Bolton Wanderers 2-2 AFC Wimbledon

  • December 07, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Joe Dodoo powered home a 95th minute header to rescue a point for Bolton in a 2-2 draw with AFC Wimbledon.

Wanderers had twice trailed at the University of Bolton Stadium, with Dons forward Marcus Forss netting a brace, although Daryl Murphy's fifth goal in five games and Dodoo's stoppage-time leveller meant the sides ended all-square.

In fact, Murphy's 56th minute goal meant he became the first Trotters player to score in five consecutive league outings since Michael Ricketts, who did so between October and November 2000 during the club's promotion season to the Premier League.

Having gone two weeks since a humiliating 7-1 defeat at Accrington Stanley, Keith Hill made four changes to his team ahead of kick-off - Yoan Zouma, Sonny Graham, Ronan Darcy and Dodoo taking the places of Josh Earl, Liam Bridcutt, Luke Murphy and Thibaud Verlinden.

It was a fairly slow start to events, with nine minutes on the clock when Remi Matthews spilled a shot from Max Sanders before recovering to gather at the second attempt.

Chris O'Grady had Bolton's first attempt on the quarter-hour, shrugging off the challenge of Luke O'Neill before shooting wide from just inside the box.

Darcy was involved at first-team level for the first time since September and came close to marking the occasion with a first senior league goal, only to send the ball inches wide of the target after Nathan Trott had dropped a routine catch from a Graham cross.

The Wanderers academy product then turned provider for Murphy, who chipped an effort over the top, shortly before Joe Pigott headed over when picked out unmarked at the other end.

Pigott should have opened the scoring in that moment and he wasted another chance just before the half-hour, once again heading off-target when found with a cross from O'Neill.

Murphy twice headed wide as Bolton looked to get ahead, while Trott had to rush across his line to prevent Paul Kalambayi from putting into his own net.

Forss bent a shot agonisingly wide on 38 minutes but he did break the deadlock moments later, intercepting a poor pass from Graham before stepping beyond Jake Wright and sliding the ball beyond a helpless Matthews.

Murphy brought Trott into action in the closing stages of the half, but the visitors were to take their advantage into the interval.

Both teams made a change as the players returned for the start of the second period, with Shane McLoughlin replacing Pinnock for the Dons, while Verlinden came on in place of O'Grady for Bolton.

Much like the opening 45 minutes, the teams were slow to get going again and it wasn't until the 55th minute that either goalkeeper was called into action.

This time, it was Trott who was forced to make a save as a deflected drive from Dodoo had to be tipped behind.

From the resulting corner, Darcy's cross was headed home by Murphy to bring Wanderers on level terms - his fifth goal in as many games making him the first place to achieve such a figure in over 19 years.

The hosts were on top at this stage, with Dodoo flicking a cross from Adam Chicksen over the top as he went in search of his first goal for the club.

Paul Osew looped a header over the crossbar midway through the half, while Ryan Delaney also failed to hit the target as the clock entered the final 15 minutes.

Darcy was played in on goal on 79 minutes but with defenders recovering their position he was forced to take his shot early, with a first-time volley rolling narrowly wide of the far post.

Momentum took another shift three minutes later, however, as Forss saw a goalbound header saved by Matthews, only to react quickest to fire the loose ball into an empty net - giving the visitors a 2-1 lead.

Four minutes of stoppage time were indicated by the officials and it was 30 seconds over the allocated amount that Bolton got the equaliser their overall play deserved.

With Matthews in the opposition box for a corner, AFC Wimbledon cleared the ball and looked to mount an attack but a cross from Verlinden found the head of Dodoo, who powered home from close range to ensure the match ended level at 2-2.

The draw puts Bolton on two points at the foot of the League One table, four adrift of Southend United and 15 from safety with two games in hand on Tranmere Rovers above the relegation line.

They return to action on Tuesday night with a second-round tie at Accrington Stanley, before heading to Peterborough United in league action next Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Chicksen, Wright, Zouma, Emmanuel, Lowe, Graham (Politic 84), Darcy, O'Grady (Verlinden 45), Dodoo, D Murphy
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Weir, Boon, Senior
Goals: D Murphy 56, Dodoo 90+5

AFC Wimbledon: Trott, O'Neill, Kalambayi, Delaney, Wagstaff, Sanders, Pinnock (McLoughlin 45), Reilly, Osew, Forss (Guinness-Walker 86), Pigott
Subs Not Used: McDonnell, McDonald, Thomas, Hartigan, Roscrow
Booked: Sanders
Goals: Forss 41,82

Referee: Marc Edwards
Attendance: 11,501

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>


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