Bolton miss out on play-offs

Bolton missed out on the Championship play-offs as they could only manage a 2-2 draw at home to Blackpool on Saturday.

Last Updated: 04/05/13 at 20:22 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Sky Bet Championship. Click here to bet.

Tom Ince: Battles for the ball with Darren Pratley

Tom Ince: Battles for the ball with Darren Pratley

A ninth successive home win would have capped a remarkable turnaround for a Wanderers team placed 20th at the start of February, and one point looked like being enough at the Reebok on Saturday until Anthony Knockaert gave Leicester a last-gasp 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest to secure sixth place for the Foxes.

Blackpool attacked with a verve rarely seen since their stint as early season pace-setters and fine goals from Matt Phillips and Ludo Sylvestre had them 2-0 up after 35 minutes.

That lead appeared safe as the interval approached, but Chris Eagles and recalled striker Craig Davies were on hand to haul Wanderers level.

Darren Pratley and Lee Chung-Yong passed up chances to give Bolton the win they ultimately needed - misses they were left to rue after Knockaert's late intervention.

Simon Cox's early goal for play-off rivals Forest meant Bolton had to find their feet.

But Blackpool made the breakthrough in stunning fashion after 21 breathless minutes - Phillips emerging from slick one-touch interplay involving Tom Ince and Gary Taylor-Fletcher to lash left-footed into the top corner.

The visitors went further in front before the break. Paul Ince's side once more benefited from static defending with aplomb - Neal Eardley's lofted cross to the edge of the area was crisply volleyed home as Sylvestre claimed a fourth goal in six matches.

In an attempt to turn things around, Dougie Freedman sent on striker Marvin Sordell in place of Robert Hall eight minutes before the break and his team unleashed a staggering turnaround in injury time.

Two of the outstanding performers in Bolton's late-season rally combined to reduce the arrears as Eagles arched an excellent side-footed finish into the top corner from 18 yards after Marcos Alonso raided down the left.

And in the last act of the half, Davies' hopeful strike from distance took a wicked deflection off Stephen Crainey to leave Gilks with no chance and send the Reebok into raptures.

The momentum kept up after the break. Davies and Eagles tried their luck from distance but an open game equally suited Blackpool, for whom Ince's influence was growing.

Gary MacKenzie was forced into an acrobatic clearance for Blackpool, Matt Gilks did well to push Alonso's 30-yard free-kick clear and Lee was guilty of a glaring miss in the 84th minute.

Hearts were in mouths at the other end when Adam Bogdan tipped over a rasping Sylvestre strike from the corner of the box but worse news arrived from the City Ground.

Wanderers surged forwards once more during five additional minutes but David Wheater could not turn home a cross from fellow sub Tom Eaves, leaving them agonisingly short.

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More Match Results

Tuesday, 22 April 2014
20:00
Bolton 0-1 Leicester Report
Reading 2-0 Middlesbro' Report
Monday, 21 April 2014
17:15
Leeds 0-2 N Forest Report
15:00
Birmingham 2-4 Blackburn Report
Brighton 1-1 Blackpool Report
Burnley 2-0 Wigan Report
Derby 2-1 Barnsley Report
Ipswich 2-2 Bournemth Report
Millwall 0-0 Doncaster Report
QPR 2-1 Watford Report

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Leicester 44 37 96
2 Burnley 44 34 89
3 Derby 44 30 81
4 QPR 44 15 76
5 Wigan 43 15 70
6 Reading 44 12 67
7 Brighton 44 12 66
8 N Forest 44 7 65
9 Ipswich 44 6 65
10 Blackburn 44 5 64
11 Bournemth 44 -1 63
12 Watford 43 17 60
13 Middlesbro' 44 7 58
14 Bolton 44 -3 55
15 Sheff Wed 44 1 53
16 Leeds 44 -10 53
17 Huddersfld 44 -8 50
18 Charlton 43 -23 45
19 Doncaster 44 -28 44
20 Millwall 44 -29 44
21 Birmingham 43 -13 43
22 Blackpool 44 -27 43
23 Barnsley 44 -30 39
24 Yeovil 44 -26 37

Updated Wed, 23 Apr 2014

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