Barrow 3-3 Bolton Wanderers

  • October 20, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Antoni Sarcevic scored in the fifth minute of added time to salvage a point for Bolton, who had earlier trailed 2-0 inside four minutes at the Progression Solicitors Stadium.

Down to early strikes from former Wanderers midfielder Chris Taylor and Michael Jones, Peter Kioso pulled one back on 16 minutes before Dior Angus made it 3-1 with just 20 minutes on the clock.

Eoin Doyle reduced the deficit back to one four minutes before the break, before Sarcevic poked a loose ball into the bottom corner in the final minute to rescue a draw for Ian Evatt on his first return to Barrow since being appointed Trotters Head Coach in July.

After suffering a last-gasp defeat at home to Oldham Athletic on Saturday, Evatt made two changes to the Bolton side on his first trip back to Barrow as Alex Baptiste and Arthur Gnahoua came in at the expense of Liam Gordon and Nathan Delfouneso - the latter of whom was with his pregnant wife as she entered labour.

With a little under 60 seconds on the clock, the deadlock was broken as former Wanderers midfielder Chris Taylor stood over a free-kick from 30 yards and curled the ball into the bottom corner of Billy Crellin's goal.

That lead was doubled just three minutes later as the visitors struggled to clear their lines and a loose ball rolled straight at the feet of Jones, who smashed a first-time strike into the roof of the net to make it 2-0.

Bolton took a while to register their first attempt on goal but that also resulted in a goal, with Kioso stooping to head home an Ali Crawford free-kick on 16 minutes to reduce the deficit to 2-1.

Having provided the assist for Kioso, Crawford almost repeated the trick as Ryan Delaney headed wide moments later, but Evatt's side soon found themselves conceding again through comical defending at the other end.

With Harry Brockbank caught defending deep on the near side, Angus sneaked into a central position between Ricardo Santos and Baptiste before rifling a shot across goal and into the far corner for 3-1 Barrow.

The hosts should have made it 4-1 midway through the half as Angus rounded Crellin. With the angle narrowing, he opted to cut the ball back for Chris Taylor, whose bending effort flew inches over the crossbar and into the stand.

With four minutes of the half to play, Wanderers found the net once again as Delaney freed Gnahoua down the left-hand side. After working a yard of space to get away from Yoan Zouma, Gnahoua's cross picked out an unmarked Doyle who headed home with ease to make it 3-2.

Remarkably, Bolton should have gone in level at the break but Kioso's towering header to meet a Sarcevic cross bounced agonisingly wide of the far post as the Trotters trailed at the interval.

Many watching on iFollow streams across the country expected changes from both sides at the start of the second period but they weren't forthcoming, with those who left the field at half-time all returning.

There was little to call in the early stages following the restart, with Brandon Comley and Zouma going into the book for either side for late challenges on opposition players.

Then, just before the hour, Sarcevic picked out the run of Kioso, whose low cross into a dangerous area was turned behind just as Ghahoua looked set to tap in an equaliser.

Patrick Brough saw a free-kick deflect behind for Barrow midway through the half, moments before he set up Harrison Biggins who would surely have scored but for the timely intervention of Sarcevic.

Two substitutions saw Gordon and Ronan Darcy introduced for the visitors, with the latter soon involved by whipping in a free-kick that resulted in Sarcevic having a goalbound shot charged down by a defender.

Four minutes of stoppage time was added by the fourth official and it looked as though Wanderers' chances of salvaging a point had gone when Joel Dixon tipped over a header from Gordon in the final minute.

Referee Peter Wright allowed play to continue towards a fifth minute and it produced that elusive goal that Evatt had been looking for, with Sarcevic poking home from close range to make it 3-3 and rescue a point which had looked unlikely for the majority of the evening.

Only time will tell whether that proved to be a wake-up call for the Trotters, who return to action with a trip to Cambridge United this coming Saturday.

Barrow: Dixon, Zouma, Platt, Brough, Barry, C Taylor (Biggins 45), Angus, Jones, J Taylor, Quigley (Reid 56), Kay (Brown 90+2)
Subs Not Used: Hird, Maloney, James
Booked: Jones, Zouma, Barry, Brown
Goals: C Taylor 1, Jones 4, Angus 20

Bolton Wanderers: Crellin, Delaney, Santos, Baptiste, Brockbank (Gordon 75), Comley, Sarcevic, Kioso, Crawford (Darcy 81), Gnahoua, Doyle
Subs Not Used: Taft, Hickman, Mascoll, Greenidge, Tutte
Booked: Brockbank, Comley
Goals: Kioso 16, Doyle 41, Sarcevic 90+5

Referee: Peter Wright

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Pos Team Pld Pts
4 Tranmere Rovers 31 54
5 Morecambe 32 52
6 Bolton Wanderers 32 50
7 Salford City 31 49
8 Newport County 31 48
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