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Match Report


Posted Sun 24 Jan 10 at 13:30 PM

Report: Bolton 2 Sheffield United 0

Second half goals from Gretar Steinsson and Johan Elmander helped Wanderers book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Having disposed of Lincoln at the previous stage, Owen Coyle's side put in another professional performance to remove Sheffield United from the competition.

But it wasn't plain sailing for Bolton, who had to wait until the second half before asserting their dominance on the tie.

Sheffield United provided a stern test for the Whites as they matched up equally in a quiet first half.

However, Steinsson's first goal of the season just after the interval put the wheels in motion for a Wanderers victory, which was wrapped up on 83 minutes when substitute Elmander fired home from a tight angle.

Owen Coyle took the opportunity to hand Jlloyd Samuel and Sam Ricketts first starts under his tenure, while Ivan Klasnic also returned to the starting line-up after starting from the bench at the Emirates Stadium in midweek. Riga and Ricardo Vaz Te were also handed places amongst the substitutes.

Lee Williamson was the first to offer a shot on goal with an ambitious 30 yard volley just a minute into proceedings while Zat Knight, who had two impressive games against Arsenal, was forced to make a timely clearance inside his own six-yard box.

Wanderers best chances came from out wide as Chung-Yong Lee and Jlloyd Samuel delivered crosses that the Blades back-four did well to deal with.

It took until the 18th minute for the game to click into gear and when it did, Klasnic brought a smart save out of goalkeeper Bunn with an instinctive first-time shot from 12 yards out. The Croatian pulled off his marker fantastically well after neat build-up play involving Davies and Cohen, however he was thwarted by the on-loan keeper's low save at his right-hand post.

Camara wasted the Yorkshiremen's best opportunity of the half as after beating the offside trap, he opted to chip Jaaskelainen when in a one-on-one position. But the former Wigan and Wolves striker could only loft his finish over the crossbar, much to the frustration of the 5,000 travelling supporters.

Samuel has never scored for Bolton, but the 28-year-old was presented with a decent opening to get his account up and running midway through the first-half.

With Ricketts operating at left-back, the former Aston Villa man was playing in a more advanced position. When Samuel was picked out by Chung-Yong with a perfect slide-rule pass, he tried to twist and turn Kyle Walker inside the penalty box and was unable to get his shot away and any potential danger was cleared.

Morgan headed over under pressure from a Cahill challenge in the latter stages of the half as neither side managed to conjure up any further opportunities in what proved to be a rather tame first 45 minutes.

It was just two minutes after the restart when Wanderers nudged themselves ahead thanks to Gretar Steinsson's first goal of the season.

Chung-Yong and Davies linked up well on the edge of the Sheffield United box and when the ball was played out to the Icelander, he took his time before slotting through the legs of Bunn from a tight angle.

The goal was just what the game needed after such a quiet first-half.

Sheffield United's response to going behind was a long range daisy cutter from Lee Williamson, which helped draw more noise out of their contingent of supporters packed behind the end they were attacking.

The visitors did enjoy a short spell of possession as they sought a means of getting themselves back on level terms but Wanderers' rearguard stood strong. The one time Henderson did manage to escape down the left, his cross was slightly too high for Camara, who was ready to pounce inside the six-yard box.

With the tie drifting away from the Blades, Kevin Blackwell withdrew Stephen Quinn and Lee Williamson from the action and brought on Jamie Ward and Richard Creswell. Owen Coyle also opted for a like-for-like change in attack as Johan Elmander replaced the hardworking Klasnic, who had volleyed fractionally wide just moments prior to being substituted.

Ched Evans was also introduced with ten minutes remaining but the closest that the Blades could come to levelling was two long-range efforts from Ward that flew comfortably wide of Jaaskelainen's post.

The tie was effectively sealed with seven minutes left when Johan Elmander put Wanderers into a 2-0 lead.

It was the third time this season that Elmander had come off the bench to score following his efforts at Villa Park and Molineux.

The goal itself was not to dissimilar to Steinsson's as the Swede showed great composure to slot past Bunn having been played in down the right by Chung-Yong.

Chris Basham and Riga were given a brief taste of action in the final few minutes but Wanderers place in the 16 of the competition was already assured.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Samuel (Basham 85), Cahill, Knight, Steinsson, Muamba, Ricketts, Chung-Yong, Cohen, Klasnic (Elmander 73), Kevin Davies (Riga 88) (Subs: Al Habsi, Robinson, O'Brien, Vaz Te)

Sheffield United: Bunn, Montgomery, Morgan, Henderson, Williamson (Evans 73), Harper, Taylor, Seip, Quinn (Ward 70), Walker, Camara (Evans 80) (Subs: Bennett, Stewart, Geary)

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