Bolton 1-1 Reading: Blackman's Penalty Ensures Draw

Chris Brunskill

The first away game for the Royals of the 2013/14 campaign was a long trip up to Lancashire and the Reebok Stadium. Nick Blackman’s second half penalty ensured a 1-1 draw, in an exciting game against Bolton.

Bolton: Bogdan, Knight (c), Baptiste, Tierney, Wheater, Spearing, Pratley, Lee (Odelusi, 90), Medo, Ngog (Moritz, 71), Beckford (C Davies, 79)

Scorers: Pratley, 14

Bookings: Wheater, Pratley

Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Morrison, Bridge, Karacan, Drenthe, McAnuff, McCleary (Robson-Kanu, 82), Guthrie (Williams, 86), Blackman (Le Fondre, 68)

Scorers: Blackman, 51 (pen)

Bookings: Drenthe, Guthrie

The last time Reading visited Bolton five years ago, the Trotters ended up running out 3-0 victors. However, Saturday’s game at the Reebok Stadium was a classic game of two halves. Reading’s first half was one to forget, like we had witnessed at the Madejski Stadium just a week beforehand. There were a lack of ideas, not a shot on target and Bolton were certainly the more dominant force. Jay Spearing made his first appearance for the Trotters after making his loan spell a permanent move from Liverpool, and had a big impact on the game.

It was no surprise when Bolton scored in the 14th minute, with a great cross from the left by Marc Tierney which was met by the head of Darren Pratley. The opposition continued to have chances, and they should have gone 2-0 up when Medo’s 30 yard effort beat Alex McCarthy and slammed against the top-left hand corner of the crossbar.

However, the Royals regrouped at half time and came out with a much more positive mentality. They were threatening going forward from the outset, and they were rightly awarded a penalty in 51st minute when David Wheater handled in the area after a Jobi McAnuff corner. Nick Blackman stepped up the spot and sent Adam Bogdan the wrong way to score his first goal in a Royals shirt.

The goal gave the Royals a new lease of life and they continued to press, and the addition of Adam Le Fondre increased the attacking threat. However, three good saves by Bogdan denied Denthe, Morrison and Le Fondre and ensured that the game stayed at 1-1. The referee was somewhat inconsistent during the game; however, the luck was on Reading’s side for once. It appeared that Bolton should have had at least one penalty for a handball, and the penalty that he had given Reading seemed a lot softer than the one he appeared to miss. His decisions also meant the game couldn’t flow as much as it could have done, which was annoying considering our passing football was working well during the second half.

Before the game, a draw in our first game away from home would have been a good result, but I can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed that we didn’t come home with three after the quality of our second half display. Although it obvious to see that the new Adkins style is starting to take shape in a positive way, and the performance against another side pushing for promotion was certainly promising. Hopefully this form can be replicated when we run out at the Madejski Stadium next weekend.

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