Morecambe 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • February 05, 2022 | By Chris Mann
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Amadou Bakayoko scored with Bolton's only shot on target as Wanderers salvaged a point from a game marred by crowd disturbances at the Mazuma Stadium.

Wanderers, who had been reduced to 10 men when Ricardo Almeida Santos was harshly sent off for an apparent handball on 69 minutes, escaped double punishment when James Trafford saved the resulting penalty from Cole Stockton.

Stockton made amends four minutes later, however, tapping in the opener from close range, while play was stopped inside the final 10 minutes after items were thrown in the direction of Shrimps goalkeeper Adam Smith from the away supporters, before words from home fans aimed at the visiting dugout prompted referee Ross Joyce to remove players from the field of play.

After a delay of more than 10 minutes, play resumed and the Trotters would secure a point as Bakayoko pounced on a cross from Declan John to fire home and set off on a celebration which further angered the home support.

Ian Evatt made two changes to the team that started Tuesday's victory over Cambridge United as Will Aimson and Kieran Lee returned in place of the injured Gethin Jones and benched Bakayoko.

Both teams struggled to adapt to the conditions at the Mazuma Stadium, which was battered by wind and rain throughout, but it was Bolton who had the first chance of the afternoon as Oladapo Afolayan worked his way into space before seeing a shot blocked by Anthony O'Connor with eight minutes played.

Morecambe's first effort arrived three minutes later as Jonah Ayunga found space inside the box, only for his strike on the turn to fly harmlessly wide of Trafford's target.

MJ Williams fired over on 18 minutes, while Stockton's shot on the turn midway through the half rolled just wide of the far post for the home side.

Stockton came close again moments later, getting on the end of a cutback from Shane McLoughlin before seeing a shot deflect behind, shortly before John broke free down the left-hand side before seeing a low ball across the face of the six-yard box cut out by Shrimps goalkeeper Adam Smith.

Former Trotters forward Arthur Gnahoua shot over from just outside the area in the final minute of the half, which ended with the teams going in goalless at the interval.

There was one change as Bolton returned for the second period, as Jon Dadi Bodvarsson came on in place of Lee. Morecambe, meanwhile, remained unchanged.

With the action back underway, it took until the 54th minute for the first sight of goal to arrive, with Aaron Morley firing a free-kick high over the crossbar after Afolayan had been fouled just outside the box.

The hosts almost went ahead 60 seconds later, though, as Stockton put the ball on a plate for O'Connor, whose shot from close range was superbly saved by Trafford.

Trafford was on top form again soon after the hour, this time denying Toumani Diagouraga after he pounced on a clearance to the edge of the Wanderers area.

Adam Phillips saw a free-kick smothered by Trafford as Morecambe increased their pressure midway through the half, and they were gifted an opportunity to break the deadlock on 69 minutes as they were awarded a penalty for an apparent handball by Santos on the goal-line.

Stockton stepped up to take the spot-kick, only for Trafford to dive low to his right and make an outstanding stop to keep the game scoreless.

Trafford was at his best yet again to thwart Gnahoua from the next attack, but Morecambe's persistence paid off on 73 minutes as Stockton made amends for his earlier miss by slotting in from close range and giving the home side a 1-0 lead.

The Shrimps thought they had doubled their advantage four minutes later, only for O'Connor to have a goal ruled out for a foul from a corner, before off-field incidents involving both sets of supporters prompted referee Joyce to call players from the field.

First, Morecambe goalkeeper Smith appeared to be struck by an item thrown from the visiting support, which was followed shortly thereafter by home fans behind the Wanderers dugout aiming alleged abuse in the direction of Evatt and his players.

After a stoppage of more than 10 minutes, play resumed and there was just about enough time for Bolton to rescue a point as John ghosted in down the left-hand side and crossed low for Bakayoko, who buried the ball in the net to make it 1-1.

Bolton supporters flooded on to the pitch in celebration, with Evatt heading in their direction to urge them to return to the stands, but that would prove to be the final act as both teams were made to settle for a point from a game which will be discussed for days to come.

Wanderers move back into the top-10 as a result of their draw, ahead of Tuesday's home clash with Charlton Athletic.

Morecambe: Smith, R McLaughlin, O'Connor, Bedeau, Leigh, S McLaughlin, Diagouraga, Phillips (Fane 85), Ayunga, Stockton, Gnahoua (Connolly 90+16)
Subs Not Used: Da Silva Mendes, Obika, Cooney, McCalmont, Bennett
Booked: Smith
Goals: Stockton 73

Bolton Wanderers: Trafford, Johnston, Santos, Aimson, John, Morley, Williams, Fossey, Lee (Bodvarsson 45), Afolayan (Dempsey 67), Charles (Bakayoko 78)
Subs Not Used: Dixon, Sadlier, Thomason, Baptiste
Booked: Johnston
Sent Off: Santos
Goals: Bakayoko 90+14

Referee: Ross Joyce
Attendance: 5,617

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