Striker nets on his bow in draw

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Mikael McKen­zie

BOLTON are still rooted to the foot of the Cham­pi­onship ta­ble but boss Neil Len­non be­lieves things can im­prove af­ter Shola Ameobi’s goal-scor­ing de­but.

The Nige­rian scored his first goal in 530 days af­ter com­ing off the bench to give Bolton a first-half lead.

Prince-De­sir Gouano was sent off for foul­ing Mirco An­tenucci in the penalty area mid­way through the sec­ond half and the for­ward picked him­self up to level from the spot.

But man­ager Len­non was de­lighted with the im­pact his new man has made to his side.

“Ameobi com­ing on has given us a huge lift. He has a fan­tas­tic game, scored a great goal and he has more than jus­ti­fied com­ing here and that’s a real pos­i­tive go­ing for­ward,” he said.

“He hasn’t played that much foot­ball re­cently and he is the other side of 30 now but com­pared to the play­ers we have brought in be­fore like Emile Heskey and Eidur Gud­johnsen he is a novice.

“I think there is plenty of scope in Shola, he has still got plenty to of­fer the game and we saw that.

“I am dis­ap­pointed that we havn’t won the game be­cause it is an in­di­vid­ual er­ror that has cost us the three points.

“The play­ers showed tremen­dous char­ac­ter to see out the game pretty com­fort­ably in the end.”

The Whites were struck a cruel blow when Gary Ma­dine suf­fered a head in­jury and had to be re­placed by new sign­ing Ameobi af­ter 11 min­utes.

Bolton’s early mis­ery al­most con­tin­ued when Tom Adeyemi came within a lick of paint from giv­ing the vis­i­tors the lead, rat­tling the wood­work fol­low­ing Liam Cooper’s near-post flick on from a cor­ner.

A minute later debu­tant Ameobi nod­ded the ball into the path of Mark Davies but he fired his shot straight against the body of Cooper from close range.

The fran­tic open­ing ex­change then saw Liam Feeney fizz a left­footed ef­fort across goal be­fore Stu­art Dal­las’ de­flected ef­fort crept past the post at the other end. But then came the break­through. Jose Manuel Casado’s low cor­ner was flicked on by Derik Osede at the near-post and Ameobi was on hand to drill the ball home from 12 yards out.

Four min­utes later Bolton should have been two up as the ex-New­cas­tle United striker slid Feeney through on goal, but his low shot was saved by Marco Sil­vestri down to his right.

Leeds pinned the hosts in their own box af­ter the break and would have drawn level if it wasn’t for the fin­ger tips of Ben Amos who some­how di­verted Adeyemi’s long-range piledriver onto the post.

Sub­sti­tute Stephen Dob­bie came close to dou­bling the hosts ad­van­tage but Sil­vestri kept out the curl­ing ef­fort at full-stretch down to his left.

And straight from the fol­low­ing counter-at­tack the equaliser ar­rived. Gouano was the vil­lain – ini­tially slip­ping on the half-way line be­fore re­cov­er­ing and bundling An­tenucci over in the penalty box, the Ital­ian send­ing Amos the wrong way from 12 yards af­ter a flash of red.

Leeds man­ager Steve Evans said:“I am frus­trated, an­noyed.We missed chances at key stages.

“I am dis­ap­pointed with the fi­nal ball in the fi­nal third of the park, es­pe­cially in the last 20 min­utes when they were down to ten men. I think we have got to the by­line on eight or nine oc­ca­sions and not picked the strik­ers out.

“They have road their luck a lit­tle bit in the last ten min­utes so we go away dis­ap­pointed.”

PICS: Pro Sports Images

LEVEL: Mirco An­tenucci fires in as Shola Ameobi and Lewis Cook bat­tle, in­set

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