Yeovil Town’s old habit of throwing way good positions returned to haunt them today as they let a 2-0 lead slip to draw 2-2 with Bolton Wanderers at Huish Park.
Ishmael Miller and Kevin Dawson gave the Glovers a two goal half time lead and although Lukas Jutkiewicz scored early in the second half, the Trotters were reduced to ten men when Alex Baptiste was shown a straight red card for tripping Kevin Dawson in the box. But Miller crashed his penalty against the post and Zat Knight headed home an equaliser to square the game with eight minutes to go.
The inability to hold on to a lead has cost Yeovil more than twenty points this season and may prove costly as the Glovers fight for their Championship lives with nine games to go.
Manager Gary Johnson made two changes to the side that drew 3-3 in that incredible match at Wigan on Tuesday night; Kieffer Moore and Kevin Dawson coming in for Joel Grant and Matteo Lanzoni.
Bolton forward Jutkiewicz spurned a clear chance from ten yards out early on flicking a header wide when unchallenged and Baptiste mishit his shot from a Jay Spearing corner on four minutes. But then Yeovil gradually found their feet and Shane Duffy headed wide and Trotters keeper Adam Bogdan got down well to deal with an awkward Tom Lawrence shot.
Lawrence was as ever looking the likeliest outlet down the left hand side but when the opener came, it was created on the opposite flank. Kevin Dawson, impressive all afternoon on his return to the side, crossed low and Ishmael Miller steered the ball home into the corner of the net with his right foot for his tenth goal of the campaign.
The goal fired the Glovers up and after Lawrence had tested Bogdan once, he then hit an absolute peach of a strike that the visiting keeper tipped away spectacularly for a corner. Miller then also went close with a left foot shot a yard wide.
Goal number two came at a good time for Yeovil, when they were pressing just before half time. Their play and tempo had deserved a second and they got it on forty minutes. Kieffer Moore stole the ball from Neil Danns in midfield and released Lawrence with a perfect pass. Lawrence cut inside, laid the ball across the box for Kevin Dawson to control and fire home into the bottom left hand corner.
Bolton came out for the second half much more purposefully and it seemed inevitable early on that their territorial advantage would bring a goal. Initially, luckily for Yeovil, Danns and Kamara put their efforts wide of the target. But seven minutes after the break, Jutkiewicz was allowed time and space on the edge of the box and he finished into the same corner of the net as the previous two goals.
Yeovil still had the bulk of the chances going forward with Miller having two shots blocked and Lawrence again scaring Bogdan with a thirty yard effort that went a yard or two wide. Bolton boss Dougie Freedman brought on old Glovers foe Jermaine Beckford for Joe Mason up front and went more direct than before to get back into the game. Jutkiewicz and Danns both blazed shots over the bar before the turning point of the game on 78 minutes.
Dawson burst into the right hand side of the box and was brought down by Baptiste. Referee Darren Deadman waved away the penalty claims but couldn’t ignore the assistant’s frantic flag waving, signalling for a spot kick. After consulting with his assistant, he then pointed to the spot and showed a red card to offender Baptiste.
With all the associated kerfuffle that followed the award of the penalty, it was a full two minutes before Miller had the chance for goal number eleven. With keeper Bogdan playing mind games by positioning himself clearly on one side of the goal and Miller replacing the ball twice on the spot, Miller then crashed his penalty against the post and out for a goal kick, the second penalty he’s missed this season.
Just as with the first one, at home to Leeds, it was to prove costly as Bolton levelled at 2-2 four minutes later. A free kick from the centre circle was back headed over Marek Stech and into the net, the keeper having come for the ball and then stopped.
Yeovil came closest to grabbing a sensational winner late on when Miller’s shot on the turn looped off sub David Wheater’s leg and bounced agonisingly wide of Bogdan’s goal. Duffy then also went close as Yeovil pushed desperately for a third but despite plenty of effort, couldn’t quite snatch the three points.