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Match Report


Posted Sat 13 Nov 10 at 17:49 PM

Match Report: Wolves 2 Bolton 3

Bolton Wanderers edged a thrilling game by a single goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, with the highlight of the afternoon Johan Elmander's sublime goal on the hour mark.

The Swede's sixth goal of the season in the second half had doubled Bolton's lead following Richard Stearman's own goal in the opening minute of the game.

There was also delight for American Stuart Holden, who bagged his first goal for Bolton capping a thoroughly eye catching move to send the side into a three goal lead.

And despite a late rally from the home side and two goals in eight minutes, the three points headed back up the M6 with Owen Coyle's men.


Manager Coyle made one enforced change to the starting line-up that took the field against Everton midweek, with Sam Ricketts filling the void left by the suspended Gretar Steinsson. Elmander, who had netted on his last visit to Molineux was deemed fit enough to start after overcoming a virus.

Bolton were aiming to end a run of four consecutive 1-1 draws away from home in the league, and got off to the perfect start.

With less than 60 seconds on the clock Bolton found themselves in front. After some persistent work down the right flank, Chung-Yong Lee saw his initial cross blocked, before rising above a defender and heading the ball back into the danger zone. Matt Taylor made a dart for the ball at the back post, and in doing so forced Wolves defender Stearman to put the ball into his own net. In truth there was nothing Wolves goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann could do, such was the proximity of Stearman's contact with the ball.

The hosts looked shell-shocked. The ten minutes that proceeded Bolton's opening goal saw the hosts control possession, as they attempted to gain a foothold in the game. But for all the home side's possession, they struggled to carve out any real openings. The one time they did penetrate the Bolton rearguard, Ricketts was alert enough to deny Stephen Hunt a clear shot on target.

It was a fiercely contested game with a cracking atmosphere, as the travelling Bolton contingent raised the volume levels following their early opener.

Chung-Yong continued to cause real problems for George Elokobi down the flank, though one moment of worry for Bolton came when the Wolves left-back caught the Korean with a knee in the back following an aerial duel. After a lengthy period of treatment however, Chung-Yong found his feet and was soon thrust back into the thick of the action.

Chances were few and far between. Davies tested Hahnemann with a rasping drive from the edge of the area, after Fabrice Muamba has dispossessed Karl Henry in midfield.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake then came close for the hosts, albeit with the use of a hand following a ball over the Bolton defence. Luckily for the Wolves forward, he somehow escaped a booking.

Nenad Milijas, scorer of a screamer between the two sides in the previous season, then tested Jussi Jaaskelainen with a free-kick from 30 yards, but the Bolton stopper matched the quality of the set piece with a first class save low to his left.

And the Serbian international continued be the source of any Wolves danger, firing an effort narrowly wide of Jaaskelainen's right-hand post from 25 yards.

Wolves began to grow in confidence, and Matt Jarvis, who had recently been tipped for a call-up to the England squad, latched on to an angled through ball only to be thwarted by a smart save from Jaaskelainen at the near post.

Just before the interval, Gary Cahill headed over from a corner before Taylor dragged an effort wide, as the home side exited to a chorus of boos, testament to Bolton's first half performance.

In the opening ten minutes of the second period there were chances for both sides. Milijas was in the thick of the action again, toe-poking an effort onto Jaaskelainen's crossbar from a clever corner kick, before Muamba saw an effort deflected inches wide of the Wolves goal.

Taylor skewed an effort over the crossbar after some clever link-up play involved Davies, as Wolves left gaping holes in their defence in an attempt to find a route back into the game.

Just as it seemed the game was developing into end-to-end tussle, Elmander conjured up a moment of true brilliance to double Bolton's lead. The Swede received the ball with his back to goal from Holden just inside the Wolves area before being surrounded by a mob of defenders. Elmander then pivoted on the spot leaving the surrounding defenders baffled by superbly bending a right-footed effort into the far corner. It was a truly world class goal.

Things would get even better for Coyle's men minutes later. Holden netted his first goal in a Bolton shirt, rounding off a fantastic flowing team move which culminated in Davies threading a ball into the path of Chung-Yong in the right channel, who had the presence of mind to cut the ball back to the onrushing Holden who duly slotted home.

On 70 minutes Wolves did find the net through Kevin Foley, who received the ball just inside the area after a marauding run down the left flank, before bending an effort into Jaaskelainen's top corner.

Taylor was close to netting a fourth for Bolton with a 30-yard drive which was well beaten away by Hahnemann.

Just as it seemed Bolton would comfortably see the game out, Wolves suddenly found themselves right back in the contest as substitute Steven Fletcher stooped to head home at the back post from a corner. There was no disputing the goal, but the decision that led to the corner was certainly controversial, as it seemed Cahill had diverted the ball off a Wolves striker.

Substitute Ivan Klasnic came close to restoring the comfort zone, as he fired narrowly over Hahnemann's goal.

Another substitute, Martin Petrov, fizzed a ball across the face of goal that Davies was just inches away from connecting with before Ebanks-Blake headed wide for the hosts late on.

Despite Wolves throwing everything at the Bolton backline, there was to be no further goalmouth action.

Wolves: Hahnemann, Foley, Stearman, Mouyokolo, Elokobi, Hunt (Fletcher 65), Henry, Milijas, Jarvis, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle (Unused substitutes: Hennessey, Jones, Van Damme, Mancienne, Ward, Bent)

Bolton Wanderers:
Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Chung-Yong, Muamba, Holden, Taylor (Petrov 80), Elmander (Klasnic 75), K Davies (Unused substitutes: Bogdan, Alonso, M Davies, Rodrigo, Blake)

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