Ipswich Town 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • July 30, 2022 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/53fa8

Bolton got the 2022/23 campaign up and running with a point on the road, with Aaron Morley on target as they drew 1-1 at Ipswich Town.

Morley opened the scoring with 25 minutes played at Portman Road, converting from the penalty spot after Conor Bradley had been fouled.

But the Tractor Boys came back to salvage a point seven minutes before half-time as a well-worked corner routine saw Lee Evans fire home.

After a relatively quiet transfer window from a Bolton point-of-view, the visitors lined up with four changes to the side that took to the field on the final day of last season.

Will Aimson, George Thomason, Kieran Sadlier and Amadou Bakayoko were the ones to drop out, albeit all found themselves on the substitutes' bench, allowing for MJ Williams, Ricardo Almeida Santos, Kieran Lee and debutant Bradley to step into a familiar 3-4-1-2 formation.

James Trafford started in goal after linking up with the Trotters on loan for a second time. Jack Iredale was amongst the substitutes, while fellow summer recruit Eoin Toal missed out through injury.

Wanderers scored five in last season's visit to Portman Road and started strongly in Suffolk this time around as Declan John saw a goalbound strike blocked behind by Janoi Donacien inside the opening five minutes.

Oladapo Afolayan headed over from Morley's resulting corner, as Evatt's side fired an early warning as to what they were capable of.

Both teams were taking a while to settle into their stride and it therefore came as little surprise to see the opening goal arrive on 25 minutes courtesy of a defensive mishap.

With seemingly little ahead of him in the way of options, Bradley turned inside from the right-hand side, entered the penalty area and was tripped by Leif Davis, leaving referee Samuel Barrott no option but to point to the penalty spot.

Morley assumed responsibility from 12 yards and made no mistake, firing low into the bottom corner of Christian Walton's goal to make it 1-0 to Bolton.

Wanderers struggled to build on that lead, however, and soon found themselves on the back foot - with John taking a yellow card for his troubles as he halted a counter-attack involving Evans soon after the half-hour.

Outstanding defending from George Johnston ensured the scoreline remained as it was moments later, putting his body on the line to deny Conor Chaplin from close range after Luke Woolfenden and Marcus Harness had combined to tee him up.

Town were back on level terms seven minutes before the break, though, as Chaplin's well-taken corner caught Bolton napping and Evans stepped in to fire into the roof of the net. Trafford appealed to referee Barrott that he had been impeded, but the goal was allowed to stand.

Freddie Ladapo was denied a certain goal by a last-ditch Bradley challenge on 42 minutes, which made sure the two sides went in level at 1-1 going into the interval.

Although Premier League and EFL rules now permit clubs to make five substitutions, both sides came out unchanged for the start of the second period.

The first chance following the restart fell the way of the hosts, with Chaplin's corner nodded goalwards by Evans only for Trafford to tip the ball over the top.

Bolton should really have gone ahead on 56 minutes as outstanding hustling by Charles saw him win possession from Woolfenden inside the box, but the Ipswich defender just about did enough to delay the Wanderers forward and see the ball roll harmlessly into the gloves of Walton.

Town then found themselves attacking in similar circumstances at the other end, Ladapo stealing the ball from Morley just outside the Wanderers area only to see his strike smothered comfortably by Trafford.

John then burst forward down the left flank and produced an outstanding cross to the far post but Greg Leigh was alert to the danger and headed behind with Bradley certain to score in behind.

Leigh then found himself at the other end midway through the half, volleying over after Williams had only partially cleared a cross from Chaplin, before a flurry of substitutions severely affected the tempo of the game.

Ipswich almost completed the turnaround with 11 minutes left to play as Leigh's cross was deflected behind by Santos, while Evans skied a free-kick from 25 yards into the home supporters after Jones had been penalised for a foul on Tyreece John-Jules.

Sone Aluko pulled a shot wide as Town maintained their pressure in the dying stages, shortly before John-Jules fired straight at Trafford as the hosts grew more and more frustrated.

Six minutes of time was added for stoppages at the end of the game and it was in the first of those that Ipswich should have sealed all three points, with Wes Burns' low cross from the right picking out Sam Morsy, who could only shoot into the legs of Trafford with the goal at his mercy - meaning both sides had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Bolton were more than a match for their opponents in the opening 45 minutes and perhaps deserved a point despite being second best for much of the second-half.

They step out at the University of Bolton Stadium next time out, with Wycombe Wanderers providing the opposition next Saturday afternoon.

Ipswich Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns, Morsy, Evans, Davis (Leigh 59), Chaplin (Aluko 71), Harness (John-Jules 59), Ladapo (Jackson 72)
Subs Not Used: Hladky, Burgess, Harper
Booked: Davis, Woolfenden, Edmundson
Goals: Evans 38

Bolton Wanderers: Trafford, Johnston, Santos, Jones, John, Morley (Thomason 83), Williams, Bradley, Lee (Bakayoko 70), Afolayan (Kachunga 77), Charles (Bodvarsson 77)
Subs Not Used: Sadlier, Iredale, Aimson
Booked: John, Bradley
Goals: Morley 25(pen)

Referee: Samuel Barrott
Attendance: 26,688

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
2 Peterborough United 4 9
3 Portsmouth 4 8
4 Bolton Wanderers 4 8
5 Exeter City 4 7
6 Charlton Athletic 4 7
View Full Standings >>

Poll

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