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Match Report: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Charlton Athletic

It was yet another tough watch at the Reebok - Chris talks you through it

Paul Thomas/Getty Images

It was a mild Tuesday night as Bolton Wanderers welcomed Charlton Athletic to the Reebok Stadium in a mid-table end-of-season Championship fixture.

The visitors arrived backed by about 50 odd supporters, whilst Bolton Wanderers themselves posted a piss-poor attendance of 12,994 which probably includes all season ticket holders whether they actually turned up at all.

The away side began strongly, and took a deserved lead in the ninth minute when on-loan midfielder Frédéric Bulot took advantage of the woeful Matt Mills' rather 'different' approach to defending and struck a superb volley low and hard to Adam Bogdan's right, opening the scoring in style.

Charlton had other chances in the first half but were unable to extend their lead, whereas Bolton Wanderers struggled to get a foothold in the game, as the sides left for their half-time break with boos ringing around the Reebok Stadium, somewhat harshly in my opinion.

To my surprise, the same Wanderers side emerged for the second half. Problems with our personnel and formation went unnoticed by manager Neil Lennon, and a similar pattern of play emerged.

After the interval, it was Charlton who first came closest to converting, with Tony Watt's angled pass picking out Bulot only for Bogdan to save. Let's hope the Hungarian goalkeeper signs his new contract to remain with the club.

After 68 minutes Lennon finally saw sense and changed things.

Mark Davies replaced the ineffective Tom Walker, and Emile Heskey was brought on to replace the frankly dreadful Rochinha. It was the introduction of the pace and guile of Davies and the brute strength of Heskey that saw Bolton Wanderers return to something like a Bolton Wanderers performance for the remaining 20 minutes.

Barry Bannan, again the outstanding member of Lennon's side, forged the chance on his lonesome - his persistence and grit forcing the otherwise-impressive Charlton defence into a pair of errors which led to Adam Le Fondre being one-on-one with Stephen Henderson in the Charlton goal - the result was never in doubt, and Bolton equalised.

We had chances as the game came to a close, but again struggled to find a clinical edge in front of goal. One particular chance fell to Matt Mills whose own shambolic performance was capped by his inability to make contact with the ball following another enticing Bannan cross. His air-kick summed up one of the poorest performances from a Bolton Wanderers captain in recent times.

So we take a point and we move on to Brentford away this weekend, all hoping that the season does it's kindest possible thing and be finished. Quickly.

Quick Ratings

Adam Bogdan 7, Josh Vela 6, Matt Mills 0, Dorian Dervite 4, Tim Ream 6, Barry Bannan 9, Neil Danns 5, Liam Feeney 4, Rochinha 4 (Emile Heskey 7), Tom Walker 5 (Mark Davies 8), Adam Le Fondre 7.

Bolton manager Neil Lennon:

"Who knows how many goals 'Alfie' Le Fondre might have got had he been here since the start of the season?

"He is a goal scorer but he can get better with his link-up play in general. But he has been an important player for us since January.

"I was pleased with some of our football but not pleased with the end product. The final ball or finish was loose but we dominated the second half and restricted Charlton to the counter-attack."

Charlton boss Guy Luzon:

"I am very disappointed because I wanted to keep going and play like we did in the first half.

"The pitch was fantastic and we needed to play on the ground. We need to learn that when the game is in our possession, we have to kill it off and score more goals.

"We didn't do that."