Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Morecambe

  • March 08, 2022 | By Chris Mann
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Jon Dadi Bodvarsson came off the bench to strike a last-minute equaliser but Bolton's play-off hopes were dealt a major blow as they drew 1-1 at home to Morecambe.

Wanderers, who dominated the play with a whopping 80% of the possession, struggled to break through a resolute Shrimps defence throughout the evening and shot themselves in the foot four minutes before the break when Cole Stockton slotted into an empty net after George Johnston's pass back to goalkeeper James Trafford was intercepted.

Trotters supporters became increasingly frustrated as the second-half progressed but their side did eventually get back on level terms as Bodvarsson struck in the fourth minute of added time to salvage a point that does little to help his side's pursuit of a place in the top-six.

Ian Evatt made one change to the side that won comfortably at Gillingham on Saturday, with Amadou Bakayoko returning ahead of Bodvarsson in attack.

With the action underway, it was the visitors who had the first effort on goal as Adam Phillips played in Dylan Connolly, whose strike from a narrow angle was gathered with ease by Trafford.

Wanderers' first sight of goal came with seven minutes played - Oladapo Afolayan latching on to a pass from Marlon Fossey and picking out the run of Declan John, whose low cross to Dion Charles was lashed well wide of the target.

Afolayan and Fossey were involved again shortly thereafter, with the latter this time playing a ball back across the face of goal for Bakayoko to head into the gloves of Trevor Carson in the visiting goal.

The hosts came even closer to breaking the deadlock on 18 minutes as Bakayoko and Charles combined on the edge of the box, with the latter seeing his thunderbolt of a strike cannon back off the underside of the crossbar and away to safety.

Bakayoko then came close himself moments later, stretching as much as he possibly could but not quite getting the desired contact to John's cross - his effort rolling narrowly wide of the far post.

Ricardo Almeida Santos headed wide from an Aaron Morley corner on the half-hour, before an altercation on the touchline involving both managers saw Morecambe's Derek Adams go into the referee's book.

The Shrimps had been on the back foot for almost the entirety of the half but took the lead four minutes before the break as Phillips pounced on a mistake from Johnston, beat Trafford to a loose ball and squared for Stockton to tap into an empty net - giving the visitors an advantage that they would take into the interval.

Bolton knew the longer they trailed, the more difficult it would become for them to get back into the game.

It therefore came as little surprise to see them attack immediately following the restart, with Morley curling a free-kick narrowly wide from 25 yards after Will Aimson had been fouled by Ousmane Fane.

Bakayoko headed wide from an Afolayan delivery on 54 minutes, moments before Stockton volleyed straight into the arms of Trafford at the other end as he met Dylan Connolly's cross at full speed.

Fossey required treatment on the hour after taking a blow to the head as he denied Morecambe with some outstanding last-ditch defending, shortly before Afolayan saw a deflected strike parried behind by Carson at the other end.

Kieran Sadlier replaced MJ Williams midway through the half in a tactical switch, and one which also spared the latter from receiving a 10th yellow card of the league campaign which would have resulted in an immediate two-match suspension.

Bodvarsson was introduced several minutes later, shortly after Johnston had broken forward from the back before seeing an attempt deflect behind off Shane McLoughlin.

Wanderers had seemingly run out of ideas at this point, with their possession statistics not being reflected in the scoreline - prompting Evatt to make one final alteration as Xavier Amaechi came on in place of Afolayan for the final seven minutes.

Four minutes were added for stoppages at the end of the game, which proved to be just enough for the hosts to get back on level terms.

John's cross to the far post was brought under control by Santos. His cutback to Amaechi was quickly shut down, only for a flick to Bodvarsson resulting in the Icelander firing in to salvage a 1-1 draw and a point that could prove vital at the end of the season.

Bolton remain 11th in the League One table following the midweek fixtures, seven points adrift of sixth-placed Plymouth Argyle, who are Saturday's visitors to the University of Bolton Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Trafford, Johnston, Santos, Aimson, John, Morley, Williams (Sadlier 67), Fossey, Afolayan (Amaechi 83), Bakayoko (Bodvarsson 72), Charles
Subs Not Used: Dixon, Thomason, Baptiste, Gordon
Goals: Bodvarsson 90+4

Morecambe: Carson, McLoughlin, O'Connor, Bennett (Cooney 65), Bedeau, Gibson (Leigh 45), Phillips, Wildig (Fane 14), Diagouraga, Stockton, Connolly
Subs Not Used: Smith, Obika, Ayunga, McCalmont
Booked: Gibson, Connolly, Bedeau, Stockton
Goals: Stockton 41

Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Attendance: 14,559

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