SHOLA SHOWS HE HAS STILL GOT IT
Striker nets on his bow in draw
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.”
LEVEL: Mirco Antenucci fires in as Shola Ameobi and Lewis Cook battle, inset