Report: Bolton 1-1 Ipswich Town
The in-form forward struck with 18 minutes left on the clock to cancel out Medo’s earlier opener and despite a late rally from both sides to secure all three points, it was ultimately in vain as the game ended all square.
Dougie Freedman made three changes to the side which drew against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, with Andrew Lonergan, Chung-Yong Lee and David Ngog coming into the starting line-up in place of Adam Bogdan, Chris Eagles and Liam Feeney who returned to his parent club Millwall on Thursday.
Wanderers started with gusto, with Neil Danns playing a lethal ball across the face of goal inside four minutes which somehow eluded the oncoming Bolton strike force.
Following some early pressure, the Whites almost snatched the opening goal of the game in the seventh minute of the game as Beckford attempted an audacious overhead effort, but the ball flew just over the crossbar.
Having been penned into their own half for much of the opening stages, Ipswich almost found the back of the net in style as Cole Skuse unleashed a shot from all of 40 yards, but the ball looped just over Lonergan’s bar.
Paul Anderson was next to test the Bolton keeper after squeezing between Matt Mills and Tim Ream but he powered his shot straight at him, while at the other end Chung-Yong Lee ensured that Dean Gerken was on his guard with a well taken header.
Skuse again was proving himself to be as nuisance with 20 minutes gone as he fed the ball into Ryan Tunnicliffe who looked destined to score from a matter of yards out, but Lonergan denied him with a superb close range save.
As the half wore on, it was to be Wanderers who looked the more threatening with Chung-Yong Lee looking particularly menacing on the left flank and Beckford failing to hand the hosts the lead by a matter of inches as his shot flew past the upright.
Ipswich however weren’t to remain completely unassuming, with McGoldrick causing a number of problems for the Bolton defence with his presence in the penalty area.
With just five minutes if the half remaining, Daryl Murphy looked likely to break the deadlock after Anderson’s pinpoint ball across goal, but Mills was on hand to clear the ball away to safety before he could pounce.
As the second half got underway, it was to be Wanderers who started brightest with Alex Baptiste playing the ball into the feet of Beckford inside the first minute, but the striker failed to connect with the ball, while an unmarked Mills put his header from Chung-Yong Lee’s corner just over the bar.
Again having withstood a tirade of Bolton pressure, Ipswich almost stunned the home support as McGoldrick collected the ball in midfield and powered goalwards, but his hard work was to be in vain as he dragged his shot horribly wide.
With the Whites virtually camped in Town’s half, Chung-Yong Lee enjoyed the best chance of the game so far on the hour mark as he unleashed a shot from just outside the area, with Gerken being forced to push the ball over for a corner to keep the scores level.
Having finally forced their way into Bolton’s half, Skuse ensured that hearts were in mouths as his shot took a wicked deflection that had Lonergan rooted to the spot, but thankfully the ball went out for a corner.
It seemed only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken, and Wanderers did duly oblige with 67 minutes gone as Medo stepped up to a free-kick for Christophe Berra’s foul on Beckford just outside the area before calmly firing home past a helpless Gerken.
It was no more than Wanderers deserved given their dominance and they almost had a second just minutes later as Jay Spearing played in Ngog, but the Frenchman couldn’t control the ball to get a shot on goal.
Just as it looked as though Wanderers were in cruise control, Ipswich stunned the Reebok after McGoldrick’s deflected effort from just outside the area wrong-footed Lonergan to pull the visitors level in the 72nd minute.
The manager introduced Chris Eagles into the fold in place of David Ngog in response to Ipswich’s equaliser and the winger almost made an instant impact with a well taken strike following a mazy run upfrield, but Gerken was equal to it.
As the clock ran down, Beckford almost grabbed his third goal in as many games with a looping header after connecting with Eagles’ lofty ball into the area, but the forward failed to get the direction needed to trouble Gerken.
With five minutes of added time indicated it was a case of all hands to the pump for Wanderers, with Danns firing just over the crossbar inside the dying seconds, but it was to remain all square at the final whistle.