Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Reading

  • January 29, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Jack Hobbs scored a stoppage time equaliser as Bolton came from behind to rescue a point against Reading at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Hobbs, whose previous goal came for Nottingham Forest back in September 2013, rose highest to power home a close-range header, cancelling out Nelson Oliveira's 74th minute penalty which had looked set to give the Royals a precious away win.

The result means both clubs remain in the Championship relegation zone, with Bolton, stuck in 23rd, two points adrift of safety.

After seeing their FA Cup journey come to an end with defeat at Bristol City on Friday, Wanderers began the game with five changes to the side that took to the field at Ashton Gate.

Out went Mark Beevers, Mark Little, Luke Murphy, Joe Pritchard and Josh Magennis, with Andrew Taylor, David Wheater, Gary O'Neil, Craig Noone and Clayton Donaldson in at their expense.

With the action underway at a bitterly cold University of Bolton Stadium, which had been hit with snow earlier in the day, it was the visitors who created the first chance as Oliveira somehow headed wide from six yards after Sone Aluko's cross had been knocked back across goal by Modou Barrow.

Bolton's first chance arrived on the quarter-hour as Taylor laid the ball off to Jason Lowe, whose first-time drive from 25 yards flew harmlessly wide of Emiliano Martinez's right-hand post.

Remi Matthews was fortunate to escape further punishment when he conceded a free-kick on the half-hour, from which John Swift's ball into the box was volleyed over by Leandro Bacuna.

Wanderers came close to breaking the deadlock on 35 minutes when a low cross from Noone caused panic in the Reading box, but goalkeeper Martinez was brave enough to dive at the feet of Donaldson and keep the game scoreless.

Noone decided to go for goal himself from the next attack, shooting straight into the waiting arms of Oliveira, moments before Sammy Ameobi found the goalkeeper standing tall with an attempt of his own.

Reading came agonisingly close to taking the lead on 42 minutes, with Andy Yiadom getting away from Ameobi before crossing to Aluko, whose first-time effort seemed destined for the net but for the outstretched toe of former Royals loanee Taylor, who diverted it behind for a corner.

Oliveira fired high and wide in the closing stages of the half, as both sides went in at the break with the deadlock still intact.

There were no changes to either side as the players returned for the start of the second period, which began with Yiadom dragging an effort wide for the visitors as they immediately set out on the attack.

Bolton upped their game from that point on, with O'Neil looping a header on to the roof of the net on 49 minutes, moments before Connell forced Martinez into a save with a half-volley from 25 yards that seemed destined for the bottom corner.

O'Neil tried his luck again as the clock ticked towards the hour, with Martinez again getting down to make a routine save.

Reading would then hit back, creating several chances of their own, the most notable of which saw Oliveira shoot straight at Matthews from the edge of the box, while Barrow was also denied by the goalkeeper as he closed in on a one-on-one situation.

Donaldson, who has yet to score a league goal since arriving at Wanderers last summer, came close with an outrageous half-volley with 20 minutes remaining, latching on to a goal-kick from Matthews before sending the ball goalwards from the corner of the penalty area, forcing a backtracking Martinez into a parry.

Then, with 16 minutes to play, Reading were awarded a soft penalty as Garath McCleary went to ground under a challenge from Olkowski and referee Scott Duncan pointed to the spot.

Oliveira took responsibility from 12 yards and subsequently picked out the corner of the net despite the best efforts of Matthews, who guessed the correct way.

That arrived just two minutes after Pritchard was brought on in place of Connell, a substitution that sparked a furious reaction from the home supporters towards manager Phil Parkinson.

The mood inside the stadium had turned sour, but Wanderers rescued themselves in the second of five added minutes when Hobbs, who hadn't scored in over five years of first-team football, headed home a cross from Ameobi to ensure the game ended level at 1-1.

Bolton return to action on Saturday when they hit the road - their destination Bramall Lane and opponents, Sheffield United.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Taylor, Hobbs, Wheater, Olkowski (Magennis 79), Lowe, O'Neil, Ameobi, Connell (Pritchard 72), Noone (Buckley 67), Donaldson
Subs Not Used: B Williams, Little, Murphy, Grounds
Booked: Noone, Taylor
Goals: Hobbs 90+2

Reading: Martinez, Gunter (McCleary 61), Miazga, Moore, Yiadom, Rinomhota, Bacuna, Aluko, Swift (Blackett 83), Barrow, Oliveira (Loader 90)
Subs Not Used: Walker, Harriott, Baker, Ejaria
Booked: Gunter, Rinomhota, Swift
Goals: Oliveira 74(pen)

Referee: Scott Duncan
Attendance: 12,195

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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