Macclesfield 2-2 Bolton

By Chris BevanBBC Sport at Moss Rose
Macclesfield Town's Arnaud Mendy celebrates
Macclesfield celebrate after Arnaud Mendy gives them the lead

Bolton survived a huge scare in a thrilling third-round FA Cup tie against Macclesfield as they needed David Wheater's late header to force a replay.

Wanderers took an early lead at Moss Rose through Ivan Klasnic's opportunistic strike but their League Two opponents responded well and quickly levelled through Colin Daniel.

Arnaud Mendy's spectacular 25-yard strike into the top corner put Macc in front with 22 minutes left but Wheater stooped to turn in a free-kick and take the tie back to the Reebok.

And a money-spinning replay is the least that Macclesfield deserved after they made a mockery of the 64 league places that separate the two teams.

Despite boss Owen Coyle making six changes from the side that beat Everton on Wednesday, Bolton seemed to have brought their improved Premier League form to Cheshire when they opened the scoring after only seven minutes.

Home goalkeeper Jose Veiga did well to tip over Chris Eagles' dipping shot but, from the resulting corner, Klasnic was on hand to slot home the loose ball from close range after Darren Pratley's shot came back off Veiga's legs.

But the hosts were not discouraged and Bolton needed two smart saves in quick succession from Adam Bogdan to protect their lead.

Bogdan, beaten from 90 yards by Everton keeper Tim Howard on Wednesday, blocked Daniel's shot when he ran through then brilliantly pushed away Mendy's rasping effort from the edge of the area.

Macclesfield did not have to wait long to draw level, however, as Bolton's next corner, in the 16th minute, led to a goal at the other end.

A lightning-quick counter-attack saw the ball played out to George Donnelly down the left and, from his cross, Daniel took a touch before burying his low shot past Wanderers' Hungarian keeper.

Chances continued to flow, with young Bolton right-back Joe Riley seeing a cross-shot graze the Macclesfield bar and also making some timely tackles to deny Daniel and Donnelly in his own area.

Coyle's side were stunned when Mendy put the home side in front, with the Frenchman taking a touch before smashing the dropping ball into the top corner.

But they recovered to draw level through Wheater's header and could have won it late on, with Martin Petrov's free-kick coming back off the bar and Veiga brilliantly denying Klasnic.

That would have been harsh on Macclesfield, who deservedly hung on to join them in Sunday's draw for the fourth round, and keep alive their hopes of reaching that stage of the FA Cup for the first time in their 138-year history.

Live text commentaryexternal-link