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Albion v Bolton - from The Amex
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- Full-time: Albion 1 Bolton 1
- Bruno's belter breaks deadlock on 54
- Ngog nicks a point with last kick of the game
- Barnes penalty saved on 15
- Albion hit woodwork three times
- Five pages of coverage in The Argus on Monday
Stunned, disbelieving silence around The Amex apart from the corner of Bolton fans.
Bolton levelled with virtually the last kick of the game when NGOG turned home a low cross.
Bolton won a disputed corner but Bridcutt headed it away and then Hoskins combined with Buckley in a lightning counter which ended with Bogdan somehow turning behind Hoskins’ shot.
Hoskins went on for Mackail-Smith as the final change and he almost settled the contest in the first of five added minutes.
Bolton wanted a penalty when Kevin Davies went down in the area as a high ball was played in. But ref Haywood was happy enough to point for a goal kick instead.
Then Painter received a terrific ovation as he made way for Calderon.
Albion unleashed Crofts for the misfiring Barnes on 78 minutes while Bolton sent on Spearing for Ream.
Attendance: 26,455 (including 1,274 away fans)
Albion could do with the security of a second goal. Bolton have belatedly woken up a touch after that double change. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
Ngog was now playing on the right of Bolton's attack with Butterfield and Eagles also looking to buzz around off Davies. This was how the visitors had been expected to line-up from kick-off and Albion were facing a test of their defensive discipline
Barnes was off target again when he lashed a shot well wide after Mackail-Smith had got him charging into the box.
Butterfield had perked the visitors up a bit. He was involved in a move which ended with Eagles getting in a low shot on 68 minutes which Kuszczak saved quite comfortably low to his right.
Should be 2-0. Before Bolton's double change Orlandi side-footed when a smash would have given Bogdan no chance to get across. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
Butterfield, who forged himself a reputation as a long-range marksman at Barnsley, quickly took his chance to go for goal from 25 yards and his rising effort did not go too far over.
Albion were still pouring forward. A cry of "Shhoooottt" went up when Bruno got the ball 25 yards out on 65 minutes. But he played a neat pass to Orlandi who span away from a tackle and saw his left foot drive from the edge of the box fizz inches wide of the far post.
Bolton sent on veteran goalgetter Kevin Davies on the hour as they sought a way back into the game. Attacking midfielder Butterfield also joined the action with Pratley and Afobe making way.
Albion did not ease off after the goal and Orlandi had a great chance when a cross fell to him beyond the far post. but he was too casual with his volley and Bogdan was able to make the save.
The breakthrough, though came in the 54th minute – and it was a great goal. Bolton were angry because they felt there had been a handball by Albion as they launched an attack. When Mackail-Smith was fouled on the left, Orlandi played in a free-kick which was headed out of the box and as far as BRUNO, who took the ball down and angled a superb volley across Bogdan and inside the post from five yards outside the box
Half-time has not dampened Albion's belief. Still in charge. Just need to beware a sucker punch. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
Buckley again caused mayhem down the right and slid the ball inside to Barnes – ironically enough, on the penalty spot. But the striker mis-kicked horribly, a surprised Mackail-Smith right behind him was unable to profit and the ball ran to Hammond, whose clever chipped curler with the outside of his right foot dipped just past the far top corner.
So Albion needed a goal at their favoured north end if they were to make a breakthrough and it should have come in the second minute of the second half.
Greer had to make a timely intervention in his own box in the one minute of added time but the half-time chat was all about wasted chances and near misses at the other end.
The increasingly greasy pitch caught out the Bolton defence as half-time loomed and gave Mackail-Smith the chance to get into the box and win another corner. But again it came to nothing.
13 efforts on goal for Albion in 40 minutes. Incredible. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
The tyupe of game now where they just have to keep believing - and not believe it isn't their day. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
A bemused Gus Poyet could do no more than turn towards the West Stand and smile ruefully after the latest near miss.
Albion struck the South Stand woodwork for the third time on 36 minutes. This time Buckley’s cross created danger. Orlandi headed it goalwards and Mackail-Smith’s header came back off the bar before Bolton scrambled the ball behind.
Eagles had switched flanks a couple of times and looked dangerous on the few occasions on which he got the ball. He was back on the left on the half-hour and skipped away from Bruno before clipping a menacing ball to the far post. Dunk turned it behind for a corner which the hosts defended capably.
Like to see the penalty decision again. Pratley was sliding to block the cross. Not sure if it was ball to hand or hand to ball. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
Then Mackail-Smith produced a great first touch when a defensive header fell to him just outside the box. His assured control set up the chance for him to shoot left-footed from 20 yards but Bogdan dived to his right and held the effort.
Hope they are not going to be made to pay. Terrific efforts from the midfielders but you cannot afford to keep wasting penalties. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
Painter joined in the barrage but his drive from outside the box was high and wide.
Orlandi unleashed a fabulous left-foot curler from outside the box which beat Bogdan but smacked back off the far post. As the attack continued, Hammond had a go from distance and this time Bogdan pushed his effort on to the bar.
The hosts struck the woodwork twice within a minute.
Bolton's fans behind that goal celebrated their escape - but the missed chance seemed to inspire Albion to step things up another gear.
Albion had a glorious chance to go ahead in the 15th minute after Mackail-Smith’s cross was handled. Barnes took the responsibility from the penalty spot and saw his effort saved to his right by Bogdan. Still it seemed Barnes would bury the rebound, but Bogdan blocked again and Albion were unable to force home the second rebound.
Eagles was expected to be a threat from distance and he let fly from 30 yards with a low effort which bounced just in front of Kuszczak. But the keeper got down to his right and did well to save and hold the effort as it skipped up off the greasy turf.
Mackail-Smith then scuffed a low effort tamely wide in the tenth minute after a nice combination with Orlandi.
Suddenly Albion sprang into life with a terrific pass by Hammond sending Buckley away down the right. His low cross was cut out at the expense of a corner which was only cleared as far as Bruno. But Bolton got bodies in the way when Orlandi cut back into the area and looked to tee up a colleague.
Bridcutt had the hosts’ first shot in the eighth minute after Bruno’s clever pass down the touchline had set Hammond moving. But the effort from outside the box flew well wide.
Rain had relented at kick-off time, but skies were grey. Bolton had all the early possession playing towards the North Stand. But there was no threat in the opening minutes.
Albion go North to South in the first half. Kick-off is seconds away.
Grey shirts and a grey day for Bolton? Fear the likeliest result is a draw. Hope I'm wrong. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
Ex-England left-back Stephen Warnock has shaken off illness and will be marking Buckley. Good luck with that! #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
Entertainment currently from Gully'S Group, not Gully's Girls. Dancers now include two guys! #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
That Bolton line-up caused a few eyebrows to be raised among the visiting press crops. Freedman has introduced a 4-2-3-1 system since arriving from Palace four games ago and they are expected to stick to that, despite the change of personnel. That means Ngog moving to the centre-forward role in place of Kevin Davies. Then an attacking line of three comprising Afobe, Pratley and Eagles.
It's about that time again....
Timely reminder in programme from Paul Barber re: fan behaviour. Shame on the culprit banned for 5 yrs for racial abuse v Leeds. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 24 November 2012
Main Albion team news sees Kuszczak return in goal after a finger injury. Full line-ups and team news have been posted elsewhere on this site.
Wet, chilly and very dark skies overhead. It's going to feel like an evening game here today. But Albion have been good under lights at The Amex this season!
It's Withdean weather at The Amex!