Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Sunderland

  • September 21, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Lady Luck was shining on Sunderland, as they scored a stoppage-time penalty to rescue a point in a 1-1 draw at Bolton.

Wanderers, without a win in any of their previous nine games in all competitions so far this campaign, went ahead five minutes after the break at the University of Bolton Stadium as Jack Hobbs smashed home from close range after Will Buckley had headed a free-kick back across the face of goal.

Keith Hill's side rode their luck at times and defended resolutely in the final 15 minutes, but a handball by Yoan Zouma allowed Aiden McGeady to fire home from 12 yards in the second minute of added time - ensuring the spoils were shared on a glorious afternoon in the North West.

Having played out a goalless draw with Oxford United on Tuesday, Hill named the same team for the visit of the Black Cats - with fitness clearly building following an influx of new arrivals on transfer deadline day nearly three weeks ago.

With the ball rolling, the visitors took seven minutes to find a way through the Bolton defence but Remi Matthews came racing off his line to smother at the feet of George Dobson.

Buckley headed wide from an Ali Crawford free-kick on 10 minutes, although the assistant had already raised his flag for an offside, but it took the hosts just a further four minutes to bring Jon McLaughlin into action as a deflected strike from Ali Crawford went straight into the arms of the Sunderland 'keeper.

Will Grigg connected with a corner from Grant Leadbitter with 19 minutes played, only to somehow head wide from six yards, moments before Dennis Politic struck the inside of a post at the other end after receiving possession from Jason Lowe.

Josh Emmanuel put his body on the line to block a goalbound effort from Lynden Gooch just before the half-hour, while Grigg headed wide again from the next attack when he had looked certain to score.

Leadbitter fired over the top, Chris Maguire shot straight at Matthews, and Tom Flanagan headed wide from close range as frustration became evident both on the field and from the travelling supporters.

Lowe volleyed narrowly wide 10 minutes before the break after a cross from Thibaud Verlinden was only half cleared, while the latter dragged an effort wide of the target before the break - meaning the teams went in goalless at half-time.

Sunderland made one change as the players returned for the start of the second period, with Conor McLaughlin brought on in place of Denver Hume.

They were behind within five minutes of the restart, however, as a free-kick from Crawford was headed back across the face of goal by Buckley, where Hobbs was there to fire home from close range.

The Black Cats went in search of an instant equaliser and almost had it, only for Luke O'Nien to be denied by a combination of Matthews and the post.

The visitors saw appeals for a penalty turned down by referee Ollie Yates when Jake Wright perfectly timed a challenge on Maguire just before the hour, and it was the same defender who was at his absolute best to charge down a strike from Gooch shortly afterwards.

McGeady lashed wide, Jordon Willis headed over the top and Gooch headed wide as the midway point of the half approached, while McGeady forced a save out of Matthews as Sunderland continued their pursuit of an equaliser.

They came even closer on 72 minutes, when a free-kick from Leadbitter was headed on to the top of the crossbar by Flanagan.

Penalty appeals were once again turned down for the visitors when McGeady went down under a challenge from Adam Chicksen with eight minutes to play, three minutes before Matthews pulled off the save of the afternoon to paw away McGeady's bending effort that was destined for the top corner.

Matthews was back on his feet to push away another effort, this time from Gooch, from the resulting corner.

Wanderers were hanging on bravely at this point but their resilience was broken in the second of five minutes added for stoppages, when substitute Zouma was adjudged to have handled the ball inside his own box.

McGeady, who missed a penalty in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Rotherham United, took responsibility and made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Matthews the wrong way to earn Sunderland a point from their trip to Lancashire.

The result moves Bolton on to minus nine points in the League One table - 15 points from safety after eight games. They return to action next Saturday when they face fellow strugglers Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Chicksen, Wright (Zouma 77), Hobbs, Emmanuel, Lowe, Bridcutt, Crawford, Verlinden (L Murphy 89), Politic, Buckley
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Weir, Darcy, Brown, Senior
Booked: Chicksen, Buckley
Goals: Hobbs 50

Sunderland: J McLaughlin, O'Nien, Flanagan, Willis, Hume (C McLaughlin 45), Dobson, Leadbitter (Power 74), Gooch, Maguire (Wyke 66), McGeady, Grigg
Subs Not Used: Burge, Ozturk, McGeouch, Embleton
Booked: Hume, McGeady, Power, Flanagan
Goals: McGeady 90+2(pen)

Referee: Ollie Yates
Attendance: 12,026

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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