Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Shrewsbury Town

  • December 29, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton were made to play the final 32 minutes with 10 men but held out for a point in a 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury Town.

Wanderers had gone ahead inside 34 minutes at the University of Bolton Stadium as on-loan winger Thibaud Verlinden lifted the ball over a stranded Max O'Leary in the Town goal, but the visitors drew level eight minutes after the break when Daniel Udoh swept home from close range.

Jason Lowe was dismissed shortly before the hour for a two-footed lunge on Salop's Oliver Norburn and despite a late onslaught from Sam Ricketts' side, the Trotters held on to end the year unbeaten in three league games over the festive period.

After following up victory over Southend United with a draw at Sunderland on Boxing Day, Bolton boss Keith Hill named the same side for a third consecutive game knowing another win would lift them off the foot of the League One table.

They started poorly though and were fortunate not to fall behind within three minutes, with Shaun Whalley shooting wide of an empty goal from 30 yards after Wanderers goalkeeper Remi Matthews had vacated his penalty area to make a poor headed clearance.

Bolton were forced into a change on the quarter-hour as Liam Bridcutt was replaced by Adam Chicksen, with the on-loan Nottingham Forest man appearing to have suffered a hamstring injury.

Chicksen's first involvement saw him release Verlinden down the left-hand side, whose cross into the box was somehow headed over from six yards by an unmarked Daryl Murphy.

Verlinden was involved again midway through the half, playing a short corner to Ronan Darcy who then saw a whipped attempt tipped over the top by O'Leary.

Daryl Murphy headed wide from a Darcy corner moments later, before Joe Dodoo brought the Salop stopper into a save with a deflected drive on the half-hour.

The deadlock was broken on 34 minutes, though, as a flick from Darcy put Verlinden through on goal. With O'Leary racing off his line, the Wanderers midfielder lifted the ball over the oncoming goalkeeper and found the net to make it 1-0.

It would remain that way going into the break, after which Shrewsbury began to build momentum.

Udoh was denied by Matthews within 60 seconds of the restart, moments before Aaron Pierre headed over from a Scott Golbourne cross.

They were level on 53 minutes, however, as Udoh volleyed from from 12 yards after Whalley had twice seen attempts of his own blocked by Jake Wright.

Dodoo and Josh Laurent both failed to alter the scoreline with strikes in the immediate aftermath of Udoh's equaliser, before the game changed on 58 minutes as Wanderers were reduced to 10 men following a two-footed lunge by Lowe on Norburn.

That put the wind in the sails of the visitors, who came close to taking the lead when Ryan Giles flashed a shot inches wide of the post just after the hour.

Pierre headed wide on 71 minutes, shortly before Norburn saw a goalbound volley blocked by the body of Chicksen.

Pierre continued to be a threat in the air and saw another header cleared off the line by Dodoo with a little over 10 minutes to play, before Matthews became the Bolton hero with an outstanding double save to keep the scores level.

First, Matthews stuck out a big right hand to deny Laurent, before rising to his feet to block a rebound from Whalley.

Shrewsbury did have the ball in the net in the second of five added minutes for stoppages, but the assistant referee had correctly raised a flag for an offside against Whalley as he got on the end of a chested pass from Laurent.

Pierre had the final chance of the afternoon, lashing a volley across the face of goal and behind as the sides ended the decade with a 1-1 draw.

The point wasn't enough to lift Bolton off the foot of the League One table, and they will enter the New Year 14 points from safety with two games in hand on Tranmere Rovers who occupy the final place above the relegation zone.

Hill's side return to action on Wednesday when they are on home soil again, this time against Burton Albion.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Earl, Wright, Bridcutt (Chicksen 15), Emmanuel, Lowe, L Murphy, Darcy, Verlinden (Graham 74), Dodoo (O'Grady 90+2), D Murphy
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Brockbank, Politic, Edwards
Sent Off: Lowe
Goals: Verlinden 34

Shrewsbury Town: O'Leary, Williams, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre, Love (Okenabirhie 90+1), Norburn, Laurent, Golbourne, Whalley, Udoh (Cummings 83), Giles
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Edwards, Beckles, Walker, Goss
Goals: Udoh 53

Referee: Michael Salisbury
Attendance: 13,788

Football betting site Betway

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 >>


Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone