Report: Wanderers 2-2 Leeds

Captain Kevin Davies at the double as Wanderers are held by Leeds

Two powering headers from Kevin Davies cancelled out goals either side of the half-time, as Bolton picked up a point against Leeds United at the Reebok. 

Captain Davies met a late Martin Petrov corner to secure the draw after he had earlier given the home side the lead, this time from a Chris Eagles cross on 14 minutes. 

Luciano Becchio’s spot-kick had put the visitors into a second half lead, after Referee Phil Dowd awarded a penalty for a Stephen Warnock foul on Sam Byram. 

This followed Byram’s header which had sent the two teams in level at the end of a first half that the Wanderers controlled.

The Trotters dominated the closing stages, with late chances falling to Eagles, Marvin Sordell and Martin Petrov, but a resolute Leeds defence hung on for the draw. 

Owen Coyle was forced into one change from Saturday’s defeat to Crystal Palace as Benik Afobe, who had recovered from a groin problem, came in to replace David Ngog who missed out due to a hamstring injury. 

Both teams struggled to get an early foot in the game, but it was Bolton who created the first chance as the in-form Mark Davies had a shot blocked in front of the Leeds’ goal. 

The Wanderers controlled the majority of the early possession, with both Jay Spearing and Chris Eagles enjoying lengthy spells with the ball, and it would be the latter who supplied the breakthrough.

Eagles’ good work forced a mistake out of the Leeds’ defence, and Kevin Davies would make no mistake from six yards to head home the resulting corner, taken by the Bolton number seven. 

The Whites dominated the play keeping the 4,000 traveling fans relatively quiet, and they almost doubled their lead two minutes after their opener, as Eagles found himself in space on the edge of the box before rattling in a long-range effort which crashed off Paddy Kenny’s post.

Another opening soon followed as Kevin Davies’ flick-on found Benik Afobe through on goal who got the ball over the diving Kenny, but his shot went agonisingly inches wide of the far post. 

Leeds were always a constant threat  on the counter attack, and Byram’s curling effort went  just wide of Adam Bogdan’s goal, who had little to do in the first half. 

But it was the former Bolton talisman El-Hadji Diouf who helped to ensure that the two teams entered the break all-square, as his free-kick was flicked just inside the far post by Byram to mark a disappointing end to a promising half for the home side. 

Coyle said last Saturday’s defeat was a match of one penalty that was given and one that wasn’t, and he was visibly annoyed at the beginning of the second period when referee Dowd awarded another dubious penalty against his side. 

Captain for the night Diouf steered the ball into the box where Warnock was adjudged to have fouled Byram. Luciano Becchio duly converted the spot-kick, sending Bogdan the wrong way to the delight of the travelling support. 

Wanderers quickly put the incident behind them and almost secured an instant reply when Afobe was inches away from tapping in a Mark Davies’ deflected shot. 

Bolton continued to press as Zat Knight’s header from an Eagles free-kick went over the bar, while Petrov’s looping cross narrowly missed the target.

Equally, Leeds had a chance to extend their lead further through a Rodolph Austin long-range effort. 

Sensing the leveler, the home side dominated the closing stages, and finally got their reward as a Martin Petrov corner was met by Davies who powered in his second headed goal of the night.  

Substitutes Petrov and Marvin Sordell both mustered chances to equalise before Matt Mills had a penalty claim waved away, as the home side pushed for a winner.

The returning Diouf almost broke Bolton hearts as his late shot hit the bar, but neither side could find the decisive fifth goal as Leeds returned to Yorkshire with a point to their name. 

Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Mills, Knight, Warnock, Eagles, Andrews, Mark Davies, Spearing (Petrov 62), Afobe (Sordell 72), Kevin Davies (Subs not used: Lonergan, Ream, Chung-Yong, Pratley, Ricketts)

Leeds: Kenny, Peltier, Drury, Lees, Pearce, Austin, Brown, Tongue, Byram, Becchio, Diouf (Subs not used: Ashdown, Varney, White, Norris, Gray, Thompson, Poleon)

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