On both the collective and the individual level, the draw that helped maintain Bolton in the top six of the Premier League was reward for patience and persistence. They salvaged a point against a spirited Blackpool side who had been 2-0 ahead with a wonderfully intricate and inventive move, started and finished by Mark Davies less than two minutes from time.
The midfielder, signed from Wolves during the unlamented Gary Megson regime, has been kept waiting for his chance by the outstanding form of Fabrice Muamba and Stuart Holden.
Holden's thigh injury gave him his opportunity on Saturday and he could scarcely have grasped it more effectively. Apart from scoring the equaliser, he teed up the first Bolton goal for Martin Petrov's sublime strike and had a header brilliantly saved. It all added up to an excellent performance on his first league start since February.
Not that his manager, Owen Coyle, was surprised. He referred back to the game at Arsenal last season for a glimpse of Davies' potential. "He looked a really top player that day," he said. "It's just been difficult fitting him in."
If there has been a disappointment for Bolton supporters this season it has been the failure of Petrov to take the Reebok instantly by storm since his move from Manchester City in the summer. But his right-foot touch and left-foot finish into the top corner were a reminder of his quality and the start of Bolton's reward for their determination to carry on playing constructive football.
Scorers: Bolton Petrov 76, M Davies 89. Blackpool Evatt 28, Varney 57.
Substitutes: Bolton Moreno (Lee, 60), Petrov (Taylor, 60), Klasnic (Muamba, 70). Unused Bogdan (gk), Steinsson, Cohen, Blake. Blackpool Ormerod (Taylor-Fletcher, 84), Southern (Varney, 86), Carney (Grandin, 88). Unused Halstead (gk), Edwards, Phillips, Euell.
Booked: Bolton Robinson, Muamba Blackpool Vaughan, Adam Man of the match M Davies. Match rating 9/10. Possession Bolton 49% Blackpool 51%.
Shots on target Bolton 10 Blackpool 6.
Referee M Dean (Merseyside). Att 25,851.Reuse content