Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Bristol Rovers

  • January 28, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Daryl Murphy headed a late equaliser as Bolton ended a run of four straight defeats by coming from behind to draw 1-1 with Bristol Rovers.

Trailing to a 63rd minute opener from Jonson Clarke-Harris, Murphy salvaged a point for Wanderers eight minutes from time as he connected with a Brandon Fleming corner to head past Jamal Blackman.

The game was perhaps overshadowed by an injury to Trotters midfielder Will Buckley, however, who was stretchered off just eight minutes after coming on as a substitute with what initial reports suggest could be a fractured leg.

10 days on from their last outing - a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Portsmouth - Keith Hill made one change to the Bolton side as Daryl Murphy returned in attack at the expense of Joe Dodoo, who was named amongst the substitutes.

Alongside Dodoo on the bench were Joe Bunney, available for the first time since signing back in September, and Buckley, who rejoined the club on Monday just 17 days after being released at the end of his previous contract.

The first chance of the evening fell the way of the visitors, with Ed Upson's header from an inswinging free-kick bringing an outstanding save out of Remi Matthews in the Wanderers goal with less than three minutes played.

Matthews was called into action again five minutes later, this time tipping a long-range effort from Josh Ginnelly behind for a corner.

The hosts registered their first attempt on goal in the 19th minute but Daryl Murphy's header from a Josh Emmanuel cross was straight at Blackman, who made a routine save.

Matthews had produced one outstanding stop in the early stages and did so once again on 27 minutes, this time pushing away another goalbound header before requiring the assistance of Jason Lowe and Toto Nsiala to clear the loose ball to safety.

Blackman saved from Darcy and Clarke-Harris prodded wide as the half drew to a close, with the sides going in at the interval level at 0-0.

Wanderers started the second period poorly and could have been behind inside the opening 30 seconds as Abu Ogogo volleyed wide from the edge of the box after Emmanuel had failed to deal with a ball into the box.

Luke Leahy struck a volley narrowly wide of the target as the clock ticked beyond the hour, while Dennis Politic saw a deflected effort bounce just past the post at the other end.

The deadlock was broken on 63 minutes though as a break down the right-hand side ended with a low cross being tapped in by Clarke-Harris from close range, giving Rovers the lead.

Bolton introduced Buckley in place of Darcy on 69 minutes but he would be forced off just eight minutes later, with initial reports suggesting he has been rushed to hospital with a suspected fractured leg.

With the ball back in play following a lengthy stoppage, substitute Dodoo headed wide from an Ethan Hamilton corner, but Wanderers didn't have to wait too much longer for an equaliser.

Fleming's outswinging corner from the left picked out Daryl Murphy inside the box, whose free header found the net to make the scoreline level at 1-1.

Eight minutes of time was added for stoppages at the end of the game but neither side could find that elusive winner, with Ollie Clarke shooting over the bar with Matthews off his line the best moment of attacking intent on offer.

Bolton's draw, combined with results elsewhere, leave Hill's side 20 points from safety in their almost certain battle against the drop. They return to action on Saturday, when fellow strugglers Tranmere Rovers are the visitors to the University of Bolton Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Fleming, Edwards, Nsiala, Emmanuel (Dodoo 53), Lowe, L Murphy, Hamilton, Politic, Darcy (Buckley 69 (O'Grady 77)), D Murphy
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Bunney, Brockbank, Graham
Booked: Darcy
Goals: D Murphy 82

Bristol Rovers: Blackman, Kilgour, Davies, Craig, Leahy, Ogogo, Upson, Clarke, Ginnelly (Mitchell-Lawson 89), Clarke-Harris, Rodman
Subs Not Used: van Stappershoef, Little, Holmes-Dennis, Reilly, Hargreaves, Barrett
Booked: Upson, Leahy
Goals: Clarke-Harris 63

Referee: Andy Haines
Attendance: 10,657

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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