Garner gives Town a point at the Macron Stadium
A superbly crafted goal from Joe Garner 10 minutes from time gave Town a share of the spoils at the Macron Stadium.
The summer arrival from Rangers poked the ball over the line after Martyn Waghorn and David McGoldrick had combined to open up the Bolton defence with some slick passing.
Waghorn almost won it for Town with a thunderous shot against the woodwork in added on time after Gary Madine had given Bolton the lead early in the second-half.
Cameron Carter-Vickers was handed an immediate start having joined the Club from Tottenham on loan yesterday, while fellow newboy Stephen Gleeson was on the bench.
Bolton started brightly and should have been ahead inside the first 30 seconds when Josh Vela broke into the box but Bart Bialkowski came to Town’s rescue.
Luke Chambers cleared from Antonee Robinson’s dangerous cross, the skipper in the right place again as Madine threatened.
Madine was crowded out by Carter-Vickers inside the box, then Bialkowski held on from the striker’s header, Cole Skuse doing well at the other end to pull Jonas Knudsen’s cross back into the danger area, David Wheater making the clearance.
Will Buckley cut in and fired over from distance, then his opposite number 11, Bersant Celina, was denied by Mark Little as he ghosted into the box as the game opened up.
Celina was inches away from finding Garner with a clever touch, Waghorn then conceding a free-kick on the edge of the Town box for a foul on Buckley. Madine stepped up but the wall did their job.
Chambers forced a corner after McGoldrick’s header had looped past the far post and from the set-piece, the skipper was denied the opening goal by the excellent reflexes of Ben Alnwick. Waghorn over the bar with a right foot follow up effort.
McGoldrick weaved his way into the Bolton area but Little headed his cross clear as Garner waited, then Madine was wide with a header in the last chance of an even first-half.
Gleeson replaced Skuse, who took a heavy challenge late on in the first-half, at the break in Town’s first change.
Waghorn’s trademark in-swinging free-kick skimmed across goal as Blues looked for an early breakthrough, Gleeson and McGoldrick then releasing Waghorn who found his way to goal before Dorian Dervite timed his tackle to perfection .
It was Bolton who found the net though on 53 minutes, Madine getting on the end of Vela’s flicked header to stab the ball past Bialkowski.
Alnwick saved from McGoldrick after the Republic of Ireland international had got behind the home defence, Derik Osede seeing a header deflected wide by Callum Connolly in response.
Filipe Morais replaced Buckley past the hour in Bolton’s first change, the substitute immediately in the game with a teasing cross that was headed into the sidenetting by Madine.
Garner volleyed over from distance, Bialkowski beating out Madine’s free-kick after Sammy Ameobi had been brought down on the edge of the Town box, then Morais was just wide after Ameobi’s excellent pass.
Alnwick had to hack clear from a short back pass as Waghorn looked to take advantage but Blues were level on 81 minutes in some style, Waghorn and McGoldrick combined superbly and Garner forced the ball over the line from a yard out.
Waghorn then smashed a hammer shot against the post on 90 minutes as Town threatened a late winner.
Bolton: Alnwick, Little, Dervite, Vela, Ameobi (Noone 85), Buckley (Morais 64), Madine (Wilbraham 90), Robinson, Osede, Henry, Wheater. Subs not used: Howard, Taylor, Le Fondre, Darby. Booked: Madine.
Town: Bialkowski, Iorfa, Chambers, Carter-Vickers, Knudsen, Skuse (Gleeson 46), Connolly (Hyam 90), Celina (Sears 84), McGoldrick, Garner, Waghorn. Subs not used: Crowe, Kenlock, Drinan, C.Smith. Booked: Iorfa.
Att: 13, 870