Rotherham United 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • October 20, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Christian Doidge came off the bench to score his first goal for Bolton, who came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw at Rotherham United.

Doidge, whose loan deal from Forest Green Rovers will be turned into a permanent arrangement in January, has struggled for game time in his brief time with Wanderers - making just one start - but will have done his chances no harm after latching on to a pass from Clayton Donaldson before firing home with five minutes to play.

Josh Magennis had missed a penalty for the visitors with the game scoreless, while Rotherham had led for the majority of the second period after a free-kick from Will Vaulks found a way past Ben Alnwick just before the hour.

Phil Parkinson made five changes to the Bolton side that started the defeat to Blackburn Rovers prior to the international break, with Alnwick, Lloyd Dyer, Marc Wilson, Gary O'Neil and Donaldson taking the places of Rhys Matthews, Jonathan Grounds, Will Buckley, Erhun Oztumer and Craig Noone.

Despite the change in personnel, Wanderers started on the back foot and could have been behind inside the opening minute as Semi Ajayi headed wide of Alnwick's goal.

Wanderers' first chance arrived shortly afterwards, with Josh Magennis heading over from an O'Neil free-kick, moments before Michael Smith fired over at the other end.

Alnwick was called into action for the first time on 10 minutes. Smith, again, was the man on the attack for the home side, but his header was comfortable for the Trotters goalkeeper.

Donaldson headed against a post two minutes later, although an offside flag had already been raised against the forward who would have been denied a first goal for the club.

The visitors remained a threat from set-pieces and came close again midway through the half, with Jack Hobbs next to head wide from an O'Neil delivery.

Jason Lowe went into the referee's book on 24 minutes for a late challenge on Ryan Williams, from which a free-kick was gathered by Alnwick.

Jon Taylor burst into the Bolton box moments later, only to see his goalbound shot blocked by the sliding challenge of David Wheater, while an unmarked Kyle Vassell headed wide as the clock ticked towards the half-hour.

Injury to O'Neil forced him off the field on 34 minutes, with Josh Vela emerging from the substitutes' bench in his place, but there was little else to be told in the closing stages of the half as the sides went in goalless at the break.

Bolton were handed a golden chance to break the deadlock within three minutes of the restart, however, as Magennis went to ground under a challenge from Richard Wood and referee John Brooks pointed to the penalty spot.

Magennis took responsibility for the spot-kick himself but his strike to Marek Rodak's left-hand side was turned away for a corner.

The former Charlton Athletic forward looked to be clean through on goal five minutes later, as he looked to make amends for his miss, but the referee's assistant had raised his flag for an offside which sparked fury amongst the Wanderers staff on the sidelines.

That double blow was made even worse on 57 minutes as a free-kick from Vaulks beat the Bolton wall, flying past Alnwick and into the corner of the net to make it 1-0 to the home side.

Their advantage was almost doubled within a matter of moments, with Smith seeing a close-range effort somehow blocked by the body of Alnwick.

Unimpressed with his team's showing, the Wanderers boss made a double change on 67 minutes as Doidge and Yanic Wildschut were brought on in place of Dyer and Joe Williams.

Things looked to be improving when Jack Hobbs headed over, shortly before a deflected attempt from Doidge forced a save out of Rodak, but Rotherham hit back with their next attack and came within inches of making it 2-0 when a curling strike from Smith crashed against the post.

United substitute Ryan Manning went into the book for a dive inside the Wanderers box with 10 minutes to play, just four minutes before Bolton clawed themselves level in fine fashion.

Gambling on a bouncing ball 30 yards from goal, Donaldson outmuscled his marker before laying the ball off to Doidge. With the angle narrowing, the Welshman hit a first-time shot that gave Rodak no chance as it rolled perfectly into the bottom corner for 1-1.

Ultimately, that would be how things would end - with both team's made to settle for a point apiece.

Bolton drop to 18th in the Championship after extending their recent run to just one win in nine, while Rotherham are two places and four points behind in 20th.

Parkinson's side return to action on Wednesday evening, when they host play-off chasing Nottingham Forest at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Rotherham United: Rodak, Jones (Vyner 28), Ajayi, Wood, Mattock, Williams, Vaulks, Towell, Taylor (Manning 78), Vassell (Newell 65), Smith
Subs Not Used: Price, Palmer, Proctor, Wiles
Booked: Manning, Mattock
Goals: Vaulks 57

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Dyer (Wildschut 67), Hobbs, Wilson, Wheater, Olkowski, Lowe, O'Neil (Vela 34), J Williams (Doidge 67), Donaldson, Magennis
Subs Not Used: Matthews, Taylor, Beevers, Noone
Booked: Lowe, Vela
Goals: Doidge 85

Referee: John Brooks
Attendance: 10,011

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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