Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Morecambe

  • February 09, 2021 | By Chris Mann
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Marcus Maddison was sent off on his debut as Bolton were held to a 1-1 draw by Morecambe at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Maddison, who was introduced as a 61st minute substitute for Arthur Gnahoua, was given his marching orders just 12 minutes later after appearing to jump into a 50/50 challenge - becoming the first Wanderers player to see red on his first outing for the club since Akin Bulent in 2002.

Wanderers had been leading at the time courtesy of Eoin Doyle's 11th strike of the campaign, but a late equaliser from Shrimps substitute Brad Lyons ensured the points were shared at the full-time whistle.

Having seen away games at Mansfield Town and Salford City postponed due to wintery weather over the course of the past week, Wanderers were looking for some home comforts as they lined up for a first-ever competitive meeting with Morecambe.

Plenty of pre-match talk surrounded the four deadline day arrivals at the University of Bolton Stadium but only one would take to the field from the start, as MJ Williams debuted in place of Kieran Lee - while Maddison and Oladapo Afolayan took up places amongst the substitutes.

Lukas Jensen wasn't included, nor was fellow goalkeeper Billy Crellin, with both missing out due to EFL rules which state no more than five loan players may be included in a matchday squad of 18.

With games up and down the country being called off or abandoned throughout the day and into the evening, Ian Evatt would have been relieved to see only a light covering of snow in the area.

With the game underway, both teams struggled to get into full flow - with Morecambe seemingly happy to concede possession and look to hit Bolton on the counter attack.

It resulted in an opening 45 minutes devoid of any serious chances, with the two clubs restricted to nothing more than half chances for the most part.

The first sight of goal fell the way of the visitors with 13 minutes on the clock, with Nathaniel Knight-Percival emerging from a 50/50 with Williams with the ball, only to fire high over the crossbar from 30 yards.

The visitors were back on the attack again moments later, this time seeing a cross from Cole Stockton cause some minor panic in the Wanderers defence - with Matt Gilks pouncing on the loose ball at the second attempt.

Bolton's first chance came on 16 minutes as a free-kick from Ben Jackson was headed back across goal by Ricardo Santos, but Doyle couldn't quite get the contact desired to test Kyle Letheren between the Morecambe sticks.

Carlos Mendes Gomes drifted in from the left before bending a shot narrowly wide midway through the half, shortly before the Shrimps winger was beaten for pace at the other end as Lloyd Isgrove cut the ball back for Doyle, whose first-time strike rolled harmlessly into the arms of Letheren.

Stockton headed over from a John O'Sullivan cross with five minutes of the half to play, moments before O'Sullivan lashed over himself after connecting with an Aaron Wildig corner.

The deadlock was broken on 43 minutes, however, as Delfouneso broke from halfway. With Harry Brockbank making an overlapping run down the right as a decoy, Delfouneso picked out an unmarked Doyle, who made no mistake in slotting into the far corner - giving Bolton a 1-0 advantage that they would take into the half-time interval.

There were no changes as the players returned for the second period, which began with Delfouneso working himself a yard of space before seeing a strike blocked by former Wanderers defender Sam Lavelle.

Delfouneso was involved again moments later, heading an Isgrove cross into the gloves of Letheren, while Brockbank saw a stinging drive blocked by the body of Alex Denny.

Brockbank received treatment to what appeared to be a groin injury in the immediate aftermath of that attack and with no risks being taken, he was withdrawn as Gethin Jones was introduced - just moments after Maddison and Afolayan had also come on in place of Isgrove and Gnahoua.

Morecambe came close to getting back on level terms with 65 minutes on the clock as Lavelle connected with a free-kick from Wildig, only to see his header crash back off the crossbar.

Maddison's first involvement came midway through the half as he received possession from Afolayan before forcing a save out of Letheren, and his evening came to a premature end on 73 minutes as referee Oliver Langford issued a red card to the on-loan midfielder, who appeared to jump into a 50/50 challenge with Shrimps' Wildig.

Undeterred by being a man short, Bolton continued to push forward and could have added a second when Declan John struck over the top with a little over 10 minutes to play.

But it was Morecambe who looked the most likely from that point on as Stockton fired a warning shot, before Lyons, on as a substitute just seconds earlier, headed in from an O'Sullivan corner with his first touch.

Jordan Slew shot wide and Mendes Gomes headed over in the latter stages, although it was Bolton who had the final chance of the evening as Doyle curled wide from the edge of the box in the final minute of added time.

Despite playing the final 17 minutes with only 10 men, Bolton held out to take a point from a game in which they had previously looked comfortable.

They move up one place to 19th in the League Two table, ahead of Saturday's home clash with fellow strugglers Stevenage.

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Jackson (John 70), Baptiste, Santos, Brockbank (Jones 62), Thomason, Williams, Isgrove (Afolayan 61), Delfouneso (Elbouzedi 78), Gnahoua (Maddison 61), Doyle
Subs Not Used: Comley, Tutte
Booked: Williams
Sent Off: Maddison
Goals: Doyle 43

Morecambe: Letheren, Mellor (Cooney 82), Lavelle, Knight-Percival, Gibson (Hendrie 82), Diagouraga, Denny (McAlinden 76), O'Sullivan, Wildig (Lyons 83), Mendes Gomes, Stockton (Slew 83)
Subs Not Used: Halstead, Davis
Goals: Lyons 83

Referee: Oliver Langford

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Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Salford City 29 45
8 Newport County 28 44
9 Bolton Wanderers 30 44
10 Carlisle United 26 43
11 Bradford City 28 40
View Full Standings >>


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