Sunday, 8 January 2012

Bolton Given Cup Scare By Macc Lads


Arnaud Mendy hit a sensational strike to give Macclesfield hope of pulling off a third-round upset.

But Premier League Bolton escaped by the skin
of their teeth with an equaliser to rob the Macc lads of glory in this 2-2 draw.

The Silkmen wore T-shirts pre-match paying tribute to ex-manager Keith Alexander and former midfielder Richard Butcher – who both passed away tragically in the last two years.


Despite falling behind to Ivan Klasnic’s early opener, Macc battled their way in front with Colin Daniel and Mendy stunning their Premier League rivals with classy goals.


But Bolton snatched a replay when David Wheater headed a leveller with 13 minutes left.


Macc boss Gary Simpson said: “I was delighted with our performance.


“I couldn’t believe Mendy’s goal. I didn’t know he has got that in his locker, it was a tremendous strike. He has been injured but I always felt in the second half of the season he would come on strong.”


There was no sense of the drama on the cards when Bolton eased themselves into a comfortable lead.


Home keeper Jose Veiga fumbled Darren Pratley’s shot and arch-poacher Klasnic was on hand to prod home from close range.


Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan denied Mendy as Macclesfield rallied.


But it was no surprise that the home side grabbed an equaliser.


George Donnelly got in behind Wheater and crossed to Daniel, who took a touch before cracking an effort past Bogdan.


Bolton were now looking like underdogs as Macclesfield continued to batter their defences.


Wheater was lucky to stay on after pulling back Matt Hamshaw when he tried to scamper through on goal.


And Paul Robinson was booked for a lunge on Daniel.

It was this competition in April that sent Bolton into a downward spiral they are still trying to recover from.

 

Losing 5-0 to Stoke at Wembley left them shell-shocked and League Two outfit Macc picked at those huge mental scars.

Bolton struggled to clear their lines once more and Mendy punished them with a stunning strike.


The midfielder’s first touch saw the ball spin upwards invitingly, his second sent a searing volley past a well-beaten Bogdan. It had been coming.


Bolton needed a spot of luck to stay alive and got it with the award of a soft free-kick.


Martin Petrov delivered his first piece of quality of the day and Wheater finally found a use for his head, nodding the equaliser just inside the upright.


Bolton boss Owen Coyle said: We started the tie well and got ourselves in front but then got hit by a sucker punch. We didn’t threaten until their boy scored a magnificent goal.


``I have been on the other side of giant-killings and you think that is a FA Cup moment. 
But we fought back well.''

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