Bolton Wanderers wanted to make a good impression after the international break, especially given the negative press they received this week. Dougie Freedman chose to do this by recalling two players that probably never should have been dropped from the starting XI in Medo Kamara and Marvin Sordell. New signing Danny Butterfield was on the bench. The fact that we have signed a right back and he went right into the squad makes me think that Joe Riley and Tyrone Mears are both out for the rest of the season. No official announcement from the club, but the signing doesn't make any sense if those players are coming back.
The game started out very fast, with chances on either end in the first five minutes. Bolton had the better of them, and it only took Sordell four minutes to show that he not only deserved today's start, but never should have been dropped in the first place.
Bolton continued to dominate possession after that, although Charlton were creating chances. Massive old man Ricardo Fuller was causing Wanderers some trouble, and captain Johnnie Jackson was looking especially dangerous. But David Ngog was looking dangerous for Bolton, and when his shot was deflected on the 20th minute it fell to Medo Kamara, and he repaid Freedman for the start by scoring off the post. 2-0 to Bolton.
The celebration didn't last long, as Charlton finally took one of their many chances, Jackson getting the goal that was clearly coming. Both sides had more chances, and as halftime arrived the 2-1 scoreline remained, but it seemed unlikely that the scoring was finished.
And it wasn't. Disaster struck Bolton Wanderers in the 58th minute. First, Sam Ricketts was sent off for a second yellow card. Then Charlton scored from the ensuing Free kick. 2-2. Sordell went off and Butterfield made his Bolton debut. It didn't matter. Less than three minutes later Darren Pratley brought Fuller down in the box. Penalty to Charlton. 3-2 to Charlton. Craig Davies came on for Chung-Yong Lee, who had been a non-factor for most of the match. The Addicks were dominating after that, and Bolton looked in danger of being left for dead.
With about ten minutes left in the match, Wanderers did manage to calm down a bit. But Charlton were still holding the ball rather comfortably and not looking terribly bothered by Bolton. Of course a 3-2 lead after being down 2-0 will do that for you.
In one last throw of the dice, Pratley came off for Sanmi Odelusi. I can only imagine he was told "Congrats on your debut son, now go get us two goals in eight minutes!" Seven minutes of added time gave Bolton supporters a bit of confidence, but all that really seemed to accomplish was to get Craig Davies sent off. He got two yellow cards in about 4 minutes, the first for stupidly shoving an opposing player while the ball was out of play.
There were a few late chances for Bolton, nothing especially notable though, and the Trotters meekly crawled into the training room for the long journey back to Lancashire.