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Match Report: Bolton Wanderers vs Brentford

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Bolton Wanderers welcomed Brentford at the Macron Stadium in what would be interim boss Lee Carsley's last game in charge before handing the reigns to current Walsall boss Dean Smith.

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

After reports emerged earlier in the day that the Wanderers squad had not been paid in November, there was a real ominous feel going into the home game which would be aired on Sky Sports for all to enjoy.

The game started in quite an even fashion as the Wanderers squad looked up for the battle whilst Brentford showed some danger in attack. Darren Pratley was in particularly putting some real graft and Liam Feeney was keen to test  the Brentford line from out wide.

Despite the positives, it was Brentford who struck early and it was a hit of real quality from John Swift as he emphatically dispatched from the edge of the area following a flowing Brentford move. Amos could only wave at the pacey effort and you could be forgiven for thinking that Wanderers could sink without a trace.

Bolton were working hard to create chances but for Brentford it came with a lot more ease. The difference in quality between the two sides was quite evident despite all the graft from Lennon's side. Mark Davies was struggling to influence the game and Feeney's crosses were often too deep and whilst Ameobi's effort was there, the lack of movement up top made the creative aspect very difficult for the Bolton midfield.

With their added quality, Brentford were creating chances and Amos was tested shortly after the goal as Lasse Vibe nearly found a way in and John Swift was denied a second as his volley was tipped over the bar by the impressive Ben Amos.

Bolton's creative woes continued as Max Clayton was forced off after just 40 minutes and was replaced by Gary Madine. Madine joined Ameobi as Neil Lennon shuffled his small pack and went 4-4-2 with two big lads up top, the emphasis now was to get the ball wide and no doubt that was the message from Lennon as Wanderers went in to the break 1-0 down.

The second half saw more of the hard industrious work by Bolton Wanderers, typified by the work of Neil Danns, who was everywhere. For all the issues of the week, Bolton were up for the fight and the crowd responded to spirited attitude of the Wanderers players. As Bolton focused to shift the ball to the flanks, full back Casado became more involved as Brentford were happy to defend and use their quality to pick Bolton off on the break with their obvious added quality.

It made for a surprisingly interesting game and Bolton were rewarded for their hard work as Neil Danns fired home off the post to equalise for Bolton. The relief in the Macron Stadium was palpable and it gave the home side, along with it's supporters, a new wave of confidence.

Bolton came close to taking the lead shortly after as the ball fell to Shola Ameobi from a set piece and the former Newcastle United Striker was unable to force the ball home, knocking the ball straight at Brentford keeper David Button.

This was followed by an ambitious effort by Wanderers' Goal Machine Gary Madine who after hitting a quite hopeless half-volley onto Homebase's carpark, felt the need to lambast under pressure manager Neil Lennon.

Despite the Wanderers pressure, it was probably Brentford who had the best chance of the game late on as substitute Konstantin Kerschbaumer had a wicked effort tip wide from Ben Amos.

Bolton will take this point given the off-field trauma at the club currently. Credit to the Wanderers players for their professionalism at an understandably difficult time particularly after going 1-0 down early on.

Teams


Bolton Wanderers
01 Amos
06 Vela Booked
04 Dervite
31 Wheater
20 Casado
18 Danns
16 Davies Booked (Dobbie - 90' )
07 Feeney Booked
12 Clayton (Madine - 40' )
21 Pratley
26 Ameobi


Substitutes
02 Gouano
08 Spearing
13 Rachubka
14 Madine
23 Dobbie
27 Twardzik
45 Holding


Brentford

27 Button
28 Yennaris
26 Tarkowski Booked
22 O'Connell
03 Bidwell
12 McCormack
20 Diagouraga
15 Woods (Canos - 68' )
18 Judge (Saunders - 81' )
19 Swift Booked (Kerschbaumer - 74' )
21 Vibe


Substitutes
07 Saunders
11 Hofmann
16 Bonham
17 Kerschbaumer
24 Gogia
29 Barbet
47 Canos