Report: Sturm Graz 2-1 Bolton

Mark Davies on the scoresheet in encouraging performance at Stadion Kumberg

Bolton Wanderers were edged out by the odd goal in three against Sturm Graz in their opening pre-season fixture of the 2015/16 campaign.

Neil Lennon made use of all available players present at the Austria training camp and after trailing at half time Bolton upped their game in the second period.

Mark Davies, one of ten outfield players on off the bench at the interval, scored the Bolton goal, eventually finishing when through on goal in what was a largely encouraging all-round Bolton performance.

Sturm Graz ended the game with ten men, after Roman Kienast, scoring of the winning penalty late on, was sent off for an ugly challenge on Oscar Threlkeld.

Neil Lennon named a starting XI that contained a mixture of youth and experience. Permanent summer recruits Ben Amos and Gary Madine were in from the off, whilst Dorian Dervite, stand-in skipper Liam Feeney, Medo Kamara, Neil Danns and Zach Clough also started.

Emile Heskey and Liam Trotter sat out after sustaining slight knocks during training.

As expected, Graz started like a side coming towards the end of end of their pre-season programme with Europa League qualifiers just around the corner.

Amos had to be alert on a number of occasions to foil the lively duo of Donis Avdijaj and Dobras.

Bolton’s best opportunity of the opening half was engineered by some clever footwork from Clough.

After receiving a throw in the left channel, he somehow danced around a couple of challenges before curling an effort from an acute angle that shaved the far post.

Gary Madine then headed straight at the goalkeeper from Liam Feeney’s cross.

Graz had threatened from a number of inventive corner kick routines, and they eventually took the lead just minutes shy of the interval.

A low corner was drilled into the area. A couple of feints later and the ball arrived at the feet of Dobras, who fired low into the net.

After changing all ten outfield players during the interval, Bolton started the second period with much more of a spring in their step. 

And they were soon level on 49 minutes after some persistent work from Davies. 

Robbing a defender of possession, Davies skipped forward and after seeing his initial low shot blocked by the onrushing goalkeeper, regained his composure to skip clear and fire in off the far post.

Lennon’s side continued on the front foot. Stephen Dobbie saw a rasping drive from a 30-yard free kick whistle narrowly over the bar before Dean Moxey was inches away from connecting with Rob Hall’s peach of a delivery.

Graz rarely forayed into Bolton territory, but did hit a post via the slightest of touches from sub goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons with 15 minutes of play remaining.

Just as it seemed the game would end level, Graz were awarded a late penalty after an apparent infringement by Dean Moxey.

Kienast duly dispatched, only to receive his marching orders a matter of minutes later.


‬Bolton Wanderers: Amos (Fitzsimons 61), Maher (Threlkeld 46), White (Derik 46), Dervite (Taylor 46), Twardzik (Moxey 46), Danns (Spearing 46), Medo (Pratley 46), Walker (Kellett 46), Clough (Davies 46), Feeney (Hall 46), Madine (Dobbie 46)

Sturm Graz: Esser, Potzmann, Spendlhofer, Madl, Klem, Piesinger, Offenbacher, Schick, Avdijaj, Dobras, Tadic

Subs: Schutzenauer, Hadzic, Ehrenreich, Gruber, Schmerbock, Klaric, Lovric, Edomwonyi, Kamavuaka, Kienast, Mohammadi

Read Time: 3 mins