Carlisle United 3-3 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 26, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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George Thomason, Nathan Delfouneso and Peter Kioso were on target as Bolton came from three-down to draw at Carlisle United on Boxing Day.

With Storm Bella blowing around Brunton Park, United thrust themselves into a two-goal lead inside seven minutes as Aaron Hayden and Lewis Alessandra made the most of some sloppy Wanderers defending.

Omari Patrick added a third nine minutes before the break, but the visitors reduced the deficit moments before the interval as Thomason netted his first professional goal.

The Trotters, who had the wind behind them in the second period, had initially failed to make the most of the conditions but somehow got back on level terms as Delfouneso and then Kioso struck inside the final five minutes.

Both teams clipped the woodwork in added time, while Kioso was dismissed for a second bookable offence, as a frantic match ended all-square at 3-3.

Having lost 3-0 at home to Tranmere Rovers last time out, Ian Evatt made two changes for the trip to Cumbria as the fit-again duo of Andrew Tutte and Kioso came in at the expense of Lloyd Isgrove and Harry Brockbank.

Conceding early goals has been a problem for Wanderers in the first-half of the campaign - shipping five in the opening 15 minutes of games - and they added two to that tally inside seven minutes as Carlisle raced into a commanding lead.

The first arrived with five minutes played as the hosts were awarded a free-kick for a foul by Ricardo Santos on Alessandra. Callum Guy's inswinging cross from the right caused panic in the Trotters defence, allowing Hayden to beat Matt Gilks to the ball and bundle home from close range.

Santos gave away another free-kick moments later, giving Carlisle an opportunity in dangerous territory. This time, Guy's low delivery caught the visiting defence napping and Alessandra ran across his marked to guide the ball beyond Gilks to make it 2-0.

Patrick was twice denied by Gilks as the hosts looked to make it 3-0 inside 10 minutes, shortly before the United winger cut in from the left and forced the goalkeeper into a diving save as his strike looked set to fly into the top corner.

Josh Kayode volleyed over on 20 minutes before a mistake from Santos provided Alessandra with a clear run on goal, only to him to fire high and wide of the target with only Gilks left to beat.

Wanderers saw strong appeals for a penalty turned down when Kioso was bundled to the ground just after the half-hour. Enraged by the decision, Evatt's made his frustrations clear to the fourth official and was subsequently shown a yellow card by referee Ross Joyce.

Evatt's emotions would have reached boiling point two minutes later as his side suddenly found themselves 3-0 down, with Patrick making the most of a slip from Alex Baptiste before rolling the ball past Gilks and into the bottom corner.

Carlisle were cruising at this point but were punished for a lapse in concentration shortly before the break, as a deflected cross from Kioso looped into the air and allowed Thomason to head in at the far post for his first professional goal.

Jon Mellish pounced on a poor touch from Tutte in added time before sliding a shot just beyond the far post, with the half-time whistle seeing Bolton go in trailing 3-1.

Isgrove came on in place of Baptiste as the players returned for the second period and he was involved almost instantly, combining with Delfouneso before crossing for Antoni Sarcevic to shoot wide.

Patrick curled wide at the other end as Carlisle looked to build momentum once again, before Thomason was told to get to his feet after appearing to go down inside the box a little too easily for the referee's liking.

Gilks had to keep his concentration to keep out a volley from Alessandra on the hour after it had become caught up in the wind, while Sarcevic dragged a shot wide from 20 yards at the other end as he picked up possession from Delfouneso.

Alessandra clipped the crossbar with 20 minutes to play, moments before Joe Riley fired narrowly over the top as he caught Gilks creeping off his line.

Then, with little indication of what was to follow, Bolton gave themselves hope with four minutes to play as Sarcevic played a ball across the face of goal and Delfouneso was on hand to tap in for 3-2.

Two minutes later, the visitors were back on level terms as Isgrove, whose initial corner had been partially cleared, clipped a cross into the box where Kioso rose highest to power home a header to make it 3-3.

Four minutes of time were added for stoppages and both teams came close to taking all three points, only to be denied by the woodwork.

First, Thomason found himself with a clear sight of goal and despite seeing his shot squirm under the body of Paul Farman, the ball clipped the outside of the post before being cleared to safety.

Wanderers were reduced to 10 men shortly afterwards as Kioso was sent off for a second bookable offence, but they survived a late scare when Jon Mellish also struck the post with the final kick as the sides were made to settle for a point apiece.

The 3-3 draw does nothing for either team's league placing, with Bolton remaining 15th and Carlisle in 3rd - just as they had started the day.

Evatt's side are back in action this coming Tuesday, when they host 5th-placed Morecambe at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Carlisle United: Farman, Armer, Hayden, Bennett, McDonald, Guy, Riley, Mellish, Alessandra, Kayode, Patrick (Toure 77)
Subs Not Used: Dewhurst, Reilly, Charters, Dixon, Bell, Obiero
Booked: Riley, Bennett, Mellish, Farman
Goals: Hayden 5, Alessandra 7, Patrick 36

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Delaney (Greenidge 76), Santos, Baptiste (Isgrove 45), Jones, Tutte, Thomason, Kioso, Sarcevic, Delfouneso, Doyle (Brockbank 90+6)
Subs Not Used: Crellin, Comley, Crawford, White
Booked: Jones, Kioso, Thomason
Sent Off: Kioso
Goals: Thomason 44, Delfouneso 86, Kioso 88

Referee: Ross Joyce
Attendance: 2,000

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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3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston