BY DANIEL MARSH
AFC Wimbledon were forced to settle for a point in a frustrating stalemate with Bolton Wanderers.
Neither side could break the deadlock in a committed but scrappy clash as the Dons saw their cushion over the relegation zone cut to six points.
Clearcut chances were at a premium in an opening period which was full of grit but devoid of any real quality from both sides.
Wanderers were fortunate to not fall behind just a couple of minutes in when Joe Pigott charged down a slack clearance from Remi Matthews, but his blushes were spared when the ricochet drifted wide.
Dennis Politic troubled the Dons side with his direct approach but neither side were really able to string anything fluent together, though Joe Day did need to be alert on the brink of half-time, spreading himself low to save well from Daryl Murphy.
Unfortunately for both sides the second half began in a similar fashion.
Wimbledon thought they had taken the lead on the hour mark, but Kwesi Appiah was adjudged offside after heading in after a deep free-kick was flicked on by Terrell Thomas.
Minutes later the visitors’ captain Murphy spurned a golden chance after he couldn’t keep his header down from six yards after a set-piece was flicked on towards the far post.
Glyn Hodges introduced Adam Roscrow soon after for Appiah, and the Dons upped the ante, with the Welshman scuffing wide from the edge of the area moments before smart work from Luke O’Neill on the right saw Callum Reilly’s goalbound strike thwarted by resilient Bolton defending.
Wimbledon continued to search for that elusive breakthrough but failed to find it, as both Day and Matthews in the visiting goal were scarcely called into any sort of real action.
Ultimately, both sides were forced to settle for a share of the spoils on an afternoon where rivals at the bottom of the table picked up positive results to ramp up the pressure.
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD
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