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Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Leeds United: Match Report

Ameobi briefly sends Twitter into a meltdown, but the defence - namely Prince - again lets us down

Prince became the third Bolton centre-half to see red this season as he cost his side two points against Leeds
Prince became the third Bolton centre-half to see red this season as he cost his side two points against Leeds
Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Bolton Wanderers once again failed to take full advantage when in control of a match as they ended up hanging on for a draw against a poor Leeds United side despite dominating the first half.

Shola Ameobi 'did a Heskey' as he opened the scoring on his debut from the bench in the first half, before Prince's clumsy challenge saw him concede a penalty and red carded to gift Leeds an unlikely equaliser.

Manager Neil Lennon made three changes from the side that barely turned up against Birmingham in midweek, with Josh Vela making his first start of the season in a diamond midfield and Prince and Mark Davies also returning to the starting lineup.

The diamond revival appeared to be a shining success for the hosts, who totally dominated the first half. But soon enough the Wanderers injury curse began to rear its ugly head again, as Gary Madine was forced to leave the action with concussion after just 12 minutes, cue the early entrance of Ameobi.

Wanderers then conspired to miss a whole host of chances, first through Darren Pratley before Mark Davies and Liam Feeney both saw shots blocked by the Leeds defence. The visitors also threatened on a rare attack as Tom Adeyemi hit the post following a scramble in the Bolton box.

Then on 32 minutes two minor miracles occurred at the same time as a Wanderers striker scored, and we scored from a corner. Jose Manuel Casado scuffed a corner into the box and the ball broke to Ameobi to strike a low volley into the bottom corner. For the second time in a year Twitter had a mild meltdown and the footballing critics were left with egg on their faces as an unfancied, washed up Bolton striker scored a debut goal. Lets just hope Shola can score again for us, unlike Emile Heskey.

Liam Feeney was looking bright but his lack of composure in front of goal is really beginning to cost us, as he wasted several decent opportunities either side of half time. Towards the end of the first half there was a great save from Ben Amos to keep us ahead, and we went into half-time 1-0 up.

Wanderers' injury woes continued at half-time as Mark Davies wasn't able to reemerge for the second half and was replaced by Stephen Dobbie. Leeds began the second half brightly and Amos made another fine save to tip Adeyemi's long range strike onto the post, then Mirco Antenucci blazed over from distance.

Leeds were beginning to get on top but Pratley was well denied as he burst into the box then Dobbie saw a shot well saved as it became increasingly likely Wanderers weren't going to score again.

And all of our worst fears were confirmed with 20 minutes to go as Prince put in a silly challenge on Antenucci in the box, which saw him sent off and a penalty awarded. Antenucci picked himself up and calmly slotted the ball home from the spot.

After the equaliser neither side really created anything and the game drifted into a share of the points. This will be looked upon as two points thrown away by Wanderers, who should have been well in control of the match at half-time. Amos made a couple of saves but other than that Leeds did very little, while Bolton were once again far too wasteful in the final third.

One of the positives from the match was finally seeing Vela back in the team, and the youngster impressed while the likes of Neil Danns and Pratley were largely innocuous - raising the question of why he hasn't been playing all season.

The result leaves Wanderers still propping up the bottom of the table now level on points with Rotherham on nine points, one point from safety and three points behind 18th placed Blackburn Rovers.

Next up is a huge game for Wanderers as they make the short trip to Preston next Saturday, in a game that kicks off on Sky Sports at 6pm. They then travel to Ipswich Town the following Tuesday before another big game as they host fellow strugglers Bristol City.