Report: Wanderers 1-1 BarnsleyKevin Davies’ first-half strike ensured Bolton picked up a point at the Reebok, as Dougie Freedman continued his unbeaten start to life with the Wanderers against Barnsley.
The skipper marked his return the starting line-up with the opening goal after he latched onto a pin-point Chris Eagles cross to clinically finish into the bottom corner.
But the Tykes would find an equaliser in the second half courtesy of a precise Craig Davies finish which cannoned off Adam Bogdan’s post and into the net.
Mark Davies, Eagles and Sam Ricketts would all go close in search for that elusive winning goal, but the Trotters couldn’t find a way past the in-form Luke Steele who ensured that Barnsley would leave the Reebok with a point.
Freedman made two changes from last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Blackpool, as Martin Petrov and Keith Andrews both missed out and captain Kevin Davies returned to the starting line-up alongside Norwich loanee Jacob Butterfield, who lined up against his former club.
The Whites were the quickest out of the traps and Eagles went close to breaking the deadlock within five minutes, but his far-post effort went narrowly over the bar.
Jim O’Brien would reply with a long-range effort for the Tykes, but it was the Trotters who were on top in the opening period.
Returning captain Kevin Davies was next to go close, but he could only stab Ricketts’ cross into the hands of Steele.
The Reds would enjoy a brief spell in possession soon after, with Craig Davies and then Marcus Tudgay both troubling Adam Bogdan’s goal.
As Barnsley enjoyed a period of pressure, Matt Done’s 30-yard strike was next to trouble Bogdan, but the Hungarian’s diving save was equal to it.
The Wanderers’ breakthrough soon followed, as Eagles linked well with Ricketts, and his deep cross found Kevin Davies who had peeled away from the defender. He brought the ball down before finishing clinically into the bottom corner.
Bolton were firmly on top and attempts by Ricketts, Eagles and Mark Davies all forced Steele into saves and reinforced the Trotters’ dominance as they went into the break a goal to the good.
The one worry for Freedman in the opening half was the withdrawal of Stephen Warnock, who had to be replaced on 32 minutes by Tyrone Mears.
It was a quiet start to the second period, but a moment of genius from Eagles soon woke up the Reebok crowd as his clever flick found Mark Davies in the box, but his acrobatic strike was again well saved by Steele.
The Barnsley stopper would soon be called into action again, as Mark Davies ran through the middle to fire in a low shot that was saved by the in-form Tykes keeper.
A quick free-kick then almost caught the Trotters’ defence out, as Done found himself in space on the edge of the box but his low drive went inches wide of Bogdan’s post.
Barnsley would find their equaliser soon after against the run of play, as Craig Davies turned on the edge of the box and fired a low shot off the post and past the helpless Bogdan.
Freedman was quick to respond throwing on Chung-Yong Lee, and the Trotters went close to regaining their lead with substitute Keith Andrews heading narrowly wide.
The Tykes then almost took a surprise lead when Stephen Dawson’s strike was parried by Bogdan to the onrushing Tudgay, but his attempt was again cleared by the Hungarian stopper.
The Whites pushed forward and a long free-kick by Zat Knight caused havoc in the Barnsley box, with as the ball finally finding its way through to Kevin Davies whose volley was saved by Steele.
Ultimately, there was to be no winner, as Wanderers were forced to settle for just a point.
Wanderers:Bogdan, Ricketts, Warnock (Mears 32), Knight, Mills, Spearing, Mark Davies, Butterfield (Andrews 56), Eagles, Ngog (Lee 69), Kevin Davie (Unused Subs: Lynch, Ream, Pratley, Afobe)
Barnsley: Steele, Golbourne, Wiseman, McNulty, Cranie, Dawson, Mellis, O’Brien (Noble-Lazarus 57), Done (Cywka 60), Craig Davie (Foster 90), Tudgay (Unused Subs: Alnwick, Dagnall, Harewood, Kennedy)