Sky Bet Championship: Bolton and Ipswich share 0-0 stalemate
Last Updated: 15/12/14 1:50pm
David McGoldrick: Unable to break the deadlock
Ipswich missed the chance to replace Middlesbrough as Skybet Championship leaders as Eidur Gudjohnsen made his long anticipated comeback for improving Bolton.
Victory over the Trotters would have sent Mick McCarthy's side to the summit after Derby's 2-0 defeat against 'Boro earlier in the day.
The Tractor Boys created all the best chances as they extended their unbeaten run to eight games.
However, keeper Andy Lonergan kept them at bay, twice denying Jay Tabb as well as Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick.
Gudjohnsen, 36, returned to his original English club as a 60th minute substitute having scored his last goal for the club against Ipswich 14 years earlier.
There was no fairytale comeback for the ex-Chelsea, Barcelona, Monaco and Spurs star, though, just a late booking for fouling Noel Hunt.
But with top scorer Craig Davies and on loan Joe Mason missing with hamstring trouble and Max Clayton carried off, he will get plenty of opportunity to open his account in the coming weeks.
Ipswich created the best of the early chances with McGoldrick's shot blocked by Dorian Dervite and Murphy denied by Lonergan's acrobatics.
Ex-Spurs and Southend man Dervite, despite a solid recent central defensive pairing with Matt Mills, was preferred to Josh Vela at right back.
David Wheater made his first senior appearance since August 30 to partner skipper Mills while teenager Conor Wilkinson was handed a full Championship debut.
Ipswich's only change from the 4-1 win over Leeds saw Teddy Bishop come in for injured Stephen Hunt.
Wanderers, with only two goals in their previous three outings, threatened briefly through Clayton before Christophe Berra produced a timely charge down.
It was virtually Clayton's final involvement before a knee injury ended his afternoon on a stretcher after just 26 minutes. And there was further disappointment for home fans when Neil Lennon introduced Jay Spearing as the ex-Crewe starlet's replacement rather than Gudjohnsen.
Spearing, marginalised since Lennon took over from Dougie Freedman, went close with a long range drive as Bolton reverted to a 3-5-2 re-shuffle.
Ipswich, unbeaten against Wanderers since the Lancastrians dropped out of the Premier League in 2012, struggled to make inroads against the new formation. And McGoldrick was booked for bringing down regular Bolton outlet, Liam Feeney.
However, the Tractor Boys improved after the break with Lonergan spreading himself superbly to deny Tabb a 56th minute opener.
Another little-and-large confrontation between the two ended with Lonergan flinging himself to keep out the pint-sized midfielder's diving header.
In between, Gudjohnsen received a hero's welcome as he replaced Darren Pratley on the hour. The Icelander's presence certainly lifted the atmosphere inside the hail-lashed Macron Stadium, although McGoldrick almost ruined the mood with a left foot shot from the edge of the area.
When the Republic of Ireland striker did hit the target, Lonergan was again equal to the task.
In contrast, Wanderers didn't force a single save out of Bartosz Bialkowski and stoppage-time appeals for handball against Berra were waved aside.
However, Lennon's side are now six unbeaten with three successive clean sheets as they continue to climb up the table.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 13th Dec
M'boro2 - 0Derby
Birm'ham6 - 1Reading
Bolton0 - 0Ipswich
B'mouth5 - 3Cardiff
Brentford3 - 1Blackburn
Charlton2 - 2Blackpool
Leeds0 - 1Fulham
Norwich5 - 0Huddsf'ld
Rotherham0 - 0N Forest
Sheff Wed0 - 1Wolves
Watford2 - 1Wigan
Sky Bet Championship
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