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Premier League: Bolton 1 Wolverhampton 1

Bolton played out a 1-1 draw against Wolves on Saturday, with Owen Coyle’s side remaining anchored at the bottom of the English Premier League.

Lack of quality up front dogged both sides throughout a subdued affair at the Reebok Stadium.

Sam Ricketts – making his first appearance since an Achilles tendon injury February – opened the scoring for Bolton after 22 minutes, but Steven Fletcher secured a point for Wolves four minutes after the interval.

The home side enjoyed the lion’s share of possession early on but after the first 20 minutes neither team had mustered a meaningful shot on goal.

That changed when Ricketts picked up the ball just inside the visitor’s half.

Wolves afforded the 30-year-old too much space on the left and he cut inside to curl right-footed shot past Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey from just outside the penalty area.

Wolves soon began to get a grip on proceedings and winger Stephen Ward launched a 30-yard rocket after 32 minutes, forcing Bolton ‘keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen into a diving stop that cause the ball to crash into the crossbar.

But in general, Bolton easily cleared sloppy Wolves forays into the box.

Bolton employed better short passing but could rarely fashion attempts on target and the visitors equalized just a few minutes into the second half.

Defender Matt Jarvis crossed a free-kick into the area and Bolton’s defenders were asleep, allowing Wolves forward Stephen Fletcher to head in from close range past a helpless Jaaskelainen.

The next quarter of an hour was subdued from both sides and although a second goal would have changed the match, neither team seemed prepared to gamble for it.

After 70 minutes, Bolton had a series of chances following a corner-kick, but Wolves’ keeper Hennessey was attentive to successive short-range efforts.

Bolton, at home and bottom of the league table, presumably wanted all three points more than their guests, but the lack of desire by Coyle’s men was obvious.

The Bolton manager brought on his club captain with just two minutes remaining, but Kevin Davies’ presence up front did little to inspire his club as the sides were forced to share the spoils.

Sat 31 December, 2011
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