Report: Bolton 1-1 Nottingham Forest
Stephen Dobbie’s first goal for the club earned Wanderers a deserved point in a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest at Macron Stadium.
Following a goalless first period, Bolton were afforded the opportunity to open the scoring just three minutes after the restart as Zach Clough was fouled in the box, but Gary Madine saw his spot-kick saved by Dorus de Vries.
With ten minutes remaining however, David Vaughan fired home from distance to seemingly hand Forest victory, but the Whites were to have the last word as substitute Dobbie drilled home from the edge of the penalty area deep into stoppage time to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.
It was a full debut for Wellington Silva following confirmation of his loan move to the club this week, while Tom Walker was also in from the off for Wanderers.
On the opposing side, Matt Mills lined up against his former employers for the first time since his departure from Macron Stadium earlier this summer.
Wanderers started brightly in the clash, with Gary Madine whipping a dangerous ball across the face of goal inside the opening two minutes.
The visitors however were soon on the front foot themselves, with Michail Antonio causing problems for the Whites at the back including seeing a snap-shot trickle narrowly wide of Ben Amos’ near post with seven minutes gone.
The game as a whole though was being played at quite a tepid pace as time passed inside the opening stages, with neither side really able to gain a foothold in the match.
Forest were the side enjoying the majority of the possession, although Wanderers came closest with 13 minutes gone as Dorian Dervite’s header from a Dean Moxey cross cleared the crossbar by a matter of inches.
Silva was certainly making himself known to both Forest and the home faithful as he enjoyed a couple of mazy runs early on, with the Brazilian only being dispossessed at the crucial moment both times.
Mark Davies was next to try his luck with a powerful run through the middle of the pitch after linking up well with Zach Clough, but his final product lacked direction and trickled wide of the mark.
Forest almost opened the scoring with 25 minutes gone as Antonio powered downfield before laying the ball off into the path of the advancing Ben Osborn, but Amos was on his guard to deny him from close range with Macron Stadium holding its collective breath.
The game continued in a similar end-to-end manner, although clear cut chances were few and far between in what was fast becoming a cagey encounter.
Dervite almost turned provider for Madine with 34 minutes gone as, after turning his man, he played the ball downfield, only to see it intercepted as it seemed destined to fall for the frontman.
As the clock ran down to half time, it was all Bolton with Dervite seeing yet another header fly wide of the goalmouth while a penalty shout was turned down for a foul on Madine in the area.
With two minutes of the half to go, Eric Lichaj was brandished a yellow card for a rash foul on Silva, with Walker’s resulting free-kick somehow eluding a number of Bolton bodies in the six yard box as the first period ended goalless.
The break saw the introduction of Liam Feeney in place of Walker, while with the half just three minutes old the Whites were handed the perfect opportunity to open the scoring from the penalty spot.
With Mills having fouled Clough in the box, Madine stepped up to take the spot kick, only to be denied by Dorus de Vries in the Forest goal and put his rebound header wide.
Buoyed by their goalkeeper’s heroics, the visitors proceeded to pepper the Bolton goal with Henri Lansbury’s free-kick deflecting narrowly wide of the mark shortly afterwards.
Up the other end however, Madine almost made amends for his penalty miss after shrugging off his man, only to see his cross hooked away at the death – a chance which appeared to breathe new life into the Whites following their spot-kick disappointment.
On the counter attack however, an unmarked Antonio almost made Bolton pay for committing men forward, only for his eventual shot to be tame and easily collectable by Amos while Tyler Walker saw his shot blocked at range.
With the game hitting the hour mark, Wanderers pushed men forward with Clough seeing his shot take the smallest of deflections to steer it off target with the goal at his mercy as Bolton grew in confidence with each passing attack.
Forest were finding themselves pushed further and further back, with Madine, Clough and Feeney at the forefront of the action, while on a rare move upfield, Antonio flashed a long range shot harmlessly over.
An injury to Prince with 15 minutes remaining brought a stoppage in play which neither side welcomed, while Danns received a booking for a supposed foul on Mills.
Out of nowhere however, Wanderers found themselves behind courtesy of a wonder strike from substitute David Vaughan with just ten minutes remaining.
Something out of nothing, Neil Lennon threw Emile Heskey into the mix as his side looked for a way back into the clash in place of Wellington, with the frontman seeing a header from six yards comfortably saved with three minutes to go.
With the full 90 up, five minutes of additional time were indicated to give Wanderers one final throw of the dice in their bid to rescue something from the game with Stephen Dobbie thrown upfront.
Forest were standing firm, but out of nowhere Bolton were given their deserved equaliser through substitute Dobbie who slammed home from just outside the box to send Macron Stadium into raptures and earn the home side a share of the spoils.