfielder.

Josh Murphy seemed destined to break the deadlock from the next attack, only to be thwarted in his tracks by an outstanding challenge from David Wheater, shortly before Moritz Leitner shot horribly wide of goal after being put clean through on goal with only Alnwick left to beat.

Pratley had a shot blocked at the other end, while Ameobi's acrobatic follow-up flashed agonisingly wide of Gunn's far post as the half drew to a close, with the two sides somehow going in level at the interval.

There were no changes to either side as the players came back out for the start of the second-half, which began with Dervite coming within a whisker of poking home a Morais free-kick which would almost certainly have given Wanderers a lead.

They were denied again moments later, with Morais and Robinson combining well down the left-hand side, with the latter's low cross being cut out by Gunn as Le Fondre lurked in behind in anticipation of a tap-in.

Robinson fired over the crossbar on the hour as his wait for a first career goal went on, before a lapse in concentration from Alnwick would have resulted in an opening goal but for the interception of Burke, who tracked back well to prevent Nelson Oliveira from poking home.

Bolton made a double substitution midway through the half, introducing both Wilbraham and Jon Flanagan in place of Le Fondre and Wheater.

Wilbraham, one of those substitutes, was involved immediately, linking up with Karacan, whose deflected effort bounced narrowly wide of the target.

Wanderers had a glorious chance to steal all three points with five minutes to play as Flanagan won possession before cutting back for Wilbraham, but the former Norwich forward couldn't keep his shot down and the ball went high into the stands behind the goal.

Six minutes of time was added for stoppages at the end of the regulation 90, a time when City should have taken the victory.

Dennis Srbeny, brought on in the 77th minute, found himself clean through on goal, but with just Alnwick left to beat the Trotters goalkeeper made the stop at his near-post to ensure the game ended all-square.

There was still enough time for Canaries boss Farke to be dismissed, as his reaction to a foul-throw was deemed to be a step too far by referee Keith Stroud, but it was to be the final act as both sides were made to settle for a point apiece.

Bolton remain 19th in the Championship as a result of their latest result, and return to action next Saturday when they welcome Preston North End to Macron Stadium.

Norwich City: Gunn, Reed, Hanley, Zimmermann, Lewis, Tettey (Hoolahan 80), Hernandez (Srbeny 77), Maddison, Leitner, Murphy, Oliveira
Subs Not Used: McGovern, Pinto, Vrancic, Watkins, Raggett
Booked: Zimmermann, Lewis

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Wheater (Flanagan 68), Dervite, Morais, Pratley, Burke (Osede 81), Karacan, Ameobi, Le Fondre (Wilbraham 68)
Subs Not Used: Howard, A Taylor, Buckley, Clough
Booked: Pratley, Morais, Burke, Ameobi, Flanagan

Referee: Keith Stroud
Attendance: 25,475

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
14 Charlton Athletic 21 26
15 Cambridge United 21 26
16 Bolton Wanderers 21 26
17 AFC Wimbledon 19 24
18 Lincoln City 20 21
View Full Standings >>


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