Report: Wolves 2-2 Bolton
Wanderers came from two goals down to earn a deserved share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw with Wolves at Molineux on Tuesday evening.
The home side opened the scoring inside four minutes, with former Bolton loanee Joe Mason firing home after Bjorn Sigurdarson’s initial shot had rebounded off Ben Amos.
The Trotters then proceeded to dominate proceedings, but were undone by substitute James Henry with 77 minutes on the clock, the winger snaking into the box before curling the ball into the bottom corner of the net to seemingly wrap up the win for Kenny Jackett’s side.
Wellington Silva however had the Trotters back in contention with eight minutes remaining, nodding home at the back post and they were level with just a minute of the ninety to play as Stephen Dobbie’s free-kick left Carl Ikeme stranded and sent the travelling supporters into raptures.
Wanderers’ line-up saw a first Bolton start for youngster Kaiyne Woolery, while Jay Spearing was also in from the off for Neil Lennon’s side and Mark Davies took the captaincy in the absence of the injured Darren Pratley.
For Wolves meanwhile, Mason lined up against his former side with the striker having previously enjoyed three loan spells with the Whites in recent seasons and amongst their substitutes was Adam Le Fondre who spent a stint at Macron Stadium during the second part of the 2014/15 campaign.
Wanderers started the brighter of the two sides and were the first to enjoy a sight of goal inside two minutes as, following good work by Davies, Spearing forced Carl Ikeme into a smart save at his near post.
Straight from the same move however, Wolves broke free with Sigurdarson trying his luck as his shot bounced off Amos and into the path of the advancing Mason who slotted home the rebound with three minutes on the clock.
Despite the early setback, Bolton responded well and weren’t allowing their heads to drop as they looked for a route back into the clash.
With Wanderers dominating possession for the most part, Wolves were looking nervy for a team boasting the advantage in the clash but the visitors were finding it hard to create anything of note in the final third.
With the first period reaching its halfway point, the home side were yet to test Amos since their opener while Liam Feeney saw an angled effort fly agonisingly over Ikeme’s crossbar.
There was still nothing much of note in terms of goalmouth action however, with Davies’ header from 12 yards failing to hit the target shortly after the half hour mark.
Rob Holding was called into action up the other end of the field shortly after meanwhile, with the youngster having to time his penalty box challenge on Rajiv van La Parra to perfection to avoid conceding a spot-kick.
Despite all their possession however, Wanderers were looking frustrated on the counter attack with many of their attempts being met with by a solid Wolves defensive line.
Wellington Silva meanwhile tried his luck on the stroke of half time after some trickery on the flank, but his curled shot was unable to trouble Ikeme as the first period ended a goal in the hosts’ favour.
With no chances for either side at the break, the game restarted with Wanderers looking lively from the outset with Davies seeing a close range header blocked while Spearing’s rifled effort was cleared away at the death.
The hosts were forced to defend deeply for the opening stages of the second half, with the Whites putting on the pressure in a bid to source an equalising goal.
Vela was next to attempt to thwart Wolves’ rearguard, with his clever effort from outwide almost eluding Ikeme with 53 minutes on the clock.
The home fans were growing frustrated as Bolton continued to stand firm at the back and make tracks in front of goal, with their nervousness clearly feeding onto the pitch too.
The introduction of Emile Heskey with 25 minutes remaining in place of Woolery signalled Wanderers’ intent in the clash, while Wellington blasted a shot narrowly over the crossbar following a mazy run soon after.
With the game heading into its final quarter, Bolton continued their pressure but were ultimately hit on the counter as substitute Henry snaked his way into the Whites’ box before curling the ball into the bottom corner of the net with 13 minutes remaining.
Wanderers were soon back in the game however with eight minutes remaining as Wellington nodded home at the far post, connecting with a cross which seemed to have eluded everybody.
It was all hands to the pump inside the closing stages, with Stephen Dobbie coming into the mix in place of Liam Trotter as the visitors chased a deserved leveller.
And that equaliser came with a minute remaining as Dobbie wrong-footed Ikeme in the Wolves net with a free-kick from 30 yards out to send the Bolton faithful into raptures.
No less than the Whites deserved, three minutes of additional time were indicated with Wanderers seemingly looking to even win the game, but the scoreline remained level at the final whistle.