Town: Weale, Goldson, Jacobson, Summerfield, Winfield (Jones, 76), Mkandawire, Marsden (Bradshaw, 76), McAllister, Asante (Mcquade, 80), Parry (Woods, 66), Taylor (Wildig, 61).
Subs: Mcquade, Anyon, Woods, Jones, Bradshaw, Wildig.
Goals: Marsden, 32, Parry, 65, Asante, 77
Bolton: Bogdan, Baptiste, Knight, Wheater (Ream, 65), Tierney, Andrews, Kamara, Pratley, Hall, Eagles, Sordell (Davies, 75).
Subs: Lonergan, Mills, Ream, Mears, Davies, Gregus, Bolger, Odelusi, Lester.
Goals: Sordell, 19, 43, Eagles, 34
Referee: Mr. P. Gibbs
Assistants: Mr. D. Benton & Mr. R. Merchant
Fourth Official: Mr. E. Smart
Attendance: 1,422 (411)
A storming second-half fight-back gave Town a share of the spoils in a pre-season 3-3 thriller with Bolton at the Greenhous Meadow ahead of the Capital One Cup meeting in two-and-a-half weeks time.
New front pairing John Marsden and Akwasi Asante both got on the score sheet, with Paul Parry also scoring with a spectacular volley. Bolton striker Marvin Sordell stole the show before the break with a brace of jaw-dropping efforts either side of a Chris Eagles strike, but Town showed great grit and character to come back from the 3-1 half-time deficit.
Asante and Marsden were paired together from the start, and it was loan signing Asante who almost made Town’s early pressure tell when he glanced his tenth minute header just wide after a teasing cross by Jon Taylor.
But all Town’s early work was undone on 19 minutes thanks to a thunderous strike from Sordell. Robert Hall’s mazy run and jink into the penalty area was ended by Mkandawire, but the ball fell to Sordell and he made no mistake in smashing the ball past a helpless Weale into the roof of the net.
The lively Hall almost made it two three minutes later, latching onto a Trotters breakaway before curling a 20-yard effort just over the crossbar. But Town came back at their Championship opponents and struck a leveller on the 32 minute mark, Taylor storming down the right-flank and drilling a measured cross for Marsden to fire a first time effort into the net.
Bolton soon restored their goal advantage just two minutes later. The ever-dangerous Eagles played a neat one-two with Darren Pratley before coolly steering into the corner from inside the D. And two minutes before the break, Sordell hit his second and Bolton’s third. From all of 30-yards, the former Watford man smashed an unstoppable rip-roarer into the top corner to leave the Trotters well in control heading into the interval.
Town came out the brighter for the second half and almost struck back through Marsden, but Trotters keeper Adam Bogdan was quick off his line to block the snap shot.
On the counter, Sordell almost completed his hat-trick squeezing his shot past a defender, and Weale, but not inside the post. But instead, Paul Parry matched Sordell’s spectacular first half effort with one of his own on 65 minutes. Loitering on the edge of the box from a corner, the ex-Cardiff man caught it sweetly on the volley and it flew like a rocket past Bogdan.
Town continued the pressure and were rewarded with an equaliser 13 minutes from time. The lively Asante caught Zat Knight in possession mid-way inside the Bolton half and raced through on goal before calmly slotting home.
A flurry of late changes left the game to fizzle out, but both sides will have learnt a lot in the Capital One Cup dress rehearsal.
FT: Town 3-3 Bolton.