Paris Maghoma rescued a point but a 2-2 Sky Bet League One draw with Shrewsbury dented Bolton’s hopes of automatic promotion.

The third tier’s lowest scorers twice shocked their hosts by taking the lead.

But facing a first home defeat to their visitors for 34 years, Bolton salvaged a draw when Maghoma fired home his ninth goal of the campaign after 71 minutes.

However, Ian Evatt’s side still trail second-placed Derby by three points, with both teams having two further games to play.

Shrewsbury survived an early scare when Mal Benning deflected a Cameron Jerome effort against his own post.

Shrews goalkeeper Marko Marosi – in excellent form throughout – twice denied Aaron Collins before Tom Bloxham’s surging run and excellent delivery set up Daniel Udoh’s 21st-minute opener.

Veteran Jerome equalised after 41 minutes with his first Bolton league goal and first since scoring for Luton in October 2022.

But Jordan Shipley’s stunning left-footed effort from Elliott Bennett’s corner, two minutes later, restored Town’s lead.

In the second half, Bolton battered away in vain until Maghoma’s goal salvaged a draw.

Exeter manager Gary Caldwell piled praise on 19-year-old Sonny Cox after his double earned a 2-2 draw with Bolton – and then joked he was pleased to have already tied the forward to a new contract.

The promotion-chasing Trotters were in complete control of the first half but led only 1-0 courtesy of Paris Maghoma’s strike.

Within 10 seconds of the restart Cox lashed a stunning dipping half-volley into the net to draw Exeter level and four minutes later he held off Ricardo Santos before drilling a superb left-footed shot into the net from 20 yards to turn the game on its head.

Bolton recovered to earn a point through Eoin Toal’s late header, but there was no doubting the star of the show.

“The first goal gave us belief and hope in the game and it was a fantastic finish,” Caldwell said. “His composure, his quality – the keeper probably makes it easier for him, but he still has a lot to do to put it in the goal and it was fantastic.

“His second goal – you probably won’t see a better goal than that in League One all season in terms of a number nine playing against a very quick centre-half, knows he is coming down on him, but the way he shifted the ball from in to out to open up the angle and then the quality of the strike, the power, the precision – it was a sensational goal.

“I am delighted for him and I am delighted we got his contract signed before he did it! There are many more goals to come from Sonny Cox in red and white.

“The early goal helped with that and in the second half we stepped on to things, we were much more aggressive and played the way we wanted to play and we caused them all sorts of problems.”

Bolton boss Ian Evatt was left to rue not putting the game to bed after such a dominant first half from his side.

“In the first half we were fantastic, dominated the game and had massive control, but when you have that much dominance and control you have to turn that into reward and goals and we didn’t,” he said.

“At half-time it was silent here because we had that much control and dominance and we conceded an absolutely crazy goal after half-time. We didn’t reset, that is a collective issue, and then it becomes two, which is unacceptable.

“But, again, great credit to them. They have somehow found a way to rally last 15 minutes and looked the most likely to win it after the equaliser.

“We have hit the bar and had other opportunities where we have not linked that final pass or our finishing has been off.

“That was the case on Tuesday in the second half and we have to be better. When you are away from home and dominate like that, you have to turn it into goals and we didn’t.”

Bolton rescued a dramatic late point in a 2-2 draw at Exeter following a rousing second half.

Bolton were in almost complete control of the first period but only had one goal to show for their efforts, Alan Sheehan pulling the ball back for Paris Maghoma to sweep in from 12 yards after 34 minutes.

Exeter levelled within 10 seconds of the restart as, from kick-off, Ben Purrington headed a Pierce Sweeney long ball into the path of Sonny Cox and he lobbed Joel Coleman from 20 yards.

Exeter went 2-1 up four minutes later when Cox was played in on goal and he lashed a stunning left-footed shot into the roof of the net.

Cox was denied a hat-trick by Coleman’s instinctive close-range save, but Bolton levelled in the 88th minute when Jack Iredale delivered a superb cross which was headed in by Eoin Toal.

Substitute Mo Eisa almost won it in stoppage time for Exeter, but his shot on the turn was superbly saved by Coleman, while Iredale was denied by an equally good save by Vili Sinisalo at the other end in a breathless finish to the match.

Aaron Collins scored his first goal for Bolton as they rejuvenated their automatic promotion hopes with a comfortable 2-0 Sky Bet League One win over Cambridge.

Collins had gone seven appearances since making his move from Bristol Rovers without breaking his duck until netting a 66h-minute match-clinching goal from Paris Maghoma’s assist.

The Welshman had another effort kicked off the line by Liam Bennett as Wanderers returned to winning ways after back-to-back losses at Blackpool and Wigan.

But Ian Evatt’s side never looked likely to suffer a third successive defeat.

Josh Dacres-Cogley crashed a Collins cross onto the bar after seven minutes and Jack Stevens saved from Dacres-Cogley and Ricardo Santos.

Midfielder George Thomason’s right-footed, 18-yard low drive and fifth goal of the campaign finally fired Bolton in front after 35 minutes.

Cambridge, beaten 2-1 when the teams met last month, went close to a 59th-minute equaliser as James Brophy fired narrowly over from Sullay Kaikai’s cross.

Instead, Collins doubled Bolton’s lead to keep the Trotters hard on the heels of top two Peterborough and Derby.

Bolton suffered a huge blow to their promotion hopes as Wigan completed a Sky Bet League One double over their neighbours thanks to a Stephen Humphrys goal at the DW Stadium.

Bolton created the first chance when Paris Maghoma burst his way past Luke Chambers only to be denied by Sam Tickle.

The visitors were then hampered by the loss of Carlos Mendes Gomes to injury in pretty innocuous fashion, but they continued to boss proceedings.

And defender Eoin Toal had two great chances, heading over from a right-wing cross before seeing a long-range strike well saved by Tickle.

The second half was the same story as Nathaniel Ogbeta’s shot was tipped round the post by Tickle, who then turned away a dangerous free-kick by Josh Sheehan.

At this point, Wigan had not registered an attempt on goal, but that changed on 69 minutes when substitute Humphrys – who had scored twice in August’s 4-0 away win – played a one-two with Chambers before prodding the ball under Joel Coleman.

Wigan had chances to kill off the game too, with Thelo Aasgaard’s volley forcing a brilliant save from Coleman before another substitute, Martial Godo, poked the ball just wide.

Bolton had a great chance to level with two minutes to go, only for Ricardo Santos to head wide from four yards, with most of the players on the pitch being embroiled in a melee on the full-time whistle.

Bolton came from behind with two goals in 11 second-half minutes to beat Cambridge 2-1 and close in on the League One automatic-promotion places.

Paris Maghoma and Carlos Mendes Gomes both struck to give the Trotters a victory which took them level with second-placed Derby, who have played one game more.

Cambridge had defended solidly for much of the first half, having taken a ninth-minute lead. Maghoma gave the ball away to Sullay Kaikai, whose low cross looped in off Bolton defender Eoin Toal.

Kaikai saw a shot parried by Joel Coleman, while at the other end Jack Stevens made a comfortable save from Nathan Ogbeta’s low effort.

Bolton started the second half on the front foot, and were rewarded when a 52nd-minute corner was flicked into the path of Maghoma, who touched home.

Eleven minutes later Josh Sheehan was given time and space to pick out the run of Mendes Gomes, who volleyed in from close range.

Cambridge forward Lyle Taylor was shown a late red card for an off-the-ball clash with defender Jack Iredale.

Bolton boss Ian Evatt was pleased with how his side defended after a 2-0 win over Shrewsbury made it four consecutive League One away victories.

The triumph helped the Trotters pile the pressure on second-placed Oxford, with whom they are now level on points.

It was a game of few chances for both sides, but the visitors were the more clinical.

Paris Maghoma’s long-range effort trickled through the palms of the injured Marko Marosi and Aaron Morley confirmed all three points after he found the bottom corner in additional time.

Evatt said: “This is a tough place to come, they are a big physical strong team, every player coming on is my size.

“I thought we defended set-plays superbly well. We are not going to have it our own way all the time; we have to be patient.

“They set up in a good shape, made it difficult for us, difficult to play through, they frustrated us at times, but back to what we spoke about in previous years, they cannot do it for 90 minutes.

“I thought we just started to get them fatigued and started to take over when the first goal came. Then we had to dig deep, and this group can dig deep; they are capable of that, and they showed that tonight.

“They have won their last four home games and not conceded many goals, so to get the victory is really pleasing.

“It is quite a heavy pitch and lots of bobbles, so when we are trying to be precise with our passing, particularly the final third, some of our fast connections against a deep low block couldn’t quite come off at times, but the players didn’t get frustrated.”

Shrewsbury suffered a third consecutive league loss.

Boss Matt Taylor said: “The performance was good up until an error which is uncharacteristic for Marko.

“He has been brilliant since I have been here, and he has been a fantastic servant to the football club and that changed the game.

“The first goal in this league is hugely important, so they go on and we give away a second goal slightly naively.

“For large parts, we were excellent out of possession. We, of course, always want to be better with the ball, but in terms of effort and performance, really good.

“Up until that point (Marosi’s error), we dominated in terms of final third entries, corners and in terms of the areas of the pitch we want to be in.

“We haven’t made them territory advantages count, but we are playing against one of the best and biggest clubs in the league.”

Paris Maghoma and Aaron Morley helped Bolton go five matches unbeaten in all competitions after a 2-0 win over Shrewsbury.

The Trotters dominated the ball for large parts and went close to opening the scoring after 20 minutes.

George Thomason laid the ball off to Victor Adeboyejo in the box before he spun and shot, but his effort flew over the bar.

Bolton broke the deadlock in the 66th minute through Maghoma, whose long-range effort from 20 yards out managed to trickle through the palms of Marko Marosi.

The Shrews had their first shot on target saved with just under 15 minutes remaining. Daniel Udoh slipped in Tom Bayliss, whose goalbound effort was claimed by Nathan Baxter.

The away side were inches away from doubling their advantage when Josh Darces-Cogley drilled a low cross into Dan Nlundulu in the final stages.

The forward turned it goalward, but substitute goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne kept the ball out magnificently with his leg.

Bolton confirmed all three points in stoppage time when Morley placed it into the bottom corner.

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