Football:Bolton barrier holds

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The Independent Online
Leicester City 0

Bolton Wanderers 0

Attendance: 20,464

It wasn't for lack of effort that Leicester had to watch struggling Bolton leave Filbert Street with a point that could prove invaluable for the Lancashire side in six months' time. The visiting defence withstood a late barrage, but that point can't be begrudged.

Leicester's manager, Martin O'Neill, joked that he told his missing striker Emile Heskey to remind him to fine him tomorrow morning. This was the first of three matches the suspended Heskey will miss and on this evidence his absence could prove costly. Without him, Leicester became a blunt and mostly inaccurate instrument near goal.

Ian Marshall and Steve Claridge laboured manfully, and the former's ability to win aerial battles created what few chances there were. Marshall headed Steve Guppy's cross wide six minutes into the second half and five minutes later Muzzy Izzett scooped a great chance over the bar when Marshall's head had created the opportunity.

Bolton were superbly served in midfield by the gifted Alan Thompson and rarely lost the upper hand in defence, where Andy Todd and Mark Fish show signs of developing into a formidable barrier. In attack, Nathan Blake was subdued by Matt Elliott's intimidating presence, although he should have scored in the 58th minute when Dean Holdsworth's drive from Michael Johansen's deflected cross saw the ball drop at his feet, only for him to stab his drive into Kasey Keller's side-netting.

On one of the few occasions in the later stages when Bolton were able to raise the siege, Blake gave Keller a fright eight minutes from time with a 25-yard volley that bounced out of the keeper's hands with no Bolton foot in the vicinity to capitalise.

The arrival of Arnar Gunnlaugsson for Johansen 10 minutes from time also caused the occasional wobble in Leicester's defence. His fresh legs could have turned the game, but both shots he managed found Keller in his line of fire.