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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 19 Sep 09 at 17:13 PM

Report: Bolton 1 Stoke 1

A late penalty from Matt Taylor earned Wanderers a share of the spoils against a resilient Stoke City.

Chances were few and far between in the first 45 minutes but the Potters nudged themselves ahead shortly into an action-packed second-half through Dave Kitson.

Wanderers pressed and pressed for an equaliser which eventually came on 88 minutes after Sam Ricketts had been fouled inside the penalty area by Danny Collins.


With Sean Davis returning from suspension and Johan Elmander and Ricardo Gardner back fit, Manager Gary Megson had plenty of options to consider when selecting his team. There was however just the one change with Gavin McCann taking the place of Mark Davies in midfield.

The visitors from the Britannia Stadium started the game brightly and could have gone ahead with just a couple of minutes played. Ricardo Fuller successfully chased down a hopeful pass down the right wing, cut the ball back into the penalty area where a last-ditch sliding block from Sam Ricketts prevented Matthew Etherington from testing Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Shortly after and Fuller was again causing problems down the same touchline, skipping past a couple of challenges before taking a tumble under a challenge from McCann. There were appeals for a penalty from the Stoke players but referee Mark Clattenburg correctly adjudged that there was no contact and the Jamaican was booked for simulation.

Rory Delap fired over from long range and McCann made an important headed clearance inside his own six-yard box and on 20 minutes, Gary Cahill, the central defender, advanced forward for a throw deep in Stoke territory and he latched onto a subsequent cross from Tamir Cohen, nodding the ball just over the crossbar.

The first-half was proving to be rather quiet, however there were a few noteworthy moments of goalmouth action. Matt Taylor had a free-kick well claimed by Thomas Sorensen and Cohen volleyed a few yards wide of the target before Jaaskelainen produced a brilliant full stretch save to repel Glenn Whelan's free-kick on 32 minutes. Indeed, it was a fantastic save due to the fact that the Finnish international only saw the ball late but reacted to palm the ball around his left-hand post.

On the stroke of half-time Davies was appeared to be pushed to the ground by former team mate Abdoulaye Faye on the edge of the Stoke penalty box, but bizarrely, referee Clattenburg showed the Wanderers skipper a yellow card for diving - the second he had brandished in the afternoon for that offence.

Gary Megson made two changes at the break as he looked to inject a fresh impetus into the game. Fabrice Muamba and Gretar Steinsson were the men withdrawn with Ricardo Gardner and Ivan Klasnic introduced as Bolton adopted a 4-4-2 system.

The attack-minded change almost conjured up a goal for Matt Taylor moments after the restart, but the midfielder's lob from the edge of the penalty area landed the wrong side of the post.

Stoke took the lead seven minutes into the second half with a well taken finish from Dave Kitson. The flame-haired striker twisted inside Sam Ricketts and placed a shot past the hand of Jaaskelainen to put Tony Pulis' team 1-0 ahead.
Bolton's response to going a goal behind was encouraging and if it hadn't been for a vital headed clearance by Ryan Shawcross then Gardner would have surely nodded the Whites level on 63 minutes.

At this point it was all Bolton and they were again very unfortunate not to equalise on two occasions within the space of a minute.

Klasnic was prevented from marking his home debut with a goal when Sorensen palmed a stinging strike over the bar, and from the resulting corner, Knight connected too well with the ball when it landed at his feet inside the six-yard box and his instinctive first-time volley was fractionally too high.

Stoke's bank of four defenders and four midfielders was proving very hard to break down as the match reached its latter stages with Tony Pulis signalling his intent by withdrawing Kitson and introducing Danny Pugh.

The equaliser that Wanderers deserved came with just two minutes left. A long ball from left-to-right by Gardner landed at the feet of Ricketts, and after darting into the penalty box, he was floored under a Danny Collins foul. Clattenburg pointed to the spot and Matt Taylor duly stepped up to plant the ball past Sorensen and earn his team a draw.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Samuel, Knight, Cahill, Ricketts, McCann, Cohen, Taylor, Muamba (Gardner 46), Steinsson (Klasnic 46), Kevin Davies (Subs not used: Al Habsi, Elmander, Davis, Chung Yong, O'Brien)

Stoke: Sorensen, Huth, Whelan, Fuller, Kitson (Pugh 78), Shawcross, Whitehead, Collins, Delap, Faye, Etherington (Lawrence 63) (Subs not used: Higginbotham, Cort, Beattie, Tuncay, Simonsen)

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