Cambridge United 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • October 24, 2020 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/32e5a

Antoni Sarcevic is growing into his role as Bolton captain, as he scored an equaliser for the second time in a matter of days to salvage a draw at Cambridge United.

Having scored in the final minute of stoppage time to rescue a 3-3 draw at Barrow on Tuesday, Sarcevic lashed home with eight minutes remaining at the Abbey Stadium as Wanderers came from behind once again.

The visitors had fallen behind on 72 minutes when a cross from Jack Iredale gathered momentum in the wind, before Trotters goalkeeper Billy Crellin flapped at a punch and turned around to see the ball nestle in his net.

Ian Evatt made two changes to his Bolton side ahead of kick-off, as Nathan Delfouneso returned following the birth of a baby boy and Andrew Tutte came in alongside Sarcevic in midfield.

Arthur Gnahoua dropped to the substitutes' bench despite an impressive showing at the Progression Solicitors Stadium, while Brandon Comley dropped out completely as he hovers just one yellow card away from a suspension.

With the action underway in Cambridgeshire, it was Wanderers who created the first shooting opportunity of the afternoon as the unfamiliar figure of Harry Brockbank found himself in the final third to shoot over from distance.

Brockbank tried his luck again on 12 minutes, firing over once more at the end of a move which had seen some neat play involving both Ali Crawford and Delfouneso.

Cambridge's first attempt arrived three minutes later as a free-kick from Idris El Mizouni was comfortably gathered by Crellin in the visiting goal.

The visitors came close to breaking the deadlock with 17 minutes played as Eoin Doyle threaded a pass out wide to Sarcevic, whose strike across goal flashed narrowly wide as Brockbank desperately tried to slide in unopposed at the far post.

Crellin reacted well to keep out a deflected drive from Luke Hannant midway through the half, moments before a stinging attempt from Peter Kioso was parried to safety by United goalkeeper Dimi Mitov.

Hannant came close again from the next attack, seeing a goalbound shot blocked by the body of Ryan Delaney. The home players appealed for a handball against the Trotters defender, although television replays backed up the opinion of referee Lee Swabey as he adjudged the ball to have struck Delaney in the chest.

After twice seeing chances come and go, Hannant was presented with another opportunity shortly before the break, this time latching on to a pass from El Mizouni before lashing a shot wide of the target.

Neat play involving Brockbank and Doyle gave Delfouneso a sight of goal in the closing stages of the half, with the latter slicing a shot beyond the far post as the team's went in goalless at the break.

There were no changes as the players returned for the second period, which began with the visitors seeing a goal ruled out for offside.

Within three minutes of the restart, Doyle and Crawford combined inside the area before a square ball from Sarcevic left Brockbank with a simple tap-in. However, just as he wheeled away in celebration of his first professional goal, the assistant referee on the near side had raised his flag to rule the strike out.

Wanderers then suffered a blow as Doyle limped off, with Gnahoua on to partner Delfouneso in his place.

Chances were at a premium until the 64th minute, when Hiram Boateng sent a free-kick narrowly past the post after Delaney had committed a foul in dangerous territory.

Paul Mullin powered another free-kick just wide five minutes later, before the opening goal arrived in circumstances that Crellin won't like to see again.

A cross from Iredale caused panic inside the Bolton box, with an uncomfortable Crellin opting to punch instead of catch, only to turn around and see the ball land in his goal via the post. To compound his misery, the goal was credited as an own-goal.

Fortunately for Wanderers, they bounced back eight minutes from time as Crawford played a pin-point pass into the feet of Sarcevic, who worked himself a yard of space on the edge of the box before drilling low into the corner beyond Mitov to make it 1-1.

Sarcevic wasted a chance to hand the visitors all three points when he sliced an attempt wide in the closing stages, while Delfouneso came agonisingly close moments later with a strike that Mitov just about collected at the second attempt following an initial fumble.

The game would end all-square at the Abbey Stadium, with Bolton taking a point from the league leaders who had won their previous three league games in succession - scoring a combined nine goals along the way.

Evatt's side return to home soil for their next outing, which comes against Bradford City this coming Tuesday.

Cambridge United: Mitov, Knoyle, Darling, Taylor, Iredale, Hannant, Digby, Boateng (May 65), Dunk, El Mizouni (Ironside 59), Mullin
Subs Not Used: Burton, Dallas, Cundy, Davies, Knowles
Booked: Iredale
Goals: Crellin 72 (og)

Bolton Wanderers: Crellin, Delaney, Santos, Baptiste, Brockbank (Gordon 72), Tutte, Sarcevic, Kioso, Crawford, Delfouneso, Doyle (Gnahoua 50)
Subs Not Used: Taft, Hickman, Mascoll, Greenidge, Darcy
Booked: Delaney
Goals: Sarcevic 82

Referee: Lee Swabey

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Pos Team Pld Pts
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12 Harrogate Town 14 19
13 Bolton Wanderers 14 19
14 Morecambe 14 19
15 Crawley Town 14 18
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