ANTONI SARCEVIC’S second goal of the week saw Bolton Wanderers come from behind to earn an impressive point against the league leaders Cambridge United at Abbey Stadium.
The Wanderers’ captain rounded off a 16-pass move to cancel out Billy Crellin’s own-goal which had threatened to spoil an impressive performance away from home.
Ian Evatt made two changes from the side that fought back to draw against Barrow in midweek.
Nathan Delfouneso regained his place in the the starting XI at the expense of Arthur Gnahoua, who dropped to the bench, while Andrew Tutte replaced Brandon Comley.
Harry Brockbank had the game’s first effort after four minutes, but his wayward shot from distance, after being picked out by Ali Crawford, went over Dimi Mitov’s cross bar.
Crawford floated in a dangerous free-kick after Delfouneso was fouled 30 yards out. The ball was cleared at the far post by the Cambridge defence.
After Delfouneso held up the ball over on the far side, he found Brockbank who charged up the flank. The defender seemed to be in two minds whether to cross or shoot, but the ball ended up beyond for a goal kick after another promising foray into the United third.
United earned a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box after Delaney tumbled into Paul Mullin. Idris El Mizouni’s resulting set-piece was chipped into the grateful hands of Billy Crellin.
Wanderers almost took the lead moments later when Doyle put in a fantastic ball for Sarvcevic whose shot went narrowly wide of Mitov’s right hand stick, with Brockbank inches away from connecting.
Cambridge always looked threatening on the counter and Luke Hannant’s shot deflected into the hands of Mitov.
Seconds later and Wanderers charged up the field with a flowing move which culminated in Peter Kioso’s thunderous drive into the box being parried away by Mitov, who was by far the busier of the two keepers.
Baptiste’s foul on Hannant earned the hosts a free-kick on the nearside, which was floated in by Hiram Boateng. Brockbank was fouled as he attempted to clear the ball.
A cross from Kioso on the left evaded the head of Eoin Doyle as the Irishman was looking to break the deadlock.
United’s best chance came just before the break when Hannant broke into the box after being found by El Mizouni, but the midfielder’s low effort drifted wide of Crellin’s far post.
A stunning move by Wanderers ended with Delfouneso’s volley from distance drifting wide. Brockbank showed some decent footwork to find the chest of Doyle who set up his fellow striker for the chance.
No changes were made during the interval as Wanderers looked to build on their positive first-half display.
Brockbank had the ball in the back of the net to put the finishing touches on a brilliant move involving Crawford and Sarcevic but the linesman on the far side flagged for offside.
Doyle limped off after 50 minutes with what appeared to be a hamstring strain. Arthur Gnahoua came on for the Irishman.
Delaney conceded a free-kick when he upended Harrison Dunk just outside the box. Boateng took the kick and it sailed over the bar of Crellin.
The hosts won another set-piece this time right in the centre just outside the box after Baptiste upended Kyle Knoyle.
Paul Mullin, who had largely been anonymous throughout the game, took the kick but drilled his low effort wide of goal.
The hosts took the lead through Jack Iredale. The ball was lofted into the box and hung in the air, Crellin attempted to punch the ball clear and it somehow ended up in the back of the net.
A great sweeping move, starting in Wanderers’ own third saw Kioso break down the right hand side after some superb work by Delfouneso. The wing back’s centre evaded everyone before the hosts eventually won a free-kick.
Wanderers got on terms in glorious style through a stunning finish by skipper, Sarcevic, who spun and slotted the ball into the back of the net after some wonderful build up play which incorporated 16 passes.
It was no less than Wanderers deserved after Crellin’s earlier error gave the hosts an unwarranted lead.
And the visitors could have got their noses in front but for Dimi Mitov’s sublime save to keep out Defouneso’s close range effort after the striker latched onto Sarcevic’s pass following some good work by Kioso on the flank.
Mitov, Knoyle, Darling, Taylor, Iredale, Hannant, Digby, Boateng (May 65), Dunk, El Mizouni (Ironside 59), Mullin
Subs Not Used: Burton, Cundy, Dallas, Davies, Knowles.
Crellin, Kioso, Brockbank (Gordon 72), Almeida Santos, Baptiste, Delaney, Crawford, Tutte, Doyle (Gnahoua 50), Delfouneso, Sarcevic.
Subs Not Used: Taft, Hickman, Mascoll, Greenidge, Darcy