Megson makes a point that is lost on Bolton supporters

Bolton Wanderers 1 Stoke City 1
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The Independent Online

It is over two years since Sam Allardyce left Bolton, yet his shadow still looms large over the current regime. Saddled with unrealistic expectations from those heady days, even a last-minute penalty to salvage a draw against Stoke did not prevent fans venting their frustration towards current manager, Gary Megson.

Megson took over from Sammy Lee in October 2007 with the club bottom with five points from 10 games. He guided them to safety yet is no more popular now than he was at the start of his tenure when Bolton's fans wanted a more high-profile appointment.

Here Megson reacted to a dismal display by making changes at half-time and provided a greater attacking threat with the introduction of Ricardo Gardner and Ivan Klasnic. Falling behind to Dave Kitson's 53rd minute opener, Bolton's improved performance was rewarded when Danny Collins' lunge on Sam Ricketts gave Matt Taylor a chance to earn a point from the penalty spot.

Instead of relief Bolton's fans reacted as they did at half-time by booing Megson after a sixth successive home match without victory. Scrappy it may have been, but following on from their first win of the season at Portsmouth, Megson and Bolton probably deserved more credit than they received.

"When you're playing against Stoke, the games are like that," said Megson. "They string four centre-halves across the back, the two midfield players don't go anywhere and that makes it difficult playing against them."

Bolton Wanderers (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Steinsson (Gardner, h-t), Cahill, Knight, Samuel; Ricketts, McCann, Muamba (Klasnic, h-t), Cohen, Taylor; K Davies. Substitutes not used: Al Habsi (gk), Elmander, Davis, Lee, O'Brien.

Stoke City (4-4-2): Sorensen; Shawcross, Ab Faye, Huth, Collins; Delap, Whitehead, Whelan, Etherington (Lawrence, 63); Fuller (Beattie, 89), Kitson (Pugh, 78). Subsitutes not used: Simonsen (gk), Higginbotham, Cort, Tuncay

Referee: M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

Booked: Bolton Wanderers Davies, Samuel; Stoke City Fuller, Whitehead.

Man of the match: Shawcross

Attendance: 20,265

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