Date: 2nd January 2017 at 10:46pm
Written by: Gabe John

Bolton Wanderers went into the New Year sat comfortably in second place, with the first game of 2017 coming at relegation threatened Coventry City.

With problems on and off the field it was expected Bolton would take all three points. Bolton were also trying to complete the double over Coventry, after Bolton won 1-0 earlier in the season.

The game started slow and scrappy, neither team really got a foothold in the early stages. The dire atmosphere really didn`t help though, 8,397 turned up including the valiant 1,721 Wanderers fans. Chances were few and far between, however the first clear-cut chance fell to Wanderers. Derik Osede`s fizzed strike was just inches away from nestling into the bottom corner.

But it was Coventry who broke the deadlock on 37 minutes, a long ball down the pitch found Coventry`s new signing Stuart Beavon who brought the ball down with ease, beating Mark Beevers with some intelligent dribbling and whipped in a dangerous ball to the back post which found Kyel Reid, who unselfishly squared it across to Marcus Tudgay who couldn`t miss.

Just like that Wanderers found themselves 1-0 down at halftime. It was clear that we lacked intensity and needed an injection of pace. Similarly to the first half Wanderers started off slow and the passing lacked intent and intensity. It was obvious that Parkinson had to make changes and on 55 minutes Parkinson brought on Zach Clough and Max Clayton, immediately they both had positive impacts. Clough brought on movement and diversity, something that Wanderers seemed to lack in the final third. Clayton brought pace and energy. At this stage of the match, Wanderers looked like a threat and Parkinson`s clever thinking paid off.

With 65 minutes gone, Josh Vela played a long ball behind Coventry`s backline to Gary Madine who was dragged down by Haynes, and it was a penalty. It was Zach Clough who took it and as cool as you like slotted the ball in the corner to make it 1-1 at the Ricoh Arena.

However two minutes later Coventry hit back. Ryan Haynes redeemed himself , he flew past two Wanderers players down the left and pulled it back to Beavon who powered the ball into the corner.

Parkinson had to rejuvenate the Wanderers team again and brought on Jamie Proctor for the woeful Derik Osede to create more height and power in the penalty area.

Wanderers had chances, Sammy Ameobi and Zach Clough both went close just pulling their strikes wide. But Wanderers also relied on some excellent defending from captain Jay Spearing to deny Beavon a one on one opportunity. However it would be the substitute Max Clayton who would steal the headlines. A low cross from Andrew Taylor found Clayton in the six yard box; he let the ball come across him and brilliantly finished into the bottom corner, sending the travelling Wanderers fans behind the goal into raptures.

Wanderers could have won it late on, Gary Madine received the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area and his shot crept just past the post denying Wanderers all three points.

 

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