Report: Wolves 2-2 Wanderers

Mark Davies nets a stunning late equaliser against his former club at Molineux

A stunning last-gasp equaliser from Mark Davies helped Bolton register a deserved and hard-fought point at Molineux.

Against his former club, the midfielder smashed in a left-footed effort in the 90th minute to ensure the Whites returned from the Midlands with something to show for another impressive performance, following on from the win over Bristol City three days earlier.

It was looking like a loose five-minute first-half spell was going to cost Wanderers after Kevin Doyle had struck in both the 27th and 31st minute to turn the game on its head.

This had come about after Benik Afobe had scored his first league goal for the club when he stabbed home from close-range to put Bolton into an early lead.

History suggested that this was a high scoring and entertaining fixture and it was no different this time round.

During the first half, Bolton were arguably the better of the two sides, however they were stung by a clinical five-minute period by the home team.

After Martin Petrov had flashed a long-range effort narrowly wide of the target, the Bulgarian delivered a precise inswing corner which allowed Benik Afobe to open the scoring on 21 minutes.

The on-loan Arsenal man took the ball down on his chest before stabbing into the back of the net from just five yards out.

All was looking well for Bolton at that point, particularly the way they were passing the ball around the midfield and stretching Wolves.

But as soon as Roger Johnson headed against the bar from a right-winged corner, Wolves upped their tempo and found a way back into the match.

Doyle’s first goal came about following a well-timed slide-rule pass from French winger Bakary Sako, who released the Irish striker down the left channel. Doyle burst into the box and hammered the ball under Bogdan.

Before anyone knew it, the match had been turned on its head as Doyle struck again just four minutes later.

Again it was another piece of predatory finishing, this time from close-range as he followed-up a parry from Bogdan.

Sako struck a 30-yard free-kick up and over the wall and although Bogdan did well to save the initial effort, there was little he could do with the rebound which was converted by Doyle.

The quick-fire double ensured that the hosts went into the break with a narrow lead, but that did not deter Bolton in their efforts in any way, shape or form.

Emerging from the second-half with David Ngog on for Afobe in a straight swap up top, the Whites peppered Carl Ikeme’s goal with a series of efforts throughout the second 45 minutes.

Petrov fired in two shot within five minutes of the restart, one of which missed the target by a few yards with the other held well by the much-involved Ikeme.

Wolves’ Nigerian goalkeeper then pushed a Chris Eagles shot around the post and made another excellent sprawling save to deny Petrov when the ball dropped at the feet of the left-winger eight yards from goal.

As the minutes ticked by, Bolton’s attempts on goal statistics continued to increase. Ngog should have hit the target when Ikeme parried and Eagles saw a free-kick from the edge of the box deflected narrowly wide of the post.

Equally, Wolves played their part in a real end-to-end encounter. Stephen Ward twice went close and substitute Bjorn Sigudarson really should have done better when presented with a clear shot on goal following a slip inside the penalty box from Stephen Warnock.

Roared on by the interim coaching team of Jimmy Phillips, Sammy Lee and Julian Darby, along with 800 travelling fans, Bolton’s belief didn’t waiver. Keith Andrews was thrust on in the final minutes as the Whites went with three at the back and midfield five.

And the reward for the endeavour, pressure and quality of play finally came in injury time as Mark Davies struck a deserved equaliser.

The midfielder kept up his habit of scoring with his left foot when he hammered a half-volley into the top corner from 20 yards out – silencing the home fans who had jeered him throughout the entirety of the game.

Bolton seemed content with a 2-2 draw from that stage onwards as Kevin Davies assumed an unusual centre-half position for the final moments.

Nonetheless, it was a deserved point and one which breeds more confidence into the group heading into another testing away fixture at Middlesbrough at the weekend.

Wolves: Ikeme, Henry, Ebanks-Blake (Sigurdarson 62), Sako, Ward, Johnson, Berra, Pennant (Edwards 65), Doumbia, Doyle, Foley (Subs not used: Stearman, Batth, Davis, Forde, McCarey)

Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Mills (Ricketts 70), Ream, Eagles, Petrov, K Davies, Warnock (Andrews 88), M Davies, Afobe (Ngog 46), Spearing (Subs not used: Pratley, Riley, Chung-Yong, Lynch)

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