Belfast Telegraph

Davies the hero for Bolton

Kevin Davies struck twice to keep Bolton's survival hopes alive after a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Sunderland.

The 35-year-old striker volleyed the visitors in front with 26 minutes played and then snatched a point 20 minutes from time with a close-range header.

Nicklas Bendtner had cancelled out Bolton's lead with a cool 36th-minute finish and the Black Cats looked to be on the road to victory when James McClean curled a 55th-minute free-kick past keeper Adam Bogdan.

But Davies' intervention ensured Wanderers added a further point to the three they collected at Aston Villa in midweek to send themselves into Wednesday night's home clash with Tottenham in confident mood. Sunderland at least ended their barren run - they had not scored in four games.

The visitors provided all of the early impetus to create a series of promising openings. Chris Eagles drilled a fourth-minute free-kick wide and David Ngog saw his seventh-minute shot blocked by Matt Kilgallon before Nigel Reo-Coker carved a path through the red-and-white shirts to blast a long-range effort just wide.

Keeper Craig Gordon was called upon for the first time when he got down to claim Mark Davies' 10th-minute drive. The traffic was largely one-way and Michael Turner had to throw himself into the path of Martin Petrov's goal-bound 11th-minute shot.

Petrov turned provider with 25 minutes gone when he crossed from the left for Ngog to head high over the bar, but the Bulgarian repeated the dose seconds later and Kevin Davies volleyed expertly across Gordon and into the bottom corner to give Wanderers a deserved lead.

Sunderland belatedly found their feet as they sought a way back into the game and an equaliser eventually arrived when Jack Colback slid a pass into Bendtner's run and he controlled confidently before passing the ball past Bogdan and into the net.

Bolton were dominating once again after the restart, but contrived to surrender the advantage when Kevin Davies slid in late on Sessegnon to concede a 55th-minute free-kick 25 yards out.

McClean's firmly struck shot curled over the defensive wall and despite the best efforts of Bogdan, who managed to get a hand to it, found the net via the underside of the crossbar. Bolton were back on level terms 20 minutes from time when full-back Sam Ricketts crossed for the unmarked Kevin Davies to head firmly past Gordon from five yards.

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