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Match Report: Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Bradford City

The much anticipated clash between Bolton and Bradford ends in a stalemate.

Bolton Wanderers v Preston North End - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

In a game devoid of quality, Bolton Wanderers and Bradford City played out a dull 0-0 draw at the Macron Stadium.

Heading into the game, much of the attention was aimed at Phil Parkinson, with this being the first time Parkinson had faced his former employers since the move from Yorkshire to Lancashire in June.

After last week's defeat away at Walsall, Phil Parkinson made two changes to Wanderers' starting line-up, with captain Jay Spearing returning from suspension and Dean Moxey replacing Andrew Taylor at left back.

There was one change for Bradford, with Marc McNulty replacing the injured James Hanson up front.

Bradford, backed by a strong following of nearly 4,500 City fans who brought balloons, found themselves on the back foot straight from kick off.

Within seconds of the start, Bradford goalkeeper Colin Doyle was on hand to deny Jay Spearing from distance, with Jamie Proctor heading wide from the resulting corner.

The game itself was a scrappy affair, with play mainly stuck in the centre of the pitch.

As the first half progressed, Bradford grew into the game, but still couldn't create a solid chance to test Mark Howard.

Jay Spearing, who had only just returned from suspension, found himself in the book with twenty-five minutes gone, for a strong challenge on Bradford midfielder Josh Cullen.

Minutes later, Sammy Ameobi had an opportunity to give Bolton the lead. Bradford's defenders let Mark Howard's clearance bounce into the box, where Jamie Proctor teed up Ameobi, whose shot was deflected behind for a corner. And again, Jamie Proctor headed wide from the corner.

Bradford were finding it hard to carve out chances, with Timothee Dieng firing a shot high and wide from thirty yards.

Mark Howard was finally forced into making a save in the 34th minute, although Mark Marshall's tame effort was hit straight at the Wanderers goalie.

Continuing with the fiesty/scrappy tone of the game, Josh Vela then became the second Bolton player to be booked, again for a challenge on Josh Cullen.

Bolton started the second half brightly, although it was Bradford who should have done better with a chance early on. Dean Moxey's header back to Mark Howard was short, but the defender recovered in time to deny Marc McNulty.

With frustration perhaps getting the better of a few players, Jamie Proctor became the third Wanderer to be booked.

Shortly after, James Henry came close to scoring his first Wanderers goal with a dipping effort from twenty yards that went just over.

Substitute Jordy Hiwula then had a great chance for Bradford, a low shot which Mark Howard palmed away before recovering the rebound.

Looking for the edge in the game, Phil Parkinson made two quick changes, bringing on Zach Clough and Tom Thorpe for Sammy Ameobi and Liam Trotter.

Within minutes of his arrival onto the pitch, Zach Clough hit a shot that just curled wide of Doyle's post.

Bolton then made their third and final substitution with ten minutes to go, with the impressive James Henry replaced by Chris Taylor.

In the 85th minute, Bradford winger Mark Marshall went down in the box under pressure from the Bolton defence, although instead of a penalty being awarded, Marshall was booked for diving.

Bolton then had their own penalty claims denied, when Zach Clough went to ground, although nothing was given. Looked blatant to me.

Despite the best efforts of Bradford in the final minutes, the game finished 0-0.

Bolton head into Tuesday night's game away at Rochdale third in the league, with Bury jumping Wanderers into second place. The Whites' winless run is now at five games, and Bolton will look to put an end to that at Spotland on Tuesday night.

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