Report: Bolton 1-1 Charlton
Adam Le Fondre’s seventh goal for the club earned Wanderers a point against Charlton Athletic at Macron Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The visitors had opened the scoring against the run of play in the ninth minute as Frederic Bulot volleyed home from close range – a lead which remained intact until ten minutes from time when Le Fondre fired home following good work by Barry Bannan.
From thereon in it was merely one way traffic from the Whites as they went in search of a late winning goal but their efforts were to prove fruitless as the game ended all square under the floodlights.
Matt Mills returned to the starting XI having missed the weekend’s defeat to Norwich City with an ankle injury, while Rochinha was also in from the off for the Whites.
There was a place on the bench once more for Mark Davies as he continued his comeback from injury alongside two familiar faces amongst Charlton’s substitutes in the form of former Bolton players Chris Eagles and Tal Ben Haim.
Le Fondre enjoyed a glorious opportunity inside the opening minute to open the scoring after collecting Mills’ lofted downfield ball, but the striker was unable to control it and allowed Charlton to clear their lines.
Wanderers were the dominant side inside the early stages of the clash, with the Addicks struggling to make tracks into Bolton’s half of the pitch as the game continued at a high tempo.
Danns, restored to the starting line-up for the evening, tried his luck from distance with nine minutes on the clock after collecting a loose ball just outside of the box, but the midfielder’s effort failed to trouble Stephen Henderson in the Charlton goal.
Against the run of play however, the visitors took the lead through Frederick Bulot who volleyed home into Adam Bogdan’s bottom corner from around eight yards out.
A goal completely out of the blue for the Addicks, Wanderers looked about levelling the scores immediately but with Charlton visibly boosted by their opener, it was Guy Luzon’s men who were enjoying the majority of possession.
Having withstood some pressure, Bolton pressed forward themselves with Le Fondre and Feeney causing problems for the Charlton backline, albeit with no clear cut opportunities in front of goal to show for their efforts.
Wanderers’ pressure was growing however, with Danns seeing his drilled strike from the edge of the box deflect away for a corner with a goal seemingly imminent while Tom Walker’s pacey run through the heart of the pitch led to an ultimately wayward goalward strike from Le Fondre.
Chances were becoming more and more frequent for the Whites, with Le Fondre yet again making a nuisance of himself in and around the Charlton six yard box alongside Rochinha.
Frustration was evident on the faces of the Bolton players, with the Addicks standing firm at the back as the clock ticked down to the half time whistle as Josh Vela’s shot deflected over the crossbar with four minutes of the first period remaining.
With a minute of additional time indicated, Wanderers won a free-kick to the right of the Charlton box but Rochinha was unable to find a Bolton body as the Whites entered the break a goal down.
With no changes at the break for either side, the second period began with the same gusto as the first while Barry Bannan enjoyed the first goalbound chance which cleared Henderson’s crossbar in the 50th minute.
Having ended the first half on top, Wanderers continued in a similar vein as they continued their dominance in possession inside Charlton’s final third.
For all their efforts however, the Whites were struggling to make it count in front of goal with the Addicks keeper remaining more or less untroubled inside the opening 15 minutes of the half.
The Bolton onslaught continued on the hour mark, although on the counter attack Bogdan was called upon to keep out Bulot’s drive from a narrow angle and also Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s strike from the edge of the box.
With 67 minutes on the clock, Mark Davies made his return to the pitch in place of Walker while Rochinha made way for Emile Heskey as Bolton went in search of an equalising goal.
Tony Watt was next to test Bogdan after muscling his way past a number of Bolton defenders, but the keeper was on his guard to keep his shot out at the death.
That was to be the striker’s last action for the Addicks, with Chris Eagles replacing him moments later to applause from all four sides of Macron Stadium.
With only ten minutes remaining, Wanderers were finally rewarded for their persistence as Bannan pick-pocketed the ball before sliding it into the path of Le Fondre who slotted home under the advancing Henderson from close range.
No more than the Whites deserved, they almost completed the comeback two minutes later following a melee in the box, with calls for a Charlton handball falling on deaf ears.
Wanderers sensed more and as a result threw men forward in their droves with Mills unfortunately miss-hitting his effort from all of six yards out whilst unmarked in the box.
The siege continued as time ran down, with Mark Davies laying the ball off for an unmarked Feeney eight yards out from goal, only for the winger to place his shot over the crossbar.
With just two minutes of stoppage time indicated, Bolton pushed for a winning goal but were to ultimately come up just short as the game ended all square.