Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Mansfield Town

  • November 03, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton left it late yet again as Antoni Sarcevic scored in the 90th minute to rescue a 1-1 draw at home to winless and managerless Mansfield Town.

Trailing to a 57th minute header from George Lapslie, who had headed home from a Stephen McLaughlin corner, Sarcevic ghosted into the box in the final minute of normal time to loft the ball beyond Marek Stech to salvage a point from yet another uninspiring Wanderers display.

The result sees the Trotters drop to 20th place in League Two with 11 games played, leaving frustrated supporters watching online fearing the months ahead as improvement continues to look a million miles away.

Ian Evatt made two changes to the Bolton side that started in defeat at Leyton Orient on Saturday as Tom White and Ronan Darcy returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Andrew Tutte and Arthur Gnahoua, both of whom were named amongst the substitutes.

After a slow opening to the game, the first chance fell the way of the hosts as Ali Crawford bent a strike wide from 25 yards with a little under 10 minutes on the clock.

Alex Baptiste was next to try his luck for Wanderers, prodding over from 12 yards after being put in by Crawford, although he would turn around to see an assistant referee's flag raised against him for an offside.

Crawford was involved again moments later, this time shooting over after being teed up by Peter Kioso, shortly before Billy Crellin was called into action for the first time at the other end to deny Nicky Maynard after he had made a hash of gathering a corner from McLaughlin.

Sarcevic forced Stech into a low save with a stinging drive from the edge of the box midway through the half, before Wanderers were forced into an early change as Harry Brockbank left the field clutching the back of his left leg - Liam Gordon coming on in his place.

Mansfield should have gone ahead on the half hour as Maynard's ball picked out Jordon Bowery. However, after shrugging off the challenge of Baptiste, Bowery was denied by Crellin.

Crawford fired off-target once again with a 25-yard free-kick which had been awarded for a foul on Ricardo Santos, while Town had the final chance of the half as Kellan Gordon latched on to a pass from Maynard before directing a shot wide of goal.

Both managers opted to stick with the players that had ended the opening 45 minutes as the teams returned for the second period, which began with George Maris firing inches over the crossbar after he had played a one-two with Bowery.

Crellin was at full stretch to push a goalbound strike from Mal Benning behind on 56 minutes, but Mansfield were ahead from the resulting corner as McLaughin's delivery was headed home at the near post by an unmarked Lapslie.

Maynard sliced wide on the hour as Mansfield pressed forward in search of doubling their advantage, before Jamie Reid sliced horribly wide with 10 minutes remaining as the visitors pushed on with what at this point had become a rare attack for either side.

Gnahoua, who has yet to score for Bolton, had the sting taken out of a strike in the 89th minute as the ball rolled frustratingly through to Stech but the Town goalkeeper was beaten moments later as the hosts rescued a point their play had scarcely deserved.

A teasing crossfield pass from Crawford allowed Sarcevic to ghost in towards the edge of the Mansfield box and although his lobbed attempt forced Stech into action, the ball would bounce beyond the goalkeeper and into the net to make it 1-1 with what would prove to be the final shot of the game.

The draw means Bolton drop to 20th place in League Two, where they will remain for at least another 10 days as league competition takes a break this coming weekend in favour of the FA Cup first round.

Wanderers will be back on home soil for their cup tie on Saturday, when League One Crewe Alexandra provide the opposition at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Crellin, Delaney, Santos, Baptiste, Brockbank (Gordon 29), White, Sarcevic, Kioso, Crawford, Darcy (Gnahoua 57), Delfouneso (Miller 70)
Subs Not Used: Hickman, Greenidge, Tutte, Isgrove
Goals: Sarcevic 90

Mansfield Town: Stech, Gordon, Rawson, Perch, Benning (O'Keeffe 71), Charsley, Lapslie, Maris (O'Driscoll 86), Bowery, Maynard (Reid 77), McLaughlin
Subs Not Used: Stone, Menayese, Cook, Sinclair
Booked: Lapslie
Goals: Lapslie 57

Referee: Andy Haines

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2020/21 Player of the Year?
56.86% Ricardo Santos
17.79% Matt Gilks
10.64% Alex Baptiste
9.94% Eoin Doyle
2.52% Antoni Sarcevic
1.54% Gethin Jones
0.42% Nathan Delfouneso
0.28% Ryan Delaney