Reading 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • March 06, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Adam Le Fondre scored against his former club as Bolton came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

Le Fondre, who scored 41 goals during a three-year spell with the Royals between 2011 and 2014, slotted home on the stroke of half-time, cancelling out a 32nd-minute opener from Modou Barrow.

Both sides had chances to take all three points after the break but the draw means they end the evening as they began - level on points in the Championship, but one further away from the relegation zone.

Following Saturday's 3-1 defeat at the hands of Preston North End, Phil Parkinson promised changes for the trip to Berkshire and he stayed true to his word - with only four of the 11 who started last time out taking to the field.

Ben Alnwick, Mark Beevers, Filipe Morais and Darren Pratley were those to have retained their places, while Andrew Taylor, Will Buckley, Jon Flanagan, Karl Henry, Jan Kirchhoff, Reece Burke and Le Fondre all stepped up to feature in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

With the action underway, it was Wanderers who created the first opportunity of the evening and it fell the way of Le Fondre.

With nine minutes on the clock, a low cross into the Reading box was only half cleared. Le Fondre reacted quickest to pounce on the loose ball, but his shot was ultimately blocked by the body of Liam Moore.

Reading responded well and registered their first effort of the night just moments later, with Chris Martin finding the roof of Ben Alnwick's net.

Then, with 26 minutes played, Le Fondre came close to breaking the deadlock, latching on to a poor clearance before seeing his long-range drive tipped over the crossbar by the fingertips of Anssi Jaakkola in the Royals goal.

Having been denied twice already, the Bolton forward should have opened the scoring just before the half-hour as he was presented with his clearest opportunity yet. Having run clean through on goal, Le Fondre was left with only Jaakkola left to beat, but he couldn't keep his close-range shot down and the ball flew over the bar.

He was left to rue that miss just four minutes later as, on 32 minutes, former Trotters trialist Barrow outpaced both Flanagan and Burke before seeing a low strike squirm through the legs of Alnwick as the hosts opened up a 1-0 lead.

As they looked to get themselves back on level terms, Wanderers were denied a penalty four minutes before the break as Buckley went to ground inside the box, before the same player failed to convert from inside the six-yard box from the next attack, with the ball becoming stuck between his legs and allowing the home defence to scramble clear.

But Bolton were level before the interval and it came courtesy of Le Fondre, who made it fourth time lucky against his former club.

Having kept the move alive, Morais' cross from the left-hand side caused panic inside the Reading box, allowing Le Fondre to poke past Jaakkola from six yards and ensure the sides went in level at 1-1.

There were no changes in personnel as the two teams came back out for the start of the second-half, which began with Taylor coming close to scoring against his former employers - with a deflected volley from the edge of the box flying narrowly over the crossbar.

Having escaped a penalty appeal in the opening 45 minutes, it was Reading's turn to challenge the referee on 55 minutes as Barrow was left in a heap inside the Wanderers box. However, despite the best attempts of the home support, television replays showed a combination of Alnwick and Morais had timed their challenges to perfection by clearing the ball to safety.

Taylor, who came close to scoring moments earlier, came even closer on the hour, taking down a loose ball on his chest before volleying over the top, before Parkinson made two changes in a matter of minutes as he looked to inject some fresh legs into his tiring side.

Off went Morais and Kirchhoff, with Craig Noone and former Reading favourite Jem Karacan on to replace them for the final 20 minutes.

The visitors were enjoying large spells of possession at this stage and were unfortunate not to take the lead when Le Fondre shot wide, shortly before Karacan timed his challenge well to deny Barrow a one-on-one with Alnwick.

Henry and John Swift volleyed over at either end as the clock entered the final 10 minutes before Bolton had two half-chances to win the game, with substitutes Noone and Aaron Wilbraham just failing to get the decisive touches.

Le Fondre and Swift again saw chances come and go as the game entered stoppage time, during which Wanderers survived an almighty scare as Taylor cleared off the line after Alnwick had failed to deal with a routine cross into his box.

The full-time whistle was met with cheers from the travelling support, as Wanderers moved five points clear of the bottom three ahead of Saturday's trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

Reading: Jaakkola, Clement, Holmes, Moore, Gunter, Evans, Edwards, Aluko (Swift 77), Kelly, Barrow, Martin (Bodvarsson 73)
Subs Not Used: Mannone, van den Berg, Ilori, Blackett, Smith
Booked: Barrow, Edwards, Evans
Goals: Barrow 32

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Burke, Flanagan, Kirchhoff (Karacan 70), Henry, Pratley, Morais (Noone 67), Buckley (Wilbraham 81), Le Fondre
Subs Not Used: Howard, Dervite, Robinson, Clough
Booked: Buckley, Flanagan, Henry
Goals: Le Fondre 45

Referee: James Linington
Attendance: 8,631

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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