Bolton Wanderers 1 Charlton Athletic 1

Last updated : 01 February 2007 By Footymad Previewer
Bolton and Charlton, with different ambitions at either end of the table, played out a 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium, with not a jot of quality between them.

While Charlton were happy to come away with a point after falling behind to Henrik Pedersen's sixth minute glancing header, Bolton did at least show ambition to get the three points.

Still, they huffed and they puffed, but were unable to blow Charlton's house, led by the dependable defensive duo of Hermann Hriedarsson and Talal El Karkouri, down.

And it was El Karkouri who provided the relegation haunted Addicks with their equaliser when he thumped a 30-yard free-kick through the hands of the hapless Jussi Jaaskelainen in the home goal on 12 minutes.

It was the perfect start for the home side when Pedersen glanced home Gary Speed's left-wing cross, but unfortunately for them, they weren't able to hold on to the advantage and run with it.

Just six minutes later, Ivan Campo up-ended Jerome Thomas 30 yards from goal to give the Londoners their immediate opportunity to respond.

Skipper Matt Holland teed up El Karkouri, who smashed the fiercest of drives that Jasskelainen couldn't hold.

Make no mistake about it, it certainly was a vicious attempt, and maybe the fact the Abdoulaye Faye evaded the line of the ball at the very last second had something to do with the blip. However, the Finn still should have saved it.

For the remainder of the first half, Bolton still looked the more likely to regain their advantage, with the Reebok faithful twice appealing for a penalty - and both times it was Kevin Nolan who they believed to be the victim.

The first was nothing more than a light push in the back from Bryan Hughes, but the second seemed to be a much stronger appeal.

Nolan took advantage of some poor control from Amady Faye on 20 minutes, but was sent sprawling by Faye's late attempt to redeem his blunder.

Bolton kept on pressing right the way through the second half with Charlton just happy to sit back and maybe counter attack Bolton on the break.

Although the Trotters had plenty of good positions from which to try and capitalise, they were forced to grimace as captain Nolan squandered their best, and only real, opportunity of the second period in the 67th minute.

Substitute Ricardo Vaz Te missed his kick in front of goal, and was lucky to see the ball squirm across the box to an advancing Nolan. He shot first time, but Scott Carson was able to wave his arms with ease as the ball sailed into the stands.

And then with 13 minutes left, Charlton's best attacking player, Thomas, got the breakaway they craved, but could only hit the legs of Jaaskelainen.

The point consolidates Bolton's UEFA Cup ambitions in fifth, while Charlton move to within two points of Wigan who occupy 17th.