Football: Bolton denied by Taylor's equaliser

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sheffield United 1 Bolton Wanderers 1

In a fast and occasionally furious match at Bramall Lane last night one Welshman's goal cancelled out another's to ensure Bolton did not extend their advantage at the top of the Nationwide First Division.

Back on his old stamping ground, Nathan Blake was booked after just two minutes for a late challenge but eight minutes later he put his side ahead with a goal that owed everything to his pace and strength.

Chasing Andy Thompson's long ball between the home centre-backs, he brushed past Michael Vonk to score his 12th goal of the season from 12 yards.

With David Lee giving Sheffield trouble down their left flank, John Sheridan almost put his side two up but, stretching for Lee's pull-back, his shot went over the bar.

The equaliser came from Gareth Taylor, who headed home Don Hutchison's corner four minutes before half-time. The Welshman was then booked just before the interval after the latest of a long line of confrontations.

The second half saw both sides create good chances, but neither goalkeeper was forced into a save until Alan Thompson thumped a shot directly at Alan Kelly in the 65th minute.

The pace never relented but nobody could find enough composure to grab a winner, although Petr Katchouro and Mark Patterson forced superb late saves from Keith Branagan.

Sheffield United: Kelly, Short, Sandford, Hutchison (Parker, 89), Vonk, Holdsworth, White, Patterson, Taylor, Walker (Katchouro, 63), Whitehouse. Substitute not used: Tracey.

Bolton Wanderers: Branagan, Bergsson, Phillips, Thompson, Taggart, Fairclough, Lee, Sellars, Blake, McGinlay, Sheridan. Substitutes not used: Taylor, Todd, Pollock.

Referee: R Pearson (Peterlee).