Football / Match reports

Match report: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Bristol Rovers

Bolton are two points away from the automatic promotion spots. Photo credit: Ian S

Bolton Wanderers lost ground on the League One automatic promotion places after drawing 1-1 against Bristol Rovers at the Macron Stadium.

Despite going in front early on through Josh Vela, Phil Parkinson’s promotion-chasers were pegged back, with substitute Byron Moore stabbing home a late leveller 15 minutes from time.

Wanderers finished the game with ten men after Chris Long was shown a second yellow card at the end of normal time.

Bolton found their lead with seven minutes on the clock courtesy of Vela, who swept home from close range after good build-up play from Filipe Morais and Long.

Morais nearly added his name to the scoresheet shortly after but the winger could only find the grasp of Rovers goalkeeper Joe Lumley.

Despite going behind early on Darrell Clarke’s side looked for a way back into the contest though Chris Lines could only power his shot over the bar when the ball had reached his feet from a corner.

The West Country outfit should have been back on level terms when Cristian Montano robbed Wanderers’ goalkeeper Mark Howard of possession, only to trickle his tame shot wide of the by-line, with the goal gaping.

On the half-hour mark, Long could only find the side-netting with an arrowing shot from the right-side of the box.

Rovers went in search of a route to goal however Bolton’s defence remained resilient to see the contest through to the interval.

As the game resumed for the second half, it would be the visitors who engineered the inaugural chance, substitute Luke James driving a dipping shot narrowly wide.

The Gas were working the ball well and five minutes into proceedings Montano saw his shot saved by Howard before David Wheater preserved Bolton’s advantage when he acrobatically cleared James’ follow-up off the line.

Up the other end, James Henry arrowed a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area off target, as the Trotters looked to wrap up all three points.

Rovers were rewarded for their efforts with a 75th minute equaliser, Billy Bodin drifting in field to pick a perfect pass for Moore, who dinked over the advancing Howard.

Sensing a possible winner to take back to the Memorial Stadium Clarke’s battlers ramped up the pressure but were somehow denied the lead when goal scorer Moore squirmed a shot which was thwarted on the goal-line.

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, Beevers, Osede, Wheater, Taylor, Morais, Wabara (Solomon-Otabor, 70), Vela, Spearing (Trotter, 45), Henry (Le Fondre, 80) and Long. Subs not used: Moxey, Dervite, Alnwick and Wilkinson.

Bristol Rovers: Lumley, Leadbitter, Lockyer, Clarke, Harrison (James, 39) Lines, Clarke, Montano (Moore, 70), Bodin, Sinclair and Sweeney. Subs not used: Mildenhall, Mansell, Harris, Gaffney and Burn.

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)

Attendance: 13,383 (843)


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