Young Whites extend unbeaten league run to five matches
Bolton Wanderers extended their unbeaten league run to five matches against Reading as they fought out a third successive draw at the County Ground, Leyland on Monday night.
Rob Holding found space at the far post in the first half to fire the Whites ahead while Tom Eaves missed a good chance to double their lead moments later.
However, substitute Liam Kelly levelled for Reading late on as a deflection on his low 25-yard free-kick saw it wrong-foot debutant Ben Amos on its way into the bottom corner.
Ben Amos made his first appearance in a Bolton Wanderers shirt as Iain Brunskill made four changes to the side that faced Wolverhampton Wanderers two weeks ago.
Tom Eaves was recalled in attack alongside Georg Iliev, while they were also places in the starting line-up for Luke Woodland and recent loan signing Matija Boben.
Wanderers found themselves under pressure straight from kick-off as Reading had shouts for an early penalty turned away after Tariqe Fosu went down easily in the area.
However, with the majority of the play taking place in the middle of the park, that was to be a rare half-chance for either side during what was a quiet opening quarter.
Reading’s Harry Cardwell had the game’s first shot of note after turning his man well on the edge of the Whites area. However, he was unable to keep his strike down after putting it back on his right foot, shooting wildly over the bar.
At the other end, Chris Lester showed clever footwork to navigate his way past four Royals defenders as he powered his way into the area before laying the ball back to recent loan signing Matija Boben.
However, the defender got the ball caught under his feet and was dispossessed before being able to get a shot away.
But Bolton did manage to take the lead with their very next attack as Rob Holding was able to slot home after finding himself in space at the far post.
The Trotters took control of the half after taking the lead and were unfortunate not to double their lead moments later as Georg Iliev played the ball into the path of Tom Eaves.
But despite himself one-on-one as he powered into the area, late pressure from a Reading defender saw the forward drag his strike wide of goal.
There was still time for one more Wanderers attack before the break as the ball fall kindly to Boben on the edge of the area following a Whites corner.
However, he was unable to keep his effort down as his first-time half-volley flew harmlessly off-target, ensuring Bolton went in at the break only the one goal to the good.
Elliot Newby was introduced to the action at half-time in place of Tom Eaves, and almost made an immediate impact after receiving the ball in midfield.
Shrugging off a Reading challenge, Newby unleashed a powerful 30-yard strike on his left foot which seemed destined for the top corner, however Daniel Lincoln managed to dive full-stretch to tip the ball over the bar.
The Trotters continued to press and Lester came close to doubling his side’s lead after cutting in from the right.
However, the winger was unable to find the back of the net from an acute angle, Lincoln staying strong at his near post to palm it away.
Reading looked more threatening as the half wore on and almost netted an equaliser as Fosu hit the post with a 25-yard free-kick.
However, with the goal gaping, the Royals were unable to take advantage of the rebound, their subsequent strike on goal bouncing off-target.
Moments later Cardwell tried to catch Amos out from range, however, his shot on goal deflected kindly into the arms of the Manchester United loanee.
Fosu was involved again moments later after cutting in from the right. Showing clever footwork to beat his man as he entered the area, his shot on goal was blocked before substitute Andrija Novakovic fired the rebound over the bar.
However, Reading managed to net a leveller moments later courtesy of a deflected free-kick from fellow substitute Liam Kelly.
Stepping up to take the set-piece, Kelly’s low effort caught out Amos as a deflection saw it cruelly roll into the unguarded bottom left-hand corner.
The visitors continued to press in search of a late winner but Wanderers stayed strong at the back, holding on for a share of the spoils.
Bolton: Amos, Holding, Sellers, Taylor, Finney, Boben, Lester (Thomas 76), Campbell-Young, Eaves (Newby 46), Iliev, Woodland (Ball 80).
Unused subs: Ball, Campbell, Likoy-Elumba.
Reading: Lincoln, Keown, Long, Kuhl, Hyam, Sweeney, Stacey, Fridjonsson (Kelly 70), Cardwell, Edwards (Novakovich 65), Fosu.
Unused subs: Owusu, Ward, Shaughnessy.