Bolton Match Zone

Bolton Somehow Don’t Beat Cheltenham


Bolton again failed to win a game at home, having to come back from behind to draw against Cheltenham.

It was a frustrating afternoon for anyone who would have watched the match. After an initial caginess, Wanderers improved throughout the first half and in a way it was a bad thing that the half time whistle came. Initially, the only chance was a weak shot from new left back Ben Jackson, but eventually they came, they were better, but they weren’t taken. Part of that was down to a good Cheltenham goalkeeper in on-loan Josh Griffiths, tipping over an Eoin Doyle header, plus Doyle also saw an effort cleared off the line. Griffiths also came up with a superb double save, denying firstly George Thomason then Antoni Sarcevic, though Sarcevic was flagged offside in the end.

At half time, most Bolton fans would have been happy with how things were going. We were putting Cheltenham under pressure, even if it somehow hadn’t resulted in a breakthrough. The more pessimistic of us were thinking it would be extra disappointing then if Cheltenham were to score early in the second half.

They went on to do that.

To add insult to injury we had a couple of chances before they went to take the lead, Bolton were sloppy at a corner, Will Boyle was allowed a free header, and while Gilks saved, Alfie May followed up and that point some heads went down. Changes were made, with Arthur Gnahoua who was snubbed in the lineup in favour of lively, if ultimately ineffective debutant, Zack Elbouzedi.

Gnahoua would perform well again, and it was he who set up a late equaliser – he got down the right and pulled one back for Doyle, who bundled in from short range. From there, Cheltenham seemed happy to take the point. Wanderers would have the majority of the late chances, Johnson annoyingly couldn’t keep a long range strike down, while Antoni Sarcevic nearly sneaked in to intercept a Boyle header back.

In the last few seconds, we may have had one last chance, but a rubbish touch from Gnahoua on the couner saw that ping up and from there the ref blew. If he had controlled in there, who knew?

We played well today, but it was a cautionary tale, that if you don’t take your chances, you can be punished, and it was nearly as simple as that.

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