OLLIE BLAST AT BORING BOLTON
Woolford levels it late on
IAN Holloway reckons Bolton are boring and deserved nothing for their defensive approach which almost nicked an unlikely win at the Den.
Lukas Jutkiewicz’s first-half header looked like it had done enough to give Bolton a first away win in five, but David Forde’s save from his penalty meant Millwall were able to salvage a point late on through Martyn Woolford.
While Holloway was pleased with his players’ effort, he could not hide his disgust at Dougie Freedman’s view that Bolton bossed the game despite their defensive approach.
“I’m deadly serious when I say you would be bored senseless watching that kind of performance from them,” Holloway said.
“Especially when people pay a lot of money to watch.
“But the penalty save gave us the lift we needed. We got a couple of things wrong when we overplayed a bit but the fans were brilliant and didn’t get on our backs.
“I knew we’d get one but I was a bit perturbed with how late it came. They had one cross, one diving header and it went in off the post. And then they got a penalty.
“It was a massive save, but everything is massive for us at this point. We’re getting fitter and more confident. It’s all about scrapping but we scrapped with style.
“What more can I ask of my players? If they keep giving what they gave I will be happy.”
Bolton had the first real chance of the game and they made it pay when Jutkiewicz ran across his man to meet Chris Eagles’ cross with a header across goal and into the far corner of the net.
However, for the rest of the first half it was all Millwall as they battered the visitors in search of an equaliser, with two efforts cleared off the line in quick succession.
First after 20 minutes, Woolford brought the ball down at the far post and fired beyond Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan, only to see his goal-bound strike brilliant blocked by David Wheater.
Then Bogdan came for a cross five minutes later but could only palm the ball into Easter’s path, but his effort was kept out by a last-ditch clearance by Alex Baptiste.
Bolton gained more of a foothold in the game in the second half and almost doubled their lead on 50 minutes when Eagles curled a free-kick onto the foot of the post.
They also had an effort ruled out midway through the second half when Darren Pratley strayed offside before slotting in.
But the Trotters really should have put the game to bed with 13 minutes to go when Millwall skipper Danny Shittu inexplicably handled Jutkiewicz’s cross in the area to give Bolton a penalty.
Jutkiewicz stepped up to take the spot-kick but his weak effort was easily saved by Forde.
And he was made to pay with eight minutes to go when Woolford fired home after Bogdan had made a fine save from substitute Simeon Jackson’s shot.
Freedman was left frustrated with a point but remained upbeat, despite his team extending their winless run to nine games.
He said: “I’m not really happy with a point because I felt that we controlled the game very well in the first half. We got a good goal with a great cross and great header.
“Then in the second half we defended very well but we missed chances when we hit the post and then the penalty miss so I felt we deserved the three points.
“But because of the missed penalty Millwall upped their game in the last 15 minutes. I thought we defended pretty well during that period but because of the chances we missed we got what we deserved in the end.
“They put pressure on us but reflecting on the game if you go one up and you miss a penalty you feel you should win the game.”
DIVING HEADER: Bolton’s Lukas Jutkiewicz scores his side’s goal
LEVELLER: Players watch on as Martyn Woolford’s effort finds the back of the net
STAR MAN TIM REAM Bolton