Report: Bolton 1-1 Blackpool
Eidur Gudjohnsen was the hero for Wanderers as he equalised with the last action of the game to earn the Whites a share of the spoils against Blackpool.
In a first half of few chances, the Seasiders opened the scoring inside ten minutes with Michael Jacobs’ narrow angled effort eluding Ben Amos in the Bolton goal.
Wanderers rallied from thereon in however, with Paddy McCarthy coming close on numerous occasions while Barry Bannan saw an effort hit the post before Gudjohnsen sent Macron Stadium into raptures with his last gasp equaliser.
Neil Danns returned to the starting XI for Wanderers following his two game suspension, while Josh Vela also returned to the fray after being used only as a substitute against Wigan last time out.
Wanderers started brightly, with Rochinha’s mazy run inside the opening minute of the clash causing problems for the visitors early on.
The hosts continued with their pressure, although Blackpool themselves were throwing balls forward in a bid to test the Whites.
Out of nowhere however, the visitors took the lead in the tenth minute with a thunderous effort from a narrow angle by Michael Jacobs, with Ben Amos in the Bolton goal given no chance.
With Macron Stadium stunned by the Seasiders’ opener, Wanderers almost had an immediate equaliser as Barry Bannan’s blocked header fell into the path of Tim Ream, but the defender’s half volley was cleared away at the death.
Although buoyed by the close chance, the Whites were then forced onto the back foot once more with Lee Clark’s side finding themselves enjoying pressure in Bolton’s half of the pitch with Jacobs proving himself a nuisance.
Adam Le Fondre and Liam Feeney almost linked up perfectly with 25 minutes gone with the former feeding the winger who found himself with just Joe Lewis to beat, but the goalkeeper was somehow able to keep his low drive out and retain his side’s advantage.
Paddy McCarthy came within inches of his first goal for the club on the half hour mark as Feeney found the centre-half completely unmarked a matter of yards out from goal, but Lewis was on his guard to palm his header away from danger.
Bolton’s pressure continued with Blackpool being forced to defend deeply, with Walker making tracks down the right flank on numerous occasions as the half drew to its conclusion.
With one minute of added time indicated, the Tangerines almost had a second as Jamie O’Hara tried his luck with a free-kick from 30 yards, but his effort flew narrowly wide of the mark as the half ended with just the one goal in it.
Just the one change at the half time break saw Emile Heskey come into the fold in place of Rochinha, with the frontman right into the thick of the action from the off.
Wanderers continued in their quest for an equalising goal, with McCarthy, who had come close with a header in the first half, seeing his shot from six yards scuff agonisingly wide of the upright with the second period only five minutes old.
The pressure continued from the Trotters, with Le Fondre seeing a lot of the ball in and around the 18 yard box, while Peter Clarke squandered a glorious opportunity for the visitors to double their advantage in the 55th minute as he slammed his shot from just inside the area high and wide.
Walker, fresh from his first senior goal last time out against Wigan, almost drew Wanderers level moments later as he unleashed from distance, only to see Lewis palm his effort away with Le Fondre unable to turn home the rebound.
The tirade ensued from Bolton, and they came the closest yet on 62 minutes as Le Fondre fed Bannan with the midfielder slamming his shot against the foot of the post with Macron Stadium on its collective feet.
Bannan then almost turned provider, with Feeney unable to get any real contact on his outswinging free-kick from the right flank.
In a bid to break down the Blackpool backline, Neil Lennon proceeded to throw Craig Davies into the mix in place of Walker with 22 minutes remaining for added firepower upfront.
Attack after attack followed with frustration evident on the faces of the players, with Davies seeing his shot from the edge of the box narrowly clear the crossbar with 17 minutes to go while Feeney’s strike was comfortably saved by Lewis.
In a final roll of the dice, Eidur Gudjohnsen was introduced for the Whites in the 77th minute while Blackpool, under the cosh from much of the second half, saw some goalmouth action up the other end with a succession of corner kicks.
With the game entering its final ten minutes, Wanderers threw everybody forward as they went in search of an equaliser with Le Fondre unable to scramble the ball home from two yards out in a crowded penalty area.
As four minutes of added time were indicated, Bolton looked certain to equalise as McCarthy and Le Fondre both saw efforts cleared off the line in quick succession, while up the other end Jose Miguel Cubero skied the ball over a virtually open net.
With time almost up however, Wanderers were finally able to break Blackpool's resistance with the final action of the game as Gudjohnsen headed the ball home on the line to the delight of the home fans.
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