Dougie fumes at ref’s decisions
DOUGIE Freedman slated Carl Boyeson’s refereeing display after the official overshadowed a pulsating draw between Bolton and Reading.
Freedman’s Bolton side were twice denied what looked like clear cut penalties while the Royals profited from Boyeson’s inconsistent performance as Nick Blackman scored from the spot to cancel out Darren Pratley’s firsthalf opener.
Adam Le Fondre spurned a great chance to steal all three points for the visitors as both goalkeepers were kept busy in a frantic second-half.
But despite being happy with a point Freedman was left wondering what might have been had the decisions gone his way.
“I thought the penalty the referee gave to Reading was the only decision he got right in the match,” Freedman said.
“The consistency of the decision-making was difficult to take and the flow of the game wasn’t managed right which was disappointing.
“We were outstanding in the first-half against a real top team and if another of our chances had gone in before half-time then maybe it is a different game.
“But Reading looked liked a Premier League side and kept to their tactics really well and I will be amazed if they don’t finish the season in the top six.”
Pratley gave Bolton the start they were looking for when he rose to plant Mark Tierney’s 14th minute cross beyond Alex McCarthy from seven yards out.
McCarthy parried David Ngog’s effort soon after however when he took aim from inside the penalty area.
And another shot by the Frenchman was deflected just shy of the top corner on 22 minutes before Mohamed Kamara went within a whisker of putting the Trotters two up with a stunning 30-yard strike that came back off the post.
But despite the Trotters’ first-half dominance they found themselves back on level terms six minutes after the break when David Wheater’s handball allowed Blackman to slot home from the penalty spot.
That sparked new life into the visitors as Garath McCleary saw his shot palmed wide by Adam Bogdan before the Bolton keeper blocked a close range header from Alex Pearce.
McCarthy saved from ChungYong Lee at the other end and Pearce lived dangerously from the resulting corner when the ball struck his hand only for Boyeson to wave Bolton’s appeals away.
A Jay Spearing thunderbolt flashed wide while Reading sub Le Fondre produced a fine 69th minute reaction save from Bogdan as the home side were recovering from yet another fruitless penalty shout.
Pratley’s dangerous cross was clawed away from under the crossbar by McCarthy as the atmosphere reached fever pitch and another Pearce header was thwarted by Bogdan.
Reading manager Nigel Adkins said: “It was a cracking match – great entertainment for the supporters.
“I thought we started brightly. The goal set us back a bit but in the second-half we were strong, fit and I thought we dominated for good spells.
“The big talking points are the several decisions that the referee has had to make which led to a really exciting afternoon for the fans.”
scores SPOT ON: Nick Blackman