Report: Bolton Wanderers v Reading

Wanderers extended their unbeaten run in the Sky Bet Championship to seven games but were forced to settle for a solitary point against Reading at Macron Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The scoring was opened inside 18 minutes, with Reece Burke nodding home his first Bolton goal from a Josh Vela free-kick, before it was followed up five minutes later with a Darren Pratley header from close range.

The Royals pulled a goal back however with 14 minutes to go through Liam Moore, and they had an equaliser from the penalty spot with seven minutes left through Leandro Bacuna to ensure that the spoils were shared come full time.


Wanderers made one change to the side who started against Preston North End on Friday evening, with Reece Burke replacing the suspended Mark Beevers.


The home side started brightly, with Gary Madine almost capitalising from a defensive mix up, but Anssi Jaakkola pounced at the striker's feet to block any opportunity with the goal gaping.

Thereafter however, the visitors proceeded to enjoy a period of pressure, albeit mostly in their own half as the Whites’ shape ensured that they struggle to move the ball upfield and into any dangerous areas.

Modou Barrow was proving himself a threat for the Royals, and his endeavours almost paid off in the 15th minute as his cross narrowly eluded John Swift in the six yard box.

The aforementioned Swift then saw his night ended prematurely, with an injury forcing him from the field inside the opening 17 minutes.

Moments later meanwhile, Bolton opened the scoring from a free-kick won prior to Swift’s substitution, with Burke heading home a Vela free-kick to the delight of the Bolton faithful.

The goal seemed to breathe life into Wanderers, and it was swiftly followed with a second goal in the 24th minute as Pratley thundered home a header from close range.

The Whites were proving to be absolutely clinical, and although Reading were seeing more possession, they were failing to trouble the home side as the game reached its half hour mark.

Each and every time Bolton moved forward, or won a set-piece, they looked dangerous.

On a rare foray upfield, the visitors did threaten as Tyler Blackett’s cross flew tantilisingly across the face of goal, but Burke kept his cool to sweep it away from danger at the death with an orange shirt lurking.

As the remainder of the first half ebbed away however, the tempo of the clash did temper somewhat with goalmouth chances at a premium, and although Reading did enjoy a succession of corners on the stroke of half time, come the break, Wanderers led by two goals to nil.


With the second period underway, Wanderers looked dangerous from the off but it was the visitors who almost drew first blood, with Sone Aluko’s piledriver being palmed around the post by Ben Alnwick.

The Royals were certainly seeing more of the ball inside Bolton's third as the game settled back down, but some resolute Wanderers defending ensured that they were restricted in their opportunities.

Reading's Leandro Bacuna found himself in space meanwhile on the hour mark when 20 yards out from goal, but his drive was always floating upwards as it made its way goalward and comfortably cleared the crossbar.

It was cool, calm and collected play from the Whites, with them keeping their composure to stifle Jaap Stam's side flow.

And with just a quarter of the game to play, Bolton began to edge their way back onto the attack as they looked to put the game to bed, coming close following a melee in the Reading box with 18 minutes left.

With 14 minutes to go however, the visitors were back in it as Moore turned home a dangerous Barrow ball across the face of goal from close range.

The goal visibly boosted Reading, with them proceeding to throw men forward thereafter as they went in search of what had looked to be an unlikely equaliser for the majority of the game so far.

And with eight minutes to go, they had an opportunity as Barrow was deemed to have been fouled in the area by Ameobi in the area, with Bacuna levelling proceedings from 12 yards.

A sucker punch for Wanderers, they set about finding a winner in the clash and came close through Ameobi, only for his long range effort to fly narrowly past the post.

Time was running out for the Whites, with Adam Le Fondre and Craig Noone thrown into the mix as the clock ticked down.

And with four additional minutes indicated, it was all hands to the pump with Little seeing a half-volley deflect agonisingly wide while Pratley's header was straight at Jaakkola.

Come full time however, despite Bolton's best efforts and Le Fondre's close-range effort being somehow saved with the final kick of the game, the spoils were shared.


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