Sat 03 Oct 09
at 17:49 PM
Match Report: Bolton 2 Spurs 2
Wanderers and Spurs played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in front of 21,305 spectators at the Reebok Stadium.
Those in attendance were treated to an entertaining 90 minutes of football as Spurs twice fought back to earn a share of the spoils.
Ricardo Gardner had put Wanderers ahead inside three minutes, before Niko Kranjcar levelled for the North Londoners on 33 minutes.
Captain Kevin Davies looked to have won the match for the Whites, however a headed goal from Vedran Corluka with 17 minutes remaining sealed a share of the spoils for Harry Redknapp's team.
The result means that Wanderers enter the international break unbeaten in five matches and sitting in 12th position in the Barclays Premier League.
Following two match-winning contributions against West Ham United and Birmingham City, Chung-Yong Lee was handed his first Wanderers start by Gary Megson. The Whites' manager reverted back to a 4-5-1 formation, with Kevin Davies the lone frontman as Ivan Klasnic started the match on the substitutes' bench.
Wanderers carried on where they left off at St Andrew's, taking the lead with just three minutes played. Ricardo Gardner was the man getting on the scoresheet, firing into the roof of the net from just six yards out.
In similar fashion to the first goal against Birmingham, it stemmed from a long throw which landed at the feet of Chung-Yong Lee at the far post. The midfielder fired in a stinging shot that Cudicini could only parry, and Gardner was excellently positioned to convert the rebound.
It was the perfect start by Bolton and the home fans acknowledged that. The loud vocal backing transferred to the pitch as Gary Megson's men refused to sit back on the early lead and pressed for the second goal.
That nearly came on the quarter hour mark through a neat intricate move involving Chung-Yong, Gardner and Cohen. Slick one-touch play on the edge of the box culminated in Wanderers' Jamaican winger embarking on a mazy dribble, and after releasing Cohen with a slide-rule pass, Cudicini raced off his goal line to thwart the Israel international.
Gardner saw a 30 yard shot fly wide before Spurs' first real effort of the game came on 25 minutes. It was a curler from Niko Kranjcar that was deflected harmlessly wide for a corner.
Indeed, Gardner was relishing a central midfield role and certainly proved the man of the half for Bolton. Only a desperate block inside the penalty area by Jermaine Jenas denied the number 11 from doubling the Trotters lead, and he was also helping to break up play - a sliding challenge on Aaron Lennon the highlight of his defensive duties.
Spurs did get themselves level on 33 minutes through Kranjcar. A ball into the penalty area by Wilson Palacios was expertly headed down by Peter Crouch, and the Croatian international lashed in a first-time volley past the dive of Jussi Jaaskelainen from 12 yards out.
Tottenham's equaliser was their first and last opportunity of the half, with Gary Megson's rearguard, on the whole, looking well organised and resilient.
Cohen prodded wide of the post and Taylor's close range flick was saved by Cudicini before the first half was up.
No changes were deemed necessary by either manager as Wanderers started the second 45 minutes on the offensive with Kevin Davies chipping tamely into the arms of Cudicini from an acute angle.
Davies was proving to be his usual menacing self and his self-belief and endeavour conjured up a shooting opportunity for Chung-Yong shortly after. After forcing Huddlestone into a defensive mistake, he squared the ball to his South Korean team mate, but unselfishly, Chung-Yong looked for the pass to Taylor rather than testing the Tottenham goalkeeper from a promising position.
It was a lively opening to the second period as Spurs too had the chances to nudge themselves ahead. Palacios sliced wide following Jaaskelainen's parried save, Huddlestone ambitiously lashed a 30 yard free-kick over the crossbar and Crouch side-footed just too high from inside the area.
Chung-Yong's trickery was causing plenty of problems for Tottenham's defenders and the warning signs were apparent when his inch perfect corner was met by a towering Gary Cahill header that was fractionally too high.
Then, just three minutes later, the South Korean's skill did bear fruit, as Kevin Davies scored for the second time this season to restore Wanderers' lead.
A back-heel by the number 27 was timed to perfection for Cohen, who galloped into the area and chipped a delightful cross to the far post. The skipper braved a potential collision with the post and stooped to nod Bolton back into a deserved advantage.
But the lead was to be short lived. Only a minute after Jaaskelainen had repelled Crouch's effort onto the crossbar, Corluka made it 2-2 on 73 minutes.
Lennon's corner was whipped into the far post and the right-back manoeuvred his neck enough to generate the power needed to plant a header back across goal and into the top corner of the net.
The game was as open as ever entering the final 15 minutes as Taylor and Crouch both forced their respective opposition goalkeepers into close range saves.
Substitutes Jermain Defoe and Ivan Klasnic both blazed wide in the final five minutes, but there was to be no more goals as Gary Megson and Harry Redknapp had to be content with a point entering the international break.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Samuel, Knight, Cahill, Ricketts, Taylor (Mark Davies 80), Gardner, Muamba (McCann 73), Cohen, Chung-Yong (Klasnic 86), Davies (Subs not used: Al Habsi, Robinson, Shittu, Steinsson)
Tottenham: Cudicini, Huddlestone, Lennon, Jenas, Keane (Defoe 66), Palacios, Crouch, Bassong, Kranjcar, Corluka, Assou-Ekotto (Subs not used: Gomes, Hutton, Bale, Bentley, Naughton, Dawson)