Bolton Wanderers’ 2014/15 pre-season campaign kicked off with a 1-1 draw against Brondby.
Dougie Freedman fielded two different outfield line-ups in each half the game at Brondby Stadion, in a game in which Bolton were forced to come from behind in.
One-time Wanderer Johan Elmander netted the opener for the hosts, before two penalties either side of the half time interval afforded Bolton a route back into the game – Jermaine Beckford missed the first, Craig Davies scored the second.
The game also saw Dean Moxey, Liam Feeney, Dorian Dervite, Neil Danns and Ross Fitzsimons make their first appearances for the club since completing permanent transfers earlier in the summer.
The opening 45 very much had the pre-season feel to it.
Brondby, backed by a sizeable home following, controlled much of the possession though rarely looked like penetrating a solid Wanderers rearguard in the opening exchanges.
Matt Mills, starting the game as skipper, formed a solid foundation alongside Republic of Ireland youngster Cian Bolger.
Going forward, Liam Feeney regularly forayed into the Brondby territory and delivered a number of teasing crosses, one of which was almost turned goalwards by Jermaine Beckford.
On 31 minutes the game’s opening goal arrived.
Elmander, playing his first game for the home side since re-signing, controlled a clipped ball on the angle of the area before sending a low half-volley into Andrew Lonergan’s far corner.
Bolton upped the pace.
Mark Davies began to see more of the ball, and on 44 minutes he assumed possession before slaloming his way beyond a couple of defenders into the area. As he was about to pull the trigger he was upended, with referee pointing straight to the spot.
Beckford stepped up but could only drag his penalty wide of Michael Falkesgaard’s right-hand post.
Freedman made ten changes to the side at the interval and it was one of those who made an immediate impact.
Craig Davies barged his way into the area before stumbling under a clumsy challenge from Brondby skipper Martin Albrechtsen.
Neil Danns was first to grab the ball, but Craig Davies got his way in the end and dispatched the penalty kick straight down the middle.
Bolton would go on to control much of the second half.
Jay Spearing, Robert Hall and Darren Pratley added extra legs in the engine room, whilst Dervite and Ream looked more than comfortable at the back.
Bolton would end the game with ten men – Hall seeing run for a late lunge on Dario Dumic.
In the end the draw was probably the right result in what was an evenly matched contest.
Brondby: Falkesgaard, Semb, Albrechtsen, Ornskov, Szymanowski, Makienok, Elmander, Holst, Durmisi, Norgaard, Hasani
Subs: Hradecky, Almeback, Nunez, Thygesen, Phiri, Dumic, da Silva, Crone
Bolton: Lonergan (Fitzsimons 71), Threlkeld (Riley 46), Mills (Ream 46), Bolger (Dervite 46), Moxey (Baptiste 46), Medo (Danns 46), Vela (Spearing 46), Feeney (Hall 46), M Davies (Pratley 46), Iliev (Trialist 46), Beckford (C Davies 46)