Preview: Charlton Athletic v Bolton

Report: Charlton Athletic 2-2 Bolton


Bolton Wanderers fought back from two goals down to claim a point against Charlton Athletic on a wet night at The Valley.

All of the game’s goals came inside an action-packed opening 45 minutes. 

Ademola Lookman scored inside the opening 30 second before doubling his and the hosts’ lead on 26 minutes.

But goals from Emile Heskey and Josh Vela, his first senior career goal, soon had Bolton level before the break.

The second half would eventually peter out, and despite a couple of late chances for substitute Madine and the returning Clough, Bolton were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.


After hinting at the inclusion of Zach Clough in his pre-match press conference, Neil Lennon opted to throw the youngster straight back into the starting XI after a layoff with a shoulder injury.

Heskey and Jay Spearing were the two other changes to the starting team, with skipper Darren Pratley absent from the matchday squad with concussion.


The game started in the worst possible manner for Bolton. 

The hosts seized possession in the midfield area, before farming the ball out from right to left to the unmarked Ademola Lookman who duly dispatched low and under the body of Ben Amos.

Wanderers needed a response and despite a prolonged spell of possession never really tested Stephen Henderson in the Charlton goal.

That was until the 16th minute when Prince-Desire Gouano twice went close from successive corner kicks, the first of which saw him meet Dean Moxey’s driven corner kick with a flying header that was diverted wide at the back post.

But with the half hour approaching, the home side doubled their lead, with ex-Bolton man Ricardo Vaz Te at the heart of the move. He latched onto a clever back heel before drilling a low ball across the face of goal from the byline, with Lookman on hand at the back post to control and fire into a vacant net.

Just when it seemed it would be a long evening for Bolton, they immediately hit back.

Liam Feeney engineered half-a-yard of space on the right side, flighted a clever ball into the area which Heskey was able to poke home on the stretch.

Seconds after the restart Clough then escaped in the right channel and stung the palms of Henderson before Feeney then curled wide after cutting in from the right flank. Bolton suddenly looked a different side.

And that pressure paid dividends on 43 minutes. 

Clough’s low ball into the area was only half-cleared by Charlton, with Vela then rifling a 25-yard daisy-cutter through a ruck of players and beyond Henderson into the bottom corner. 


The early throes of the second half saw plenty of sparring from both sides, though neither really looked like landing any significant blows.

The hour mark came and went, with the only incident of note a flash of yellow from the referee in the direction of stand-in skipper Spearing for a rash lunge on a Charlton midfielder.

Gary Madine was introduced in place of Heskey, as Wanderers went in search of a winner.

On 73 minutes Bolton were forced into their second change of the evening, with Vela forced from the field on a stretcher after a coming together with a Charlton player. Neil Danns was his replacement.

Charlton came close to regaining the lead when Harry Lennon glanced a header from a corner kick into the ground and up and onto the crossbar.

From a corner up the other end Madine saw a flicked header comfortably held by Henderson before Clough drilled a late low effort wide of the far post.

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