Report: Reading 0-0 Bolton
Bolton Wanderers posted a point and extended their unbeaten run to five games following a stalemate against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
After a pedestrian opening half, the game’s best chances came after the interval.
Tim Ream, Darren Pratley and Max Clayton all had half-chances to break the deadlock, whilst the hosts had a goal disallowed.
But in the end both sides were forced to settle for a share of the spoils on a bitterly cold afternoon in Berkshire.
Neil Lennon named the exact same starting line-up for the third game on the spin.
Eidur Gudjohnsen did travel with the squad, but didn’t make the bench with the club still awaiting his international clearance.
Bolton saw much of the ball in the early throes, with Lee Chung-Yong and Clayton very much at the forefront of some neat attacking play, but it was the hosts who engineered the game’s first clear chance.
From a Jordan Obita corner, the ball was flicked onto the back post where Glenn Murray backpedalled before heading over the bar.
One bright moment in an otherwise cagey opening half came on 33 minutes.
After a couple of full-blooded challenges in the middle of park from Neil Danns and Pratley, Bolton assumed possession in the shape of Lee.
The South Korean dropped a shoulder to escape the attentions of Chris Gunter and was then sent tumbling on the whitewash of the penalty area – nothing given much to the frustration of the Bolton bench.
Then, with half time fast approaching, Reading once again threatened from a corner kick.
Oliver Norwood’s kick was swung into the area, with a period of pinball ensuing that saw a goal-bound shot from just six yards out blocked by a Reading jersey. Murray’s follow up was closed down by a series of scrambling Bolton defenders.
Within minutes of the second period Murray had the ball in the Bolton net following Michael Hector’s knock down, only for an offside flag to cut short the home side’s celebrations.
That disallowed goal seemed to spark the game into life.
From a corner kick Ream’s header worked Adam Federici following Dorian Dervite’s flick on, whilst up the other end Hector lashed wide when unmarked in the Bolton area.
Reading upped the ante and within the space of a minute from two short corners twice came close.
First, Andrew Lonergan superbly flung himself right to tip Murray’s header over the bar before Hector looped a back post header onto the roof of the net.
Conor Wilkinson was then introduced for his senior league debut, taking the place of Craig Davies.
Bolton improved after that period and on the hour mark carved out two opportunities from the right channel.
Some nifty footwork from Clayton saw him skip away from Gunter and fizz a dangerous ball across the face of goal.
And from a similar position Pratley was released by Lee, though his shot skidded marginally wide of the far post.
As the game entered its final stages, both sides committed men forward in an attempt to secure all three points.
Late on Lonergan superbly palmed away Danny Williams’ deflected shot from distance, but ultimately the game would end goalless.