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17:34 19th September 2009

Bolton Wanderers 1 Stoke City 1

STOKE CITY suffered late goal anguish for the second week running as Bolton Wanderers snatched a point in the closing stages of a bruising encounter at the Reebok Stadium.

Following Florent Malouda's injury-time winner for Chelsea last week, Matthew Taylor fired home an 89th minute penalty to salvage a point for Bolton and deny the Potters a well-deserved victory.

Tony Pulis' side had looked on course for victory as Dave Kitson notched his third goal in four matches to put them ahead in the 53rd minute, but City came under severe pressure in the closing stages.

And when Samuel Ricketts was upended in the box by Danny Collins, Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot to give Taylor the chance to score from the spot and ease the pressure on Gary Megson.

The home fans had grown increasingly restless as Bolton failed to break down City's resistance in which captain Abdoulaye Faye and Ryan Shawcross were outstanding at the heart of their defence.

Whilst the Potters will be disappointed to have let two points slip so late on in the game, it was still a good point on a ground where they had suffered an opening day defeat at the start of last season.

City were clearly better equipped to deal with the bombardment they would receive from Bolton on this occasion, and for long periods the game was far from pretty stuff to watch for both sets of fans.

Indeed, there were several stoppages for injuries caused by clashes of heads to illustrate what sort of encounter it was at times and physio Dave Watson was a busy man throughout.

City made the brighter start and Ricardo Fuller proved to be a real menace for the home defence in those opening exchanges, setting up an immediate chance for Matthew Etherington which was blocked.

Rory Delap's first long throw of the afternoon caused a considerable amount of panic in the Bolton back four and Fuller headed just wide from close range, much to his frustration.

And Fuller felt aggrieved when he went down under a challenge from Gary Cahill and he was ruled to have dived by Clattenburg, who showed him a yellow card, though replays showed there was contact.

In the build-up to the match, Faye had said that he was looking to take care of the danger from Davies this afternoon, though he suffered as a result when he caught an elbow in the face from the Bolton striker.

Republic of Ireland midfielder Glenn Whelan almost celebrated his new contract with a goal in the 32nd minute when he curled a free kick round the wall for Jussi Jaaskelainen to pull off a fine save.

The first half ended with City well on top and their 2,900 supporters making all the noise, but Bolton managed to hold out until the break, although their fans made their feelings known at the half-time whistle.

City had appeals for a penalty turned down at the start of the second half, but they went in front in the 53rd minute when Kitson twisted and turned his way past Ricketts before firing past Jaaskelainen.

On the balance of play it was no more than the Potters deserved, but it sparked the homes side into life and they began to exert pressure.

Their best chance fell to Zat Knight who volleyed over the bar from close range when it seemed easier to score from six yards out after City failed to clear a Bolton build-up in the 69th minute.

City seemed to have weathered the storm as Bolton began to run out of ideas, but with time running out, their resistance was broken as Ricketts went down under Collins' challenge on the edge of the box.

There was a question mark over whether it was inside or outside the box, but Taylor stepped up to fire the penalty past Thomas Sorensen much to City's disappointment as victory was snatched from their grasp.
    Data provided by Press Association


    The Potters played out four replays to finally beat Bury in the FA Cup in 1955