Reading winless home streak goes on after Bolton draw

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2018 by PA

Reading winless home streak goes on after Bolton draw

Championship strugglers Reading and Bolton shared an uninspiring 1-1 draw at Madejski Stadium that does little to ease either side’s relegation fears.

Reading, now without a win in eight home matches, went ahead shortly after the half-hour mark through Mo Barrow.

But Bolton, who had the better scoring chances throughout, drew level just before the interval when former Reading striker Adam Le Fondre slotted home.

Reading and Bolton went into the game locked on 34 points, with Reading one place higher in 18th due to a vastly superior goal difference.

Both sides had been in poor form, with Reading having won only once in 14 matches and Bolton only once in six.

Bolton lost 3-1 at home to Preston on Saturday, while Reading’s scheduled outing at Championship leaders Wolves was postponed due to snow at Molineux.

Reading manager Jaap Stam sprang a surprise by selecting 17-year-old centre-back Tom Holmes for his first-team debut.

Stam also dropped regular goalkeeper Vito Mannone for Anssi Jaakkola.

Bolton, manager by former Reading captain Phil Parkinson, made a promising start with Le Fondre having a shot blocked early on.

Reading replied when Barrow played a delightful chip over the Bolton defence only for Chris Martin to lob his effort over keeper Ben Alnwick and on to the roof of the net.

Sone Aluko should also have done better from a good position soon after but his 20-yard free kick flew over the bar and never threatened Alnwick.

Bolton should then have taken the lead with two clear openings gifted to them by home mistakes.

Aluko made the first error but Jaakkola made a fine save to deny Le Fondre.

Liam Kelly then misplaced a pass but Le Fondre blazed wastefully over when in the clear.

It was to prove costly for Bolton, with Reading going in front in the 32nd minute.

Martin released Barrow on the left flank and he cut into the box to slot in his ninth goal of the season from an acute angle.

But Bolton battled back and levelled on the stroke of half time, when Le Fondre finally got it right and bundled in a Filipe Morais cross from close range.

Bolton pressed strongly at the start of the second half and won a series of corners but they were unable to make the most of them.

Reading were slow to get going yet Barrow almost broke through on a quick break following Martin’s shrewd pass.

However, a combination of Alnwick and Reece Burke managed to thwart Barrow with a last-ditch challenge.

Andrew Taylor and Le Fondre both volleyed wide as Bolton went for the winner but a poor game drifted to a limp conclusion.


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