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Match Report


Posted Wed 09 Dec 09 at 10:42 AM

Report: Wolves 2 Bolton 1

Battling Bolton were denied a share of the spoils at Molineux as despite dominating the latter stages of the game, they were unable to claim a point that their efforts deserved.

An early goal by Jody Craddock gave Wolverhampton Wanderers a 1-0 half-time lead before Nenad Milijas struck a long-range second on 63 minutes.

Johan Elmander came off the bench to halve the deficit with his third goal of the season, but after throwing absolutely everything at Wolves, the hosts hung on to claim the three points.

Matt Taylor was named captain as Kevin Davies was a notable absentee for the Whites, who served his enforced one-match suspension. Chung-Yong Lee had been an unused substitute the previous weekend and was therefore thrust into the starting line-up by manager Gary Megson.

The South Korean's attacking prowess had been the source of numerous headlines since his switch from FC Seoul, but his defensive abilities were called upon within two minutes of the kick-off when he had to make a clearance on the edge of his own penalty box.

But in the next attack Wolves did take an early lead through Jody Craddock. The central defender looked suspiciously offside when he latched onto a flicked header by Christophe Berra following Nenad Milijas' free-kick, but the linesman's flag wasn't raised and the goal stood.

Wanderers' response was to go on the attack and have a shot from Ivan Klasnic from 18 yards out, but just a minute later Gary Cahill was needed to make a crucial tackle to prevent Sylvan Ebanks-Blake from doubling the hosts' advantage.

The move had stemmed from build-up play by Kevin Doyle, and the former Reading man was instrumental in another counter-attack on 12 minutes when Wanderers lost possession on half-way. But a brave header from Andy O'Brien resulted in Ebanks-Blake's attempt being deflected for a corner.

The goalmouth action didn't cease in the opening quarter of the game as Cahill nodded wide and Milijas tested Jaaskelainen with a speculative volley from distance.

After the frenetic start, the pace of the game eventually calmed down as Gary Megson altered his formation by pushing Chung-Yong Lee up front to partner Klasnic in a 4-4-2 pattern.

Wanderers began to get a foot on the ball as Klasnic, who had already looked extremely lively, powered in second testing shot of the afternoon and Taylor's neat one-two with Cohen was halted by a timely interception from Craddock.

Chung-Yong's movement was causing Wolves' defence a few problems, and just before the half was out, the winger did excellently to skin right-back Berra and cut the ball back invitingly for Klasnic. But unfortunately the Croatian fired over with his right foot from just outside the area.

As with the first 45 minutes, the second half got off to a frantic start as Cahill made a typically brave block to deflect Milijas' curling effort behind for a corner. The Trotters' first chance was a low cross by Steinsson that Hahnemann did well to hold in the wet, greasy conditions.

Bolton pressed for an equaliser and twice it nearly came from corners delivered by Chung-Yong. Taylor firstly caused Hahnemann to parry with a crisp low drive and Cahill clipped another pinpoint cross wide of the target with the outside of his boot.

Then totally against the run of play, Wolves scored their second goal of the afternoon. McCann was tackled in midfield by Doyle and after picking up possession 30 yards from goal, Serbian midfielder Milijas smashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner of the net, past a valiant dive from Jaaskelainen.

As the half progressed, Tamir Cohen's dart from midfield was halted inside the penalty area by a perfectly timed tackle by Ward, Taylor saw an effort saved low down by Hahnemann and Steinsson side-footed over after being picked out by Chung-Yong.

Klasnic saw another fizzing left-foot effort excellently saved by the impressive Hahnemann before Bolton did finally get the goal that their efforts had deserved.

It came from the boot of substitute Johan Elmander, who prodded home from close-range after Klasnic had headed into a packed six-yard area.

It was all Bolton from then on as Wolves had to deal with a barrage of late pressure from Gary Megson's side. Ivan Klasnic had done everything but score and this was reinforced with two more efforts, the second flying just inches over the home side's crossbar.

Bolton pressed and pressed and they knew that it wasn't going to be their day when a desperate goalmouth scramble was somehow hacked clear and McCann had a goal disallowed for offside in stoppage time.

Wolves: Hahnemann, Stearman, Craddock, Berra, Ward, Edwards (Mancienne), Henry, Milijas, Jarvis, Ebanks-Blake (Maierhofer), Doyle (Subs not used: Hennessey, Keogh, Surman, Foley, Castillo)

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

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