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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 28 Feb 17 at 21:55 PM

Report: Bolton 1-1 Bristol Rovers

IN BRIEF

Wanderers and Bristol Rovers played out a 1-1 draw at Macron Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The deadlock was broken inside six minutes as following a beautifully worked team move, Josh Vela slotted home from six yards out.

The visitors were level with 15 minutes remaining however as Byron Moore squeezed the ball home from a tight angle, while Bolton finished the game with ten men after Chris Long's late dismissal for a second bookable offence.

TEAM NEWS

Chris Long returned to the starting line-up for Wanderers, while Andrew Taylor was also in from the off for the Whites after a lay-off through injury.

FIRST HALF

Wanderers started brightly, with Chris Long and James Henry proving themselves nuisances inside the opening stages.

And they were rewarded with seven minutes on the clock as Filipe Morais unselfishly laid the ball off for Vela who coolly slotted home from six yards out.

Completely deserved given their fast paced start to proceedings, the goal appeared to boost the visitors with Wanderers put under pressure for a period following their opener.

Bolton were dealing with any balls into the box with ease however, although the Pirates were looking a threat when in and around the penalty area.

Ellis Harrison proceeded to spurn a golden opportunity with the first period halfway through meanwhile, with him pickpocketing Mark Howard on the byline with the keeper seemingly shielding the ball out of play and the Bristol man somehow firing his 
shot wide of the mark from a tight angle.

The travelling faithful were growing in noise as their side continued to press forward, while they were left calling for a penalty after Stuart Sinclair’s effort was blocked in the area by Morais.

On the counter attack however, Bolton nearly doubled their lead against the run of play, only to see Long’s tight angled strike ripple the side netting.

With the clock running down to half time meanwhile, chances in front of goal were very much few and far between but it was Rovers who were spending more time attacking.

Come half time however, Wanderers’ lead was still intact.

SECOND HALF

As proceedings got back underway, the start of the second half also saw a change for Bolton with Liam Trotter replacing Jay Spearing.

Within minutes of the restart, the visitors thought they were destined to draw level, only for Luke James’ drive to be hooked off the line by Wheater.

Again, Rovers had the upper hand with possession as they had for large periods of the first half, with Wanderers forced to defend in their numbers.

On occasions when Bolton did make their way upfield however, they themselves came close courtesy of a Henry free-kick which narrowly cleared the crossbar.

For all of their endeavours though, Bristol Rovers weren’t really troubling Howard too much with the majority of their efforts coming outside of the area and down the flanks.

With the game entering its final 20 minutes, it was a fixture finely balanced on a knife-edge but the visitors were finally rewarded for their persistence in the 75th minute as Moore rounded Howard and slotted home from a tight angle.

They almost snatched the lead meanwhile with ten of the 90 remaining, but somehow Bolton managed to scramble it clear after a spill by Howard.

It was frustrating stuff for Wanderers, with them being limited in their attacks by a stubborn Rovers defence.

And that was compounded late on as Long received his marching orders for a second bookable offence with the spoils being shared at the final whistle.

FULL TIME

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