Sunderland 2-2 Bolton Wanderers
Kevin Davies scored twice to earn Bolton a 2-2 draw and a share of the spoils in a thrilling encounter at the Stadium of Light.
The point is not enough to move the Trotters out of the bottom three and they stay behind QPR on goal difference while Sunderland remain in 11th place after failing to win for the sixth successive game. The Black Cats went into the tie having not scored in four matches and came up against a Bolton side buoyed by a dramatic midweek win at Villa Park. The differences in form were evident in the early stages with Nigel Reo-Coker and Mark Davies taking on the first shots of the game, though neither managed to trouble Craig Gordon. There were more nervy moments at the back for the home side when David Ngog put the ball in the back of the net, only to see Mark Davies dubiously ruled offside by the linesman in the build up. Bolton eventually got their breakthrough after 26 minutes. Martin Petrov picked out Kevin Davies at the far post and the skipper buried his volley low into the back of the net. Martin O'Neill's side responded well to going behind but Stephane Sessegnon showed why he has now failed to score in seven games, conceding possession deep inside the box with a heavy touch after good work by Fraizer Campbell. Nicklas Bendtner equalised for the hosts with his eighth goal of the season, latching onto Jack Colback's through ball to end his side's goalless run from close range. The goal turned the game on its head and the Black Cats saw a penalty appeals turned down moments later when Phil Bardsley's effort struck the arm of Tim Ream and the visitors were lucky to go in level at the break when Ream later cleared John O'Shea's shot off the line. Sunderland hoped to retain the momentum after the break but Chris Eagles got the first shot of the second-half away, testing Gordon with a swerving 25-yard strike. James McClean gave the home side the lead on the 55th minute when he converted a powerful free-kick and they could have increased their advantage when Campbell grazed the crossbar from 18-yards moments later. But Bolton showed the same resilience that earned them three points at Aston Villa on Tuesday night and Kevin Davies came up with the goods again, heading home Sam Ricketts' cross from six-yards. Owen Coyle's side came closest to snatching a winner when substitute Ivan Klasnic sliced wide from just inside the box before his low strike from a tight angle was saved by the feet of Gordon. Bolton stay in 18th place but now have back-to-back home games against Tottenham and West Brom in which to try and make ground on those above them. Sunderland meanwhile face a trip to Craven Cottage before hosting Mancheser United on the final day of the season as they look to end their winless run.