Report: Bolton 0-0 Charlton Athletic
Wanderers and Charlton Athletic played out a goalless draw in the club’s penultimate home game of the 2015/16 season on Tuesday evening.
In a game of few chances in front of goal, Zach Clough did have the ball in the back of the net only to be denied by the offside flag, but the efforts of both sides ultimately proved fruitless as the spoils were shared at the final whistle.
There was just the one change for Wanderers from the side who started against Middlesbrough at the weekend with Oscar Threlkeld making his first start for the club this season following his return from a loan spell at Plymouth Argyle.
With the sun setting at Macron Stadium, the game got underway and it was Wanderers who were the side in the ascendancy early on although their efforts ultimately reaped nothing too much of note.
Charlton were under pressure from the off though, with the visitors struggling to make any real inroads of their own into Bolton territory, although on the rare occasion that they forced their way into Ben Amos’ box, the Whites’ defence were calm and collected.
As the game reached its quarter-hour mark, neither goalkeeper had been troubled too much with the clash falling into something of a lull as the home side in particular attempted to force their way through with some calculated build-up play.
A quarter of the way through the match, Simon Makienok enjoyed the first real effort for the Addicks when connecting with the ball halfway inside the box, but the towering forward’s header was comfortably smothered by Amos.
Up the other end meanwhile, Derik Osede came close to opening his account for the club when his looping effort from 25 yards narrowly cleared Nick Pope’s crossbar and landed on the roof of the net.
The chances appeared to breathe life into a game which had been lacking in excitement, with Threlkeld agonisingly failing to connect with Josh Vela’s cross into the box shortly after.
There was still an air of tentativeness about the game though although Clough did have the ball in the back of the net on 39 minutes after Mark Davies’ initial shot had ricocheted through a crowd of bodies and into his path, only to be denied by the assistant referee’s offside flag.
The most notable incident of the first period, just the one minute was added on but it brought no more goalmouth action as the half finished goalless.
With no changes at the break, the second half began with Bolton on the attack once more, with Charlton on the backfoot early on.
Jose Riga’s side did threaten themselves shortly after however, with Marco Motta’s dangerous cross-goal pass being blocked at the death with Igor Vetokele lurking and ready to pounce.
With 54 minutes on the clock, the deadlock appeared to have been broken when David Wheater thundered a header goalwards from Clough’s corner, but Pope was on his guard and tipped his effort over the crossbar.
Bolton proceeded to pepper the Charlton goal with shots in the aftermath with Wheater again coming close while Derik saw a header float just wide.
The second period was certainly livelier than its predecessor, with Ademola Lookman drilling a shot straight down the throat of Amos from the edge of the box on the hour mark.
The game was falling into an end-to-end encounter inside the final quarter, with Jimmy Phillips introducing Kaiyne Woolery into the mix in place of Heskey with 25 minutes remaining as Bolton looked to take all three points in the clash.
The young forward certainly brought some excitement to proceedings, with him pick-pocketing his man shortly after his introduction and racing into the area, although he was eventually snuffed out at the death.
Frustration was evident though for both sides, with any real fluidity in the game lacking for each team.
The best chance of the half meanwhile fell to Darren Pratley with ten minutes to go, but the skipper was unable to poke the ball home from close range from Threlkeld’s fizzing pass across goal.
With the clock ticking down, it was the home side looking the more likely to snatch a late winner with Woolery smashing an effort from a tight angle into the side netting with five minutes remaining.
With three minutes of additional time indicated though, it was Charlton who were in dangerous territory with Bolton forced to keep their wits about them inside the closing stages.
Ultimately though, neither side were able to make the breakthrough as the game ended goalless, unfortunately confirming relegation to League One for the Addicks in the process.