Bolton Wanderers missed the opportunity to go three points clear of the relegation places, after conceding a late equaliser at home against Ipswich Town.
Going into the game, Phil Parkinson made some changes from last weekend’s defeat against Brentford FC at Griffin Park. Karl Henry returned to add some steel back in midfield, while Will Buckley replaced Filipe Morais on the left wing. Dorian Dervite also returned to the team for his first match since September, filling in for Mark Beevers, who was absent through illness.
To say the first half was a shoddy affair would be an understatement. Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy said after the game: “It was the worst football game I’ve seen all season and for a long time – it was horrible.”
Despite the poor showing from both sides in the first half, Wanderers did have chances.
Just ten seconds into the game, Josh Vela was played through and had a shot on goal, but his effort wasn’t good enough to beat Town goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski.
Just a couple of minutes later, the game was abruptly halted, as Sammy Ameobi required treatment after taking a blow to the head.
Thankfully, Ameboi was able to carry on soon after.
Wanderers saw plenty of the ball in the first half, but couldn’t force a good enough chance to score. Will Buckley fired over from distance, and not so long after, Sammy Ameobi struck a shot from distance which was saved with relative ease by Bialkowski.
Further efforts from Derik and Gary Madine were off target. At the other end, Ben Alnwick was called into action to deny Luke Chambers superbly at his near post, before Martyn Waghorn fired the rebound over.
After Dorian Dervite stopped Waghorn with a great sliding tackle, It took Wanderers just eight minutes of the second half to take the lead.
Antonee Robinson’s cross from the left was flicked on by Josh Vela towards Gary Madine, who buried the ball with a sliding finish. Luckily, Madine timed his run to perfection, as he was ever so nearly offside.
Ten minutes later, Wanderers made their first change of the game, with Filipe Morais coming on to replace Will Buckley.
Moments later, Morais almost set up a second goal for Wanderers. His cross found Madine at the far post, but unfortunately Madine’s header struck the outside of the post and went wide.
With fifteen minutes to go, Madine had another chance to double Wanderers’ lead with a free kick. Again, Bialkowski was on hand with a smart save to deny the on form striker.
Wanderers would have another chance to seal the game moments later. Sammy Ameobi’s pass across found Morais, but his first time shot flew agonisingly wide.
Five minutes later, Wanderers found themselves level.
A smart one-two from Waghorn and McGoldrick ended with Garner burying McGoldrick’s cross across goal.
Wanderers would bring on Craig Noone and Aaron Wilbraham for Sammy Ameobi and Gary Madine, but couldn’t muster up another chance to retake the lead.
Instead, Ipswich could have snatched all three points deep into stoppage time.
Fortunately for Wanderers, Waghorn’s well hit shot from distance struck the post.
The point for Bolton lifted them back up above Hull City into 20th.
Next up for Wanderers is a Friday night game in front of the Sky cameras against Bristol City at The Macron.