Northampton Town played out a 1-1 draw with ten-man Bolton Wanderers at Sixfields.
The home side had taken the lead in the second minute through Kieron Bowie and seemed to be in further control when Bolton’s George Thomason was sent off just before the half-hour.
But Northampton couldn’t extend their lead and were instead pegged back when Carlos Mendes Gomes headed in a second-half equaliser.
Northampton’s draw sees them sit 11th in the League One table with 16 games to play. They are 12 points behind the play-offs and 10 clear of the relegation zone.
The Cobblers had made a flying start against the promotion-chasing Wanderers when they took the lead with less than two minutes gone. Marc Leonard’s free-kick hit the post and Bolton failed to clear their lines, allowing the ball to fall for Bowie to thread a shot past Joel Coleman into the back of the net.
Dion Charles fired wide when well-placed as Bolton searched for an equaliser, but the away side’s ambitions were hit when they were reduced to 10 men in the 28th minute. A lunge by Thomason on Aaron McGowan was punished with a straight red for the Bolton midfielder.
Northampton’s best chances to extend their lead saw Will Hondermarck denied by Coleman before Patrick Brough saw a strike crash-land off-target.
Bolton had seen a member of their bench booked for protests in the aftermath of their red card and that discord later saw manager Ian Evatt sent off during the half-time interval and forced to watch the second half from the stands.
Northampton meanwhile suffered a half-time injury setback when goalkeeper Lee Burge was unable to continue, leading to a debut for January signing Louie Molden, with the Cobblers having already lost McGowan to injury in the first-half.
Bolton improved after the break and they would find a way through with just over 15 minutes to play. Eoin Toal saw a strike from outside the box saved by Molden, and when Northampton never fully cleared the corner, Mendes Gomes rushed in to head the ball in via a post.
An eventful conclusion saw Bolton have several chances blocked in a scramble at a corner before Coleman denied substitute Ben Fox and Jon Guthrie headed wide at a late corner.
But the points would ultimately be shared, and Northampton’s attentions will now turn to building on this when they play Leyton Orient in East London on Tuesday (13/02).