MATCH REPORT: Wanderers claim valuable point on opening day after Ipswich draw[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Wanderers survived a late onslaught to claim a precious point on the opening day following a 1-1 draw against Ipswich at Portman Road.
Aaron Morley put the Whites in front from the penalty spot but the hosts hit back through Lee Evans before half-time.
Ian Evatt handed Conor Bradley a start following his loan move from Liverpool, while Kyle Dempsey was absent from the squad after picking up a knock in training.
Wanderers started brightly and the first chance fell to Dapo Afolayan, who managed to get on the end of Morley’s corner but couldn’t keep his header down.
Wes Burns then managed to get in behind the Bolton defence but Morley was well placed to cut out his low cross.
Declan John had plenty of joy down the left flank during the early stages, joining the attack at every opportunity.
The Whites were then caught three-v-three on the break but Bradley did well to put a stop to the attack.
And the Northern Ireland international was involved in the first major talking point of the game, winning a penalty after he was brought down Leif Davis.
Morley made no mistake from the spot, beating Christian Walton low to his right with a clinical strike midway through the first half.
But Ipswich responded well to going a goal down and George Johnston had to make a vital block to deny Luke Woolfenden on the edge of the area.
The hosts managed to get back on level terms five minutes before the break when Evans fired home after Wanderers were caught out by Burns’ corner.
Bradley also made an important intervention to deny Freddie Ladapo from close range following a dangerous attack just before the break.
Early in the second half, Sam Morsy tried his luck from distance but it wasn’t troubling James Trafford in the Bolton goal.
The Whites were then nearly undone by an identical corner to the equaliser but this time Evans shot was blocked.
Trafford had to make a fine stop to keep out the midfielder’s looping header across goal from the resulting corner.
Wanderers then lost possession in a dangerous area but Ladapo’s shot was easy for the England Under-21 international to deal with.
Just after the hour mark, John delivered a superb cross that narrowly evaded a couple of Bolton shirts before substitute Greg Leigh turned behind at the far post.
Leigh then volleyed wide from the edge of the box after Ricardo Santos had initially done well to clear a corner.
Evatt opted to rotate his frontline heading into the final stages, with Amadou Bakayoko, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Elias Kahcunga all coming on in place of Afolayan, Charles and Kieran Lee.
Burns’ header then had Trafford scrambling low to his right after flicking off Santos but it bounced wide of the post.
Inside the final 10 minutes, Evans sent a free-kick over the bar before Sone Aluko sliced wide from distance.
Kayden Jackson then got in behind on the right and played a low cross towards Tyreece John-Jules, but the Arsenal loanee was unable to make contact.
And the hosts kept applying pressure in stoppage time, with Trafford making another smart stop to deny Morsy, who looked certain to score.
But Wanderers survived a barrage of pressure in the final minutes to ensure they would return to the North West with a point.Trafford, Bradley, Jones, Santos, Johnston, John, Williams, Morley (Thomason), Lee (Bakayoko 71), Afolayan (Bodvarsson), Charles (Kachunga)[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]