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Match Reports

Report: Sunderland 3-3 Bolton Wanderers

31 October 2017

Wanderers picked up their second successive point on their travels with a six-goal thriller against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening.

The deadlock was broken shortly after the half hour mark, with Sammy Ameobi drilling home from 25 yards past a helpless Robbin Ruiter, but the home side were level on the stroke of half time through Lewis Grabban.

The Mackems were ahead meanwhile shortly before the hour mark through Grabban with his second of the game from close range, but their lead lasted just three minutes as Gary Madine poked home an equaliser from five yards out.

The drama wasn't finished however, with Karl Henry notching his first goal for the club when drilling the ball into the bottom corner after connecting with Antonee Robinson's beautifully weighted cross into the box, but Patrick McNair had the Mackems back on level terms with 11 minutes to go to ensure that the spoils were shared come full time.

TEAM NEWS

There was one change to Wanderers’ starting XI with Antonee Robinson replacing Andrew Taylor who picked up a knock against Fulham at the weekend.

Late on in the warm-up meanwhile, Jeff King took the place of Adam Le Fondre amongst the Whites’ substitutes.

FIRST HALF

With the game getting underway at a floodlight Stadium of Light, it was Wanderers who started strongly with them winning a corner kick inside three minutes, only to see Robbin Ruiter punch the set-piece away from danger.

And Mark Beevers almost snatched the lead in the seventh after collecting a Gary Madine knock-down in the area, but the centre-half’s volley flew narrowly wide from 12 yards out.

The home side responded in turn however with a period of pressure from themselves, winning a succession of corners as they piled men forward in a bid to break the deadlock, but failed to trouble Ben Alnwick in the Bolton goal.

Antonee Robinson and Adam Armstrong almost combined for the opener inside 15 minutes when the former fed the on-loan Newcastle man from the left flank, but he was inches away from connecting as Ruiter smothered the ball.

Up the other end meanwhile, Beevers spared Bolton’s blushes when heading away a goalbound Aiden McGeady shot from the edge of the box.

Nobody was able to gain a real foothold in the clash however as momentum swung to and fro.

With the game reaching its half hour mark, Wanderers came close again with Madine’s powerful header from a corner being just held by Ruiter.

And just two minutes later, the deadlock was broken and it was that man Ameobi again with the effort, drilling the ball home from 25 yards past a helpless Sunderland keeper.

A sucker punch for the home side but the biggest boost for Wanderers, Sunderland set about trying to find an immediate route back into the clash but found themselves hammering aimlessly against a resolute Bolton defence.

But against the run of play and on the stroke of half time, the hosts were level as Grabban latched onto a through-ball and slotted home past Alnwick to pull Sunderland back in to the clash and ensure that the scores were level at the break.

SECOND HALF

With no changes for Wanderers and one for Sunderland - James Vaughan replacing Jonny Williams - the second period got back underway.

Having levelled just prior to half time, the hosts' tails were up as they looked to start strongly and kick on in the clash.

And although the Whites were enjoying forays into Sunderland territory, they were struggling to trouble Ruiter in open play with the Mackems back in their numbers and being restricted to long-range efforts.

And with 57 minutes gone, the home side were ahead as Grabban tapped home from a matter of yards out.

Their lead was to last just three minutes however, with Madine pulling Bolton back onto level terms when collecting a knock-down just five yards from goal, with him given the simple task of poking the ball beyond Ruiter when one-on-one.

The game had sprung into life, with both sides giving their all in a bid to put themselves ahead.

And incredibly, just seven minutes later, Bolton re-took the lead as, following superb work by Robinson, the youngster lofted the ball into the mix with Henry on hand to volley home to the absolute delight of the travelling Wanderers.

The home fans were in absolute shock, but Simon Grayson's side immediately put pressure on the Trotters as they went in search of their third goal of the game.

Bolton meanwhile weren't for resting on their laurels, with them pushing forward at every opportunity in a bid to put the result to bed.

But with 11 minutes to go, Sunderland were level once again through McNair whose shot from the edge of the box sneaked into the bottom corner of the net.

The stage was set for a grandstand final ten minutes, with neither side happy to settle for a point, and it was end-to-end stuff at the Stadium of Light.

And with four minutes added on, it was absolute pandemonium, with the home side throwing everything at the Whites.

But come the final whistle, the spoils were shared following a six-goal thriller under the floodlights.

FULL TIME


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