Report: Bolton 0-0 Chesterfield
Wanderers made it eight games unbeaten in Sky Bet League One as they drew 0-0 with Chesterfield at Macron Stadium on Saturday.
In a game of few chances and in front of over 23,000 supporters, the Whites were left frustrated come the final whistle as they came up against a stubborn Spireites outfit.
The point however means that Phil Parkinson’s men extend their advantage on third placed Fleetwood Town to seven points as the final month of the campaign continues.
There was a handful of changes for Wanderers, with Jay Spearing, Mark Howard and Chris Long all in from the off for Phil Parkinson’s men.
In front of a vociferous home crowd and the club’s biggest attendance of the season, the game got underway and it was clear to see from the outset that Chesterfield weren’t just there to make up the numbers.
Bolton themselves were soon on the attack though, although Jon Nolan did force Howard into a smart save down at his near post.
A goalmouth scramble ensued for the Whites soon after, with Adam Le Fondre unable to scramble the ball home inside the six yard box.
It was evident that Wanderers were going to have to be patient, with Dean Moxey seeing a drive from just inside the box blocked at the death in the 17th minute while Filipe Morais’ tantalising deft lob from the edge of the area narrowly cleared the crossbar.
Dan Gardner was next to enjoy a sight of goal for the visitors, with Howard someone doing enough despite a crowd of bodies in the box to push his 18-yard effort away from goal.
The visitors were certainly enjoying a purple patch in front of goal, but Bolton were still looking dangerous down the channels with Morais ever-threatening.
With the game reached its half hour mark, it was a frustrating encounter with Wanderers unable to really get a foothold in the match with Le Fondre seeing an acrobatic overhead kick trickle narrowly wide with seven minutes of the first period to go.
With just over 60 seconds of the half remaining, the visitors looked to have snatched the lead as Gardner’s initial drive was spilled by Howard given its ferocity, with Joe Rowley somehow putting the rebound wide courtesy of the faintest of touches from the Bolton keeper.
On the stroke of halftime, Wanderers themselves enjoyed a chance to put themselves in front as Morais found Pratley in the six yard box, but the skipper put his header over the bar as the first 45 ended goalless.
With no changes at the break, the game got back underway with the sun shining down at Macron Stadium.
And the visitors started this period as they did the first, with Wanderers having to be on their guard early on.
The home side very nearly broke the deadlock soon after however, with Paul McGinn getting ahead of his man in the box following good work from Josh Vela.
Pratley meanwhile just couldn’t get enough power behind his close-range effort moments later, with Thorsten Stuckmann managing to pluck the ball out of the air with a goal seemingly imminent.
With game reaching its hour mark, Bolton were looking to more likely of the two sides to score but the Spireites were standing firm.
Le Fondre came close too with 23 minutes remaining, with his drive through a crowded penalty area being blocked by a blue shirt with Stuckmann rooted to the spot.
The home faithful were providing their support, with “We’re the one and only Wanderers” ringing out around Macron Stadium as the clock ticked down.
Nerves with on edge and fingernails were being bitten in the terraces, while the Whites continued their siege on Chesterfield’s goalmouth.
Balls were flying into the box from every which way, with Bolton looking the more likely of the two sides to break the deadlock.
With the clock running down, Wanderers pushed and saw efforts from Le Fondre, Wheater and Filipe Morais blocked and cleared off the line.
On the stroke of full time meanwhile, Nolan was dismissed for the visitors for a second bookable offence while Morais almost forced an own goal in the deepest depths of five minutes of injury time.
Come the full time whistle however, the spoils were shared.