Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Cheltenham Town

  • January 16, 2021 | By Chris Mann
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Eoin Doyle scored four minutes from time as Bolton once again came from behind to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town.

Trailing to a 54th-minute opener from Alfie May, Doyle levelled late on as he tapped in from close range after substitute Arthur Gnahoua had muscled his way beyond a number of defenders.

Ian Evatt made three changes to the side that started against Exeter City on Tuesday as Harry Brockbank, Andrew Tutte and Nathan Delfouneso all dropped to the bench.

George Thomason returned in midfield, whilst there were debuts for Zack Elbouzedi and Ben Jackson after their arrivals were announced just 90 minutes ahead of kick-off.

Despite the injection of fresh faces, it was Cheltenham who created the first shooting opportunity of the game with less than four minutes played as May found himself in space on the edge of the box before firing into the gloves of Matt Gilks in the Wanderers goal.

Matty Blair then found himself behind the Trotters defence with options in central positions, but after taking too much time to make up his mind he was thwarted by a backtracking Jackson who made a block to turn the ball behind for a corner.

Bolton's first chance arrived with a little over 15 minutes played as Elbouzedi cut in from the left-hand side before curling a shot over the bar from the edge of the area.

Andy Williams volleyed wide as the visitors looked to break the deadlock midway through the half, shortly before a neat move involving both Jackson and Gethin Jones ended with Lloyd Isgrove's deflected volley being pushed behind by Josh Griffiths.

The hosts were on top at this stage and thought they had taken the lead on 34 minutes, but Doyle's header was cleared off the line by Charlie Raglan after Isgrove's cross had evaded the Robins goalkeeper.

Thomason volleyed wide from the next attack, moments before Doyle headed over the top as he once again connected with an Isgrove cross.

The Irish forward was denied by Griffiths in the closing stages of the half, with Isgrove yet again the provider from the right-hand side, while the Town goalkeeper produced heroics in added time to make an outstanding double save to deny Thomason and then a follow-up from Antoni Sarcevic, who was standing in an offside position in any case.

After a goalless opening 45 minutes, Wanderers made a change at the break as Tutte came on in place of Lee.

They should have taken a lead within minutes of the restart but neither Doyle or Sarcevic could provide the telling touch as Jackson's inswinging cross from the left curled narrowly wide of the far post.

They were made to pay for those missed chances on 54 minutes as the visitors went ahead. Will Boyle escaped the attention of Ryan Delaney from a corner and although his free header was parried by Gilks, May was alert to tap in from close range to make it 1-0 to the away side.

Elbouzedi forced a save out of Griffiths as Bolton went in search of an immediate equaliser which just wouldn't arrive, forcing Evatt into a double substitution after the hour as Gnahoua and Harry Brockbank came on for Elbouzedi and Jones.

Ali Crawford replaced Thomason moments later, but the hosts struggled to break through a disciplined Cheltenham as they sat deep to protect their own penalty area.

It wasn't until 10 minutes from time that Bolton managed to force a way through, as Sarcevic's pass to Gnahoua saw him force a near-post save out of Griffiths.

Fortunately for the Trotters, they did manage to find a leveller on 86 minutes as Gnahoua burst away from his marker before squaring for Doyle to tap in from inside the six-yard box to make it 1-1.

Five minutes of time was added for stoppages at the end of the regulation 90 but there were to be no further chances, as the two sides were made to settle for a point apiece at the blustery University of Bolton Stadium.

The draw means Bolton reach the midway point of the campaign in 17th position, while Town - having played a game less - sit eight points above Wanderers in 6th.

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Jackson, Delaney, Santos, Jones (Brockbank 63), Sarcevic, Thomason (Crawford 67), Lee (Tutte 45), Elbouzedi (Gnahoua 62), Isgrove, Doyle
Subs Not Used: Delfouneso, Mascoll, Baptiste
Booked: Isgrove
Goals: Doyle 86

Cheltenham Town: Griffiths, Raglan, Tozer, Boyle, Blair, Azaz, Thomas, Chapman, Freestone (Long 83), Williams (Lloyd 83), May (Addai 90+1)
Subs Not Used: Harris, Bowry, Clements, Campbell
Goals: May 54

Referee: Andy Haines

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 >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston