Dougie Freedman made three changes for today's match against Blackpool. David Ngog returned from suspension and took Kevin Davies' place in the starting XI. Martin Petrov came in on the wing, sending Chung-Yong Lee to the bench. And Jay Spearing returned to the side, which left Darren Pratley on the bench and (more importantly) pushed Mark Davies forward into an attacking role.
Bolton started out with more possession before Blackpool came into the match and started peppering the goal from distance. The whites took the lead first, the first time they've scored the opening goal in the short reign of Dougie Freedman. Martin Petrov made a good run and spotted Chris Eagles in the box. Petrov played a nice ball but it was deflected and fell to Mark Davies on the edge of the six yard box. The midfielder's shot went low and to the right of Matt Gilks. It was 1-0 to Bolton
It was 1-0 to Bolton for a grand total of 60 seconds. Thomas Ince, who was Blackpool's best player on the day, hit a very good strike from the edge of the penalty area. Stephen Warnock was probably a little slow to close him down, but it was a composed finish nonetheless.
Everything was level at halftime, and play was fairly even through the first ten or so minutes of the second half. Then Dougie made a change, at about the time he always makes a change. The substitute was Chung-Yong Lee. He came on for Petrov, and that made the difference for the away side.
Mark Davies was once again involved in the goal as he won the ball from Blackpool's Stephen Crainey and found Eagles on the right wing. Eagles played a hard, low ball across the face of goal that Chungy ran onto and slid home on 71 minutes.
This time the lead lasted ten minutes. Freedman's second substitution, Darren Pratley for Chris Eagles, was not as inspired as the first. In response, Blackpool brought on 87-year-old Kevin Phillips, and he managed to find Nathan Delfouneso for the equalizer.
Blackpool's goal was under siege for the final ten minutes, but Bolton were unable to find the winner. In a last role of the dice, Kevin Davies came on in the 89th minute for Ngog. It was the captain's 600th career club appearance.
Surely Wanderers would have preferred three points, and were in a good position to get them. Dougie Freedman has two draws and a win so far. We'll take the away point today, and give him more time to shore up the defensive weaknesses.
On a brighter note, there are signs of enthusiasm returning to the fanbase under our young manager. Attendance at Bloomfield Road was announced as 15,525, but over 2,100 of that group was the Bolton away contingent. Our allocation was sold out. I'd like to think our recent play has more to do with that than the roller coaster.