Barnsley earned a creditable 1-1 draw at high-flying Bolton Wanderers but will rue missed chances in what could have been a win.

Devante Cole netted early on then the Reds missed a series of big opportunities before the hosts levelled midway through the second half.

Barnsley remain fifth, two points clear in the top six and six off the top two while Bolton slipped down to third.

The squad was much-changed from the loss to Exeter at Oakwell a week earlier, with all three January signings involved.

Josh Earl started on his debut at his former club – in place of the loaned-out Jack Shepherd – with Donovan Pines and Conor Grant on the bench.

Herbie Kane and Luca Connell returned to the 11 after injury and illness respectively with Jon Russell and Max Watters benched. Barry Cotter came in for Corey O’Keeffe at right wing-back.

Barnsley were excellent in the first half. After a couple of early set piece scares, they were very solid defensively and a threat on counter-attacks as well as with their pressing.

Bolton almost took the lead in the third minute when Eoin Toal headed a right-wing free-kick just wide of the bottom left corner.

But it was Barnsley who opened the scoring when Cotter’s long throw on the left was impressively flicked on by Adam Phillips and Cole supplied a close-range finish.

Bolton had another chance from a right-wing set piece but the unmarked Jack Iredale headed over at the back post after meeting a corner.

Phillips should have made it 2-0 on 30 minutes when, after Connell won the ball in the Bolton half, John McAtee played in Phillips who was clean through on the right but shot across goal and wide.

In the second half, Iredale again headed wide from a corner – this time taken by Zac Ashworth on the right.

At the other end, McAtee appeared to be scythed down when clean through on goal but the referee gave nothing.

Cole almost added a second but was denied by an excellent one-on-one save from Nathan Baxter after Bolton lost the ball again and Phillips brilliantly beat a man and played in Cole.

Phillips also saw a long-range shot kept out of the bottom right corner by Baxter.

Cole then got in behind the home defence and squared to McAtee who looked certain to score but, after a defender got to back to tackle, the ball rolled to the goalkeeper.

Bolton levelled totally against the run of play when Aaron Collins’ cross from the right was headed in at the back post by Zac Ashworth.

Bolton had a good spell as Paris Maghoma shot over from the edge of the box and Iredale sent another header from a corner wide.

Barnsley settled and saw long-range shots go wide from McAtee and Jordan Williams.

But Liam Roberts made a superb save in the 89th minute, stretching backwards to claw out a deflected Collins effort.

Roberts also made a more simple save from the same player who shot from 20 yards in injury-time.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Roberts; Williams, de Gevigney, Earl; Cotter (O’Keeffe 67mins), Phillips, Connell, Kane (Grant 81), Cadden; Cole, McAtee.

Unused: Killip, Russell, Pines, Cosgrove, Watters, O’Keeffe.

Yellow cards: De Gevigney, Connell, Williams.

Goals: Cole 6.

Bolton (3-5-2): Baxter; Toal, Taylor (Ramsay 68mins), Iredale; Dacres-Cogley, Sheehan (Morley 73), Maghoma, Dempsey, Ashworth; Adeboyejo (Bodvarsson 63), Charles (Collins 63).

Unused:, Ogbeta, Gomes, Jerome.

Yellow cards: Maghoma, Dempsey.

Goals: Ashworth 66.

  • 3:03pm
    A Bolton defender gives McAtee the. ball about 30 yards out and he shoots but it's well wide
  • 3:03pm
    Bolton playing out and Barnsley pressing
  • 3:04pm
    Mael de Gevigney gets a very. early booking. He took out a player on the. left after Earl lost a header. Not ideal to have him on yellow for 85 plus mins
  • 3:06pm
    3 Chance for Bolton. A right wing free-kick is headed narrowly wide of the bottom left corner by Eoin Toal
  • 3:07pm
    Devante Cole on six minutes!
  • 3:08pm
    A long throw. by Cotter is flicked on at the near post and Cole is in. the perfect place to tap in for a 17th of the season.
  • 3:10pm
    Phillips header. Another assist for him
  • 3:12pm
    Devante Cole now 17 league goals this season. No one has more in a league season for the Reds since Sam Winnall with 21 in 2015/16.
  • 3:12pm
    Bolton have had a few attacks since the goal. Earl blocks a cross for corner on right
  • 3:13pm
    Right wing corner. headed over at back post by Jack Iredale
  • 3:14pm
    That's two decent set piece chances for the hosts but they trail
  • 3:14pm
    Another Bolton attack but Dion Charles shoots horribly wide on right of box
  • 3:17pm
    Bolton have dominated. the. ball but Barnsley happy to press and counter.
  • 3:18pm
    Bolton try to break into the box but Williams makes a vital late tackle
  • 3:20pm
    Paris Maghoma booked after taking out Cotter following a nice counter by Barnsley involving passes by Cotter and Phillips
  • 3:21pm
    Bolton's goalkeeper is down injured. They don't have a sub goalkeeper
  • 3:23pm
    Goalkeeper Baxter. up after a few. minutes of treatment and the game goes on
  • 3:24pm
    A bouncing ball into the box and Mael puts behind for corner on the right
  • 3:25pm
    Bolton's right wing corner is turned wide, came. off Cotter last and it's a corner on the other side
  • 3:25pm
    Phillips heads next corner out
  • 3:27pm
    Bolton having lots of the. ball still but Barnsley look solid an organised in defence
  • 3:30pm
    Big chance for 2-0. After. Connell wins ball and McAtee plays in Phillips, he shoots across goal and wide. Big opportunity.
  • 3:34pm
    Bolton have had loads of the ball and chances from set plays but, so far, Barnsley very organised and solid in general play - also look a threat at other end with counter attacks and their pressing 0-1 32 mins
  • 3:35pm
    A Bolton cross is whipped across face of goal and Cotter turns behind for corner
  • 3:35pm
    A Bolton cross is whipped across face of goal and Cotter turns behind for corner
  • 3:35pm
    Bolton corner headed up by Cole and cleared by Kane.
  • 3:37pm
    Devante Cole booked for. colliding with a Bolton man off the ball
  • 3:38pm
    As well as the gameplan has worked, Barnsley will not want to. defend this much for. 90 minutes. They. might need to keep the ball a bit more themselves at some stage to avoid constant attacks. Not that they are very. successful attacks at the moment
  • 3:39pm
    Another cross from the right turned behind by Cotter for a corner
  • 3:39pm
    Scuffed corner by Sheehan cleared at front post
  • 3:41pm
    Cotter thinks he's. won a corner in a similar position to goal but linesman disagrees
  • 3:42pm
    Cotter and Phillips both flattened. Free-kick for the latter
  • 3:44pm
    42 Left wing free-kick by Kane. Bounces through to Phillips. who is through again but shoots wide of then bottom left post but the flag is up .
  • 3:45pm
    Nice move sees Phillips play in McAtee but linesman flag is up, Not. sure about that one.
  • 3:46pm
    Another Bolton move down right, low cross by Dempsey and Earl puts behind for corner
  • 3:46pm
    45 Bolton corner on right. Headed by Earl out for corner on other. side
  • 3:46pm
    This corner is caught by Roberts
  • 3:47pm
    Three added minutes
  • 3:48pm
    Mael makes a mess of a long ball and Charles is in on the left but his cross misses Adeboyejo
  • 3:50pm
    HALF-TIME: Bolton 0, Barnsley 1
  • 4:07pm
  • 4:07pm
    Cotter. long throw cleared
  • 4:08pm
    This could be a huge second half in Barnsley's season. A win here really opens up the top two race
  • 4:09pm
    Adeboyejo wins a corner for Bolton on the left after a long ball down the flank
  • 4:10pm
    49 Bolton corner on left. Headed out by Mael de Gevigney
  • 4:10pm
    McAtee back defending, blocks cross for corner. on right
  • 4:12pm
    Another chance from a set. piece for. Bolton. Again Jack Iredale wins a header but it loops wide. Corner. on right by Zac Ashworth
  • 4:12pm
    John McAtee just got taken out when through on goal. Nothing given.
  • 4:13pm
    53 Connell free-kick on left goes all the way through and out
  • 4:16pm
    Kane free-kick. volleyed across goal by Earl but offside given
  • 4:17pm
    The game is now very scrappy and stop. start with lots of fouls and. set. pieces. Barnsley won't mind that at all,
  • 4:18pm
    Another big chance for 2-0. Cole through after great work by Phillips afterBolton lose ball again. Good shot but great save Baxter
  • 4:18pm
    Now Cole wins a header in the box and a. defender has to nod behind for corner
  • 4:20pm
    Barnsley really on top. Phillips' 25-yard low shot saved by Baxter.
  • 4:23pm
    Another massive chance. Cole gets in behind the defence and squares for McAtee who looks certain to net but a defender just. gets back to tackle and the effort rolls to the goalkeeper. Bolton on ropes but Reds. must make it count
  • 4:24pm
    Bolton double change. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson for Adeboyejo and new signing Aaron Collins for Dion Charles
  • 4:26pm
    Zac Ashworth levels
  • 4:27pm
    Substitute Aaron Collins sends a deep. cross from the right wing which Ashworth heads in at the back post
  • 4:29pm
    Totally against run of play after all those chances
  • 4:29pm
    Barnsley bring on Corey O'Keeffe for Barry Cotter
  • 4:34pm
    Not much has happened since the levelled but the home. crowd. are up
  • 4:34pm
    Chance for Bolton. After a decent move on the left., Paris Maghoma shoots over from the edge of the box
  • 4:36pm
    Testing cross from the right, Mael. turns behind
  • 4:37pm
    Bolton corner on the right. Headed well wide by Iredale again
  • 4:38pm
    McAtee drags a shot from 25 yards wide after a good ,move
  • 4:40pm
    Williams shot deflected wide after Connell wins the ball
  • 4:41pm
    80 Kane's corner from the left is scuffed and cleared
  • 4:41pm
    Here comes Conor Grant
  • 4:41pm
    Grant on for Kane
  • 4:45pm
    Kyle Dempsey booked for tripping. McAtee
  • 4:46pm
    Into the final five minutes.
  • 4:49pm
    Not a great deal happening. as both. teams struggle to get the ball into an attacking area
  • 4:50pm
    Great save Roberts. He has to spring backwards to claw out Collins' deflected effort after de Gevigney's poor header
  • 4:53pm
    Five added. minutes
  • 4:53pm
    De Gevigney has to turn a right wing cross behind for a corner
  • 4:53pm
    90+2 Corner scrambled away then two crosses also cleared
  • 4:54pm
    Barnsley hanging on. O'Keeffe clears in box
  • 4:55pm
    Now Roberts makes much easier save from low Collins 20-yarder which is straight at him
  • 4:56pm
    FULL-TIME: Bolton 1, Barnsley 1