Report: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Southend United
Wanderers’ unbeaten start to life in Sky Bet League One continued as they played out a 1-1 draw with Southend United at Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It was the visitors who broke the deadlock inside three minutes, with Harry Kyprianou slamming home from six yards out, but the Whites were back level in the 48th minute as Keshi Anderson notched a debut strike for the club.
It was all Bolton for the remainder of the second period, with Jay Spearing seeing a free-kick tipped over the bar amongst other chances for the Trotters, but they were ultimately forced to settle for just the solitary point come full time.
It was full debuts for recent signings James Henry and Keshi Anderson who were included from the off, while other deadline day acquisitions Ben Alnwick, Sammy Ameobi and Tom Thorpe took their places amongst the substitutes.
Wanderers started strongly as the rain fell at Macron Stadium, with Henry seeing an audacious half volley from 20 yards narrowly clear the crossbar inside three minutes.
Out of nowhere however, the visitors took the lead through Kyprianou who thundered home from six yards out after collecting a John White cross into the mix.
Boosted by their early opener, the Shrimpers then proceeded to enjoy a period of pressure inside Bolton’s third of the pitch with Wanderers forced on the backfoot following a positive start.
The equaliser looked to have arrived in the eighth minute as David Wheater nodded goalbound, but Anderson somehow blocked his teammate’s effort on the line with keeper Ted Smith in no man’s land.
After a spurt of possession, the visitors were very much under the cosh with Jay Spearing seeing a shot from all of 25 yards fly just wide of the goalmouth halfway through the first period.
Gary Madine was certainly proving himself a handful too, with the big frontman seeing two headers fall narrowly off target.
A goalmouth scramble ensued in Southend’s penalty area shortly after the half hour mark, with shot-stopper Smith in all sorts of trouble as neither Anderson nor Madine could turn a loose ball home.
Madine himself was in the mix once again with ten minutes of the half to go, but the referee was unmoved by his claims for a penalty after his legs were seemingly taken from beneath him.
As the clock ran down to half time, it was pretty much one way traffic from Wanderers with Liam Trotter seeing his point-blank range shot from Vela’s cross somehow kept out of the goalmouth, but the Whites remained behind at the break.
As the second half got underway, it was clear to see that Bolton were a team on a mission and they were rewarded just three minutes in as Anderson managed to force the ball home after the goalkeeper had dropped it near to the goalmouth.
Completely deserved given the Whites dominance, they continued to pile forward, clearly not happy to rest on their laurels.
Anderson was right in the thick of it for the home side, with much of the Trotters’ attacking intent coming via the forward.
Southend were virtually camped in their own penalty area, with Bolton relentless in their pressure as they looked to take the lead in the clash.
Crosses into the box were aplenty for Bolton, with Ryan Leonard clearing an effort off the line with 20 minutes of the game remaining after carnage in the area from a long throw-in.
Having failed to trouble Wanderers all half however, the Shrimpers were nearly gifted the lead after a short back-pass from Wheater was snatched up by David Mooney, but Mark Howard was on his toes to block his way with Mark Beevers eventually hacking the ball clear.
Phil Parkinson then proceeded to hand a debut to Sammy Ameobi with eleven minutes remaining, with the wideman replacing Henry and immediately winning a free-kick in dangerous territory.
A set-piece which Smith somehow tipped over the bar from Spearing, it was a glorious opportunity for the Whites to take the lead.
The visitors were hanging in there as the minutes ticked away, with the Shrimpers defending in their droves inside the final stages of the encounter as substitute Andrew Taylor poked an effort agonisingly wide of the post in the last minute of the 90.
With three minutes of additional time indicated, it was all hands to the pump for Wanderers as they looked for a winner, but it just didn’t fall for Parkinson’s men as they had to settle for a share of the spoils at the final whistle.