Bolton 2-2 Brighton: Match Report

26 September 2015 04:31

Gary Madine strikes late on to help Bolton draw with Brighton

Gary Madine's 94th-minute stoppage-time header earned Bolton a 2-2 draw with unbeaten leaders Brighton.

Chris Hughton's side - who had Jamie Murphy sent off after 75 minutes - were hanging on desperately until Madine netted his first goal for Bolton from Liam Feeney's cross.

It was nothing more than Neil Lennon's side deserved, though the visitors will look to Murphy's red card for hacking down Neil Danns as the turning point.

Murphy had doubled Brighton's lead in the 35th minute after Dale Stephens had put the Seagulls in front four minutes earlier. However, Danns netted his first goal in 11 months to set-up a thrilling second half.

Still smarting from last weekend's 4-1 hammering at Huddersfield, the Trotters handed a debut to Spanish right back Francesco Pisano.

Lennon also recalled centre half David Wheater for his first game of the season due to Derik Osede's suspension.

But the biggest plus for Wanderer was Max Clayton's comeback, nine months after injuring cruciate knee ligaments against Ipswich.

And the ex-Crewe favourite almost marked his comeback with a fifth minute goal, only denied by keeper David Stockdale's fingertips.

Stockdale palmed away a Feeney drive, deflected off Bruno Saltor, while Beram Kayal's wasteful ball ruined a four-on-one overlap for the visitors.

Clayton was a constant menace for the Albion defence and set-up another close range opportunity for Wellington that Stockdale scrambled away for another corner.

So, it was against the run of play when the Seagulls profited from a Ben Amos handling error to take the lead through Stephens.

Amos tried to retrieve a dropped cross against Bobby Zamora - starting his first Brighton game for 12 years - but the former Spurs and West Ham veteran laid the ball back for Stephens to shoot first time from 20 yards.

Four minutes later Brighton doubled their advantage. Zamora and Liam Rosenoir combined on the Wanderers left and Murphy swept in Rosenoir's cross from inside the six-yard box.

It could have got worse for the Trotters but unmarked Gordon Greer headed wide with Bolton's defence again playing statues.

And it proved pivotal as Wanderers reduced their arrears five minutes from half-time. Danns' grass cutting 20-yard drive crept inside Stockdale's right-hand upright.

Amos's uncharacteristic sloppy afternoon continued with a booking for denying Sam Baldock a quick corner. But the keeper redeemed himself with an excellent stop to deny Rosenoir his team's third goal from Stephens' cross.

Midfielder Rohan Ince's 59th-minute arrival as replacement for Zamora suggested Albion were content to hold their lead rather than trying to extend it.

The move certainly invited more Wanderers' pressure, especially when the home side brought on Stephen Dobbie for ineffective Arsenal loanee Wellington Silva.

And a neat one-two between Madine and Feeney ended with Stockdale gratefully clutching Feeney's right-foot drive.

Murphy's late challenge gave Wanderers' even greater hope of protecting their unbeaten Championship home record, and Madine should have broken his Bolton duck when put through by Clayton.

The big target man had a goal disallowed for offside in the first minute of stoppage time before before making it third time lucky to stun the visitors.


Source: PA


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