Report: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 MK Dons
Wanderers continued their unbeaten start to life in Sky Bet League One with a 1-1 draw against MK Dons at Macron Stadium.
The deadlock was born inside seven minutes, with Mark Beevers on target against his former club for his first goal in Bolton colours when slamming home via the underside of the bar.
The visitors were back level shortly after the break however, with Ryan Colclough forcing the ball home after a scramble inside the six yard area, while they also saw a Kieran Agard penalty kick saved by Mark Howard with 64 minutes gone.
Both sides gave their all inside the remainder of the game to force a winner, but the spoils were ultimately shared at the final whistle.
Jamie Proctor replaced the injured Gary Madine up front for Wanderers, while Andrew Taylor was brought in at left-back for the home side.
Wanderers started brightly at Macron Stadium, with the visitors under pressure from the off with Keshi Anderson in particular looking lively early on.
With just seven minutes on the clock however, the deadlock was broken through Beevers who slammed the ball home on the half volley via the crossbar to give Bolton a deserved lead after David Martin had parried Jamie Proctor’s initial header goalwards.
The visitors were visibly a little stunned to be behind so early on and were forced to defend in their numbers as the Whites looked to extend their lead.
They almost snatched an equaliser against the run of play however halfway through the first period, with Kieran Agard agonisingly close to hitting the target with Mark Howard stranded after collecting a Dean Bowditch ball across the face of goal.
Wanderers were soon back on top though, with the majority of play being contested inside Dons’ half of the pitch.
Clear cut chances though weren’t as forthcoming, with the visitors putting bodies on the line to block numerous Bolton efforts.
The Trotters were left calling for a penalty shortly after the half hour mark as Proctor was seemingly hauled down just inside the box, but the referee waved away the claims to the forward’s dismay.
George Baldock meanwhile again came close for Karl Robinson’s side, with his cross from the right flank skimming the top of the crossbar with five minutes of the first half remaining.
Anderson was handed a glorious chance on the stroke of half time when Howard launched the ball out to the forward on the half way line following a Dons set-piece, but the youngster just couldn’t capitalise with his eventual shot being calmly collected by Martin as the whistle was blown.
With no changes for either side at the break, proceedings got back underway with Liam Trotter in the mix early on for the Whites.
Dons were looking more threatening than they had previously in the clash however, with Howard having to be on his guard to push an Agard shot from the edge of the box over the goalmouth early on in the second period.
Their efforts were eventually rewarded too in the 54th minute, with Colclough bundling the ball home from close range after a goalmouth scramble had ensued in the six yard box.
Despite the set-back, Bolton were right back on it in a bid to restore their lead with Wheater nodding a header from a Henry cross just wide of the mark.
The hour mark also saw Wanderers’ first change of the encounter with Sammy Ameobi replacing Anderson up front for the home side.
Dons were then handed an opportunity to put themselves in front from the penalty spot after Lewis Buxton was deemed to have brought Agard down inside the area.
The forward stepped up to take the spot-kick himself, but Howard was the hero for Bolton as he somehow kept his effort out via the crossbar, with the ball bouncing down onto the goalline before being scooped to safety.
Tempers were flaring all over the pitch, with neither side ready to settle for the draw as the game entered its final quarter.
There was another penalty shout for Wanderers in the 80th minute, with Proctor seemingly fouled when he was about to strike the ball inside the six yard box, but again nothing was given.
There was also a chance for Ameobi after the ball had pinged around inside a crowded box, but Martin was out quickly to deny the on-loan wide-man his first goal in Bolton colours.
It was end to end stuff as the game entered its final minutes while Ameobi forced Martin into a smart save down to his left on the stroke of the 90.
With five minutes of additional time indicated, Wanderers were in the ascendancy and threw men forward in their numbers, but they just couldn’t force a winner as it ended all square.