County bolt the door on Bolton

Notts County 1

Bolton Wanderers 1

The First Division's bottom team, Notts County, made a mockery of the disparity between themselves and Bolton, the leaders, in a match which reserved its most eventful moments for the final 18 minutes at Meadow Lane last night.

No sooner had Owen Coyle's fifth goal of the season given Bolton visions of an undeserved victory - and a four-point cushion over Tranmere and Middlesbrough - than their goalkeeper, Keith Branagan, was sent off. Almost immediately, County had a plausiblepenalty appeal rejected when Andy Legg appeared to be brought down, but before they had time to reflect on the referee's refusal, Rob Matthews volleyed an 81st-minute equaliser.

Branagan's professional foul on Paul Devlin five minutes earlier could scarcely have been more ill-timed. The Republic of Ireland B international will now be suspended for the home leg of the Coca-Cola Cup semi-final against Swindon.

With the first instalment scheduled for Sunday, County may have done Bruce Rioch's job for him by disabusing Bolton of any delusions of grandeur. They arrived buoyed by successive 5-1 wins, yet could easily have become Howard Kendall's most prestigious victims in his new career by the Trent.

With another Merseyside refugee, Steve Nicol, pulling the strings in midfield, County dominated the first hour. Translating possession into scoring opportunities proved more troublesome, although Phil Turner sent one 20-yard drive just wide and Andy Leggwent close with a back-header from a cross by the lively Devlin.

Bolton were more purposeful after the break. In the 72nd minute, still against the run of play, Coyle nodded home from Mixu Paatelainen's centre, and it seemed that County's pleasing but punchless approach work was to be in vain.

It was perhaps fitting, in view of Jason McAteer's appearance on A Question of Sport earlier in the evening, that the game suddenly developed into an extended version of "What happened next?". Not for the first time in Bolton's history, a player called Matthews supplied the most damaging answer, the substitute's equaliser so disappointing Rioch that he declined to give any post-match interviews.

Notts County (4-4-2): Kearton; Mills, Murphy, Hogg, Johnson; Simpson (Matthews, 69), Turner, Nicol, Legg; Agana, Devlin. Substitutes not used: White, Reece (gk).

Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2): Branagan; Green, Coleman, Stubbs, Phillips; Lee (Davison, 77), McAteer, Sneekes, Thompson; Coyle (DeFreitas, 89), Paatelainen. Substitute not used: Lydiate.

Referee: Paul Alcock (Surrey).

people And here is why...
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA/BA - Agile

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Primary supply teacher Hertford...

KS1 & KS2 Teacher

£115 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: We are looking for infants and...

Secondary Trained Teachers for the watford area

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Qualified secondary teachers - ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?