Bolton Earn Point At Birmingham
Wanderers travelled to St Andrew`s on Tuesday night hoping to pick up their first three points of the season against a well-structured Harry Redknapp side. Wanderers set up in the familiar 3-5-2 formation which had been used in previous games. There were two changes from the side that battled a 1-1 draw with Millwall on Saturday, goalscorer Filipe Morais came in for the athletic Mark Little and the lively Adam Armstrong replaced fan favourite Adam Le Fondre. Around 900 Wanderers fans made the journey down to the Midlands and were pleased to see such a lively start from Bolton.
In the early stages Morais looked dangerous down the right flank and provided some testing crosses for Birmingham keeper David Stockdale but none were to prevail. Wanderers settled well for the first 15 minutes but always needed to be wary of the threat of Clayton Donaldson, who on the 18th minute mark raced through past Mark Beevers but to only see his effort land amongst the traveling contingent. Birmingham`s first real chance fell to David Cotterill whose deflected strike tested the reactions of the desperate Mark Howard, who tipped the strike just past the post. Wanderers always looked dangerous on the break and the first real chance fell to Armstrong whose wicked strike just drifted past the post 26 minutes in. Half time rapidly approached and neither team had really got a foothold in the game.
The second half arrived and Birmingham were forced into making a change with Cheikh Ndoye being replaced by a familiar name to Wanderers fans, Lukas Jutkiewicz. Bolton again started lively and were unlucky to see Adam Armstrong`s glanced header just drift past the post after a dangerous ball in from Morais. Moments later Jacques Maghoma was punished for a dive in the penalty area on the 50-minute mark. Wanderers started to build some momentum and were unlucky with a few efforts from Mark Beevers and Adam Armstong with the ball just not falling kindly. The home fans grew impatient and you could feel a sense of urgency from Harry Redknapps men but 70 minutes in Phil Parkinson brought on Adam Le Fondre to bolster their attacking line and moments later were unlucky to not find themselves 1-0 up from a powerful Gary Madine header who sent David Stockdale scarpering at his back post. The game went on and Wanderers continued to soak in pressure. Birmingham brought on new signing Isaac Vassell on the 72nd minute and moments later Jutkiewicz nearly headed home from a corner but his effort glanced over the bar.
The visitors brought on Aaron Wilbraham in the dying stages to add a bit more physicality in the penalty area and would hold on to pick up a hard fought point on a Tuesday night away from home.