Bolton Wanderers traveled to the City Ground to take on Nottingham Forest in Championship action. The Trotters have not won two league matches in a row all season and would have hoped that this would be the chance on the back of a strong second half at home to Burnley last weekend. Little did we know at the start of the day that Bolton that it would be much more similar to the first half vs. Burnley than the second.
The Trotters would welcome the return of Mark Davies into the starting lineup and the appearance of David Wheater on the bench but neither would have much of an effect on the proceedings. Dougie Freedman elected to go with Zat Knight and Craig Dawson at the heart of the defense with Tyrone Mears and Marcos Alonso flanking them. Mark Davies, Jay Spearing, and Darren Pratley made up the center midfield with Chung-Yong Lee and Steve De Ridder on the wings. Kevin Davies was in alone up front.
Bolton Wanderers would play the first half in completely toothless fashion. The Trotters would not manage a single shot in the direction of Nottingham Forest's goal, on target or otherwise. At the other end, Adam Bogdan had all to do. Nottingham Forest's Andy Reid, Simon Cox, and Radoslaw Majewski caused trouble and forced the Hungarian goalkeeper into a number of first half stops. Fortunately for the men in white, the half would end scoreless.
Bolton would start the second half with a renewed sense of attack but failed to make anything of their two chances early on. It was Nottingham Forest who would score first, just shy of the hour mark, through Andy Reid. The Forest midfielder would get the ball just on the edge of Bolton's box and he hit it first time on the half volley. The ball was rifled into the corner of the net and there was really nothing that Adam Bogdan could do about it.
With Chris Eagles coming on just a minute before the goal, Dougie Freedman would make two more substitutes, bringing on Burnley goalscorers David Ngog and Craig Davies. It was that combination that would prove good once more, taking only four minutes from Ngog's introduction. David Ngog would gather the ball on the right wing, send it into the box, and allowing Davies to tap in from close range.
The Trotters were seemingly in the ascendancy but then just two minutes after the equalizer, Marcos Alonso made ti that much more difficult for Bolton Wanderers. Marcos Alonso lost the ball in a dangerous area and lunged back in for it, catching the Nottingham Forest man. The foul earned Alonso a yellow card, his second of the match and coming less than 10 minutes after his first offense. Bolton Wanderers would have to hold out for ten minutes of regulation and five minutes of stoppage time with Nottingham Forest forcing everything forward.
Bolton Wanderers managed to weather the storm and hold on for a point. There will be questions asked of Dougie Freedman's team selection and we can expect to see a number of changes for Derby on Tuesday. Marcos Alonso will be suspended for the match, which will see a first team return for Sam Ricketts. There will be a major selection dilemma for who to go with up front.
The Trotters move up a spot in the table to 16th.