Bolton Wanderers 1 Morecambe 1: Late equaliser sees the Shrimps claim a point
A late Brad Lyons goal earned the Shrimps a deserved point as they climbed to sixth place in League Two.
The Blackburn Rovers loanee scored with his first touch of the ball after coming on as a late substitute as he headed a John O’Sullivan corner past Matt Gilks.
It meant a second successive away point for Derek Adams’ side as they came from behind after Eoin Doyle’s 42nd minute opener.
Adams made three changes to the side that drew against Stevenage at the weekend with on-loan Salford City midfielder Alex Denny handed a debut, as well as recalls for Kelvin Mellor and Liam Gibson.
The Shrimps started the game well with several promising early attacks.
Aaron Wildig’s cross on four minutes was just too far ahead of Cole Stockton before Nathaniel Knight-Percival tried his luck with a long-range shot that flew over the bar.
The first real opening came on 14 minutes when Stockton’s shot was saved at the second attempt by Gilks before the striker had a chance to set the unmarked O’Sullivan free, but chose the wrong option and lost possession.
Bolton began to threaten after the half-hour with top scorer Doyle looking a threat.
On 34 minutes he saw a shot blocked, and a minute later, fired straight at Kyle Letheren from Lloyd Isgrove’s neat lay-off.
Doyle was not to be denied when he gave the home side the lead with the neatest of finishes.
Nathan Delfouneso ran at the heart of the Morecambe defence and played the ball to the unmarked striker, who found the left-hand side of Letheren’s goal with a well-placed finish.
The home side carried that momentum into the second half with Delfouneso heading straight at Letheren and Harry Brockbank forcing an excellent defensive block from Denny.
After a sluggish opening to the half, the Shrimps came to the fore on 65 minutes with Sam Lavelle unlucky to see a header hit the crossbar.
The turning point of the game on 75 minutes when Bolton substitute Marcus Maddison was shown a straight red card for a late tackle on Wildig.
From there the Shrimps dominated, only for Stockton to waste two glorious chances from close range.
Adams made a clutch of substitutions with eight minutes to go and they paid dividends immediately as one of the fresh faces, Lyons, got ahead of his man to direct a powerful header past Gilks.
As the Shrimps pushed for the winner they were almost undone after a poor Letheren kick but, thankfully for the keeper, Doyle’s effort from the edge of the box curled well wide.
Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Brockbank (Jones 62), Almeida-Santos, Baptiste, Jackson (John 70), Williams, Thomasen, Isgrove (Afolayan 61), Delfouneso (Elbouzedi 78), Gnahoua (Maddison 61), Doyle. Subs not used: Comley, Tutte.
Morecambe: Letheren, Mellor (Cooney 82), Lavelle, Knight-Percival, Gibson (Hendrie 82), Diagouraga, Denny (McAlinden 76), O’Sullivan, Wildig (Lyons 83), Mendes-Gomes, Stockton (Slew 83). Subs not used: Halstead, Davis.
Referee: Oliver Langford.
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