LEEDS needed a second-half penalty from Mirco Antenucci to earn a consecutive league draw against 10-man Bolton under new manager Steve Evans.
There was a slow start to the game, perhaps a result of poor form from the two sides – Bolton having shipped seven goals in their last three games alone, and Leeds without a win in five. The Whites came into their second game under their new boss unchanged, whilst Botaka sat out with an illness, and was replaced by Souleymane Doukara on the bench. On the 12th minute, Bolton suffered a setback through the injury of Madine, who was substituted for new signing Shola Ameobi. Soon after Leeds work the ball up the pitch and after some good play from Lewis Cook win a corner. Liam Cooper got a head to Luke Murphy’s corner which found Tom Adeyemi in space who was denied by the post with a side-footed effort. This chance was the start of a series of chances for both teams as the game became stretched; minutes later Bolton earned a free kick which caused havoc for Leeds in the box with Sol Bamba and Luke Murphy having to make crucial blocks to keep the score level.
The score wasn’t to be level for long though as Bolton won a corner in the 32nd minute when Leeds keeper Marco Silvestri failed to catch a clearance – which went to Shola Ameobi who finished emphatically giving Bolton the lead. In what was Leeds last real chance of the first half, striker Chris Wood missed a sitter from 6 yards out which went straight to the keeper following a blocked shot by Lewis Cook.
Leeds, perhaps spurred on by a half-time team talk by Steve Evans, came out stronger in the second half with Mirco Antenucci making a good run and striking into the side netting early on. Then Leeds won the ball back from a Bolton free kick and Mowatt played the ball to Tom Adeyemi who saw his powerful shot from 20 yards out hit the post for the second time, after a fingertip save from Ben Amos.
Leeds showed their defensive frailty again as Marco Silvestri was called upon to make a brilliant save to deny the substitute Scott Dobbie a goal from a Bolton counter-attack. Yet the Whites worked the ball up the pitch following this chance for the opposition and earned a penalty in the 71st minute when Prince-Desir Gouano took down Mirco Antenucci in the box – and in so doing received a straight red card. Antenucci stepped up and struck the ball down the middle and making it the second time in consecutive games that Leeds have equalised from the penalty spot. The last 20 minutes for Leeds proved frustrating as they couldn’t produce a final ball; the last few minutes proved frantic however as substitute Kalvin Phillips and Tom Adeyemi both had shots blocked and as such Leeds were denied the winner.
Again The Whites found themselves in familiar situation of conceding around the 30th minute after starting the game positively. This is the second draw for Steve Evans as manager, which leaves Leeds with 13 points after 13 games and just three points above the drop zone in 17th.
Bolton Wanderers – Amos, Derik, Prince, Wheater, Casado, Vela, Pratley, Danns (Dervite – 79’), Davies (Dobbie – 45’), Feeney, Madine (Ameobi – 12’) Subs – Rachubka, Dervite, Clayton, Dobbie, Ameobi, Twardzik, Walker
Leeds United – Silvestri, Byram, Cooper, Bamba, Berardi, Dallas (Buckley – 74’), Adeyemi, Murphy (Mowatt- 45’), Cook (Phillips – 88’), Antenucci, Wood. Subs – Horton, Bellusci, Wooton, Phillips, Mowatt, Buckley, Doukara
Featured image: Sky Sports