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Match Report


Posted Sat 27 Nov 10 at 17:06 PM

Report: Wanderers 2 Blackpool 2

Bolton Wanderers completed a remarkable second half comeback from two goals down to secure a point and end the November month unbeaten against a resilient Blackpool side.

In a game that was played in sub-zero temperatures, Blackpool took a two goal lead thanks to headers either side of half time from Ian Evatt and DJ Campbell, but Wanderers rallied and salvaged a fantastic point.

Mark Davies was at the heart of both goals, first setting up substitute Martin Petrov for the opener and then lashing home the second after a wonderful flowing move from the Whites to cap a compelling afternoon of football.


Manager Owen Coyle made just the one change to starting line-up that swept aside Newcastle United the previous week. Mark Davies made his first league start of the season, filling the void left by American midfielder Stuart Holden, who failed a late fitness test having sustained a thigh strain in training. Tamir Cohen took up a place on the bench.

For the visitors there was no place for the returning Chris Basham, who departed the Reebok Stadium in the summer, as he sat the game out with a shin injury.

There was a cracking atmosphere in the stadium with the travelling Blackpool contingent completely filling the away end behind their respective goal.

And it was that goal that the first effort on target came. The ever-enthusiastic Fabrice Muamba won a free-kick 30 yards out, and Matt Taylor bent an effort up and over the wall but Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Kingson, decorated in an aluminous green kit, saved well.

On the ten-minute mark Kingson had to again be alert, thwarting skipper Kevin Davies at the near post following a penetrating run from the in-form Elmander.

It continued to be one-way traffic and minutes later Matt Taylor, celebrating his 29th birthday and his 350th career league start, saw a dipping effort land on the roof of the net following a clever knock down from Gary Cahill.

The hosts began to gain a foothold in the contest, and midway through the half enjoyed periods of play with captain Charlie Adam pulling the strings in the middle of the park, though with little cutting edge.

That was until the half hour mark when Blackpool carved out a real chance. A superb sweeping pass from Neal Eardley found Luke Varney down the left flank, and after amajestic first touch cut the ball back to Campbell, who saw an effort defect wide.

But it was from the resulting corner kick that Blackpool made their pressure count. Elliot Grandin's near post set-piece was flicked on by Evatt into the far corner inches above the head of Chung-Yong Lee on the back post.

That goal clearly buoyed the visitors, and Gary Taylor-Fletcher blazed over at the back post with the influential Adam once again at the heart of the move.

Wanderers rallied, and Mark Davies, who had been impressive in the opening half saw an effort deflect wide from the edge of the area and Elmander narrowly failed to connect with Taylor's cross.

Adam again demonstrated his talents just minutes before the interval, audaciously trying to loop an effort over Jussi Jaaskelainen from all of 40 yards.

After the break the game resumed in a frantic fashion. Elmander thumped a free-kick over the crossbar and Chung-Yong bent an effort into the midrift of Kingson after clever link-up play in the front line.

Wanderers continued to probe, as day turned to night. Kevin Davies saw a head well held by Kingson.

But Blackpool showed resilience and arguably against the run of play doubled their lead. It came from another Grandin corner kick, and Varney this time met the kick at the near post to divert the ball over the goal-line despite Chung-Yong's efforts.

Coyle responded with a double substitution. Taylor and Chung-Yong were replaced by Rodrigo and Petrov.

Elmander continued to look the source of any Bolton danger. The Swede dropped a shoulder to lose a defender and saw a low driven effort well saved by Kingson.

Up at the end Blackpool continued to pose a threat and had it not been for a superb Jaaskelainen save from Campbell's effort could have extended their lead.

A moment of magic from substitute Petrov ensured a nervy ending for the visitors. The Bulgarian, who was not only wearing gloves but a scarf such were the sub-zero temperatures at the Reebok, superbly swivelled on a pass from Mark Davies and fired home from the edge of the area into the top corner.

That goal breathed new life into Wanderers as Kingson pulled off a top drawer save from a header from Mark Davies as Kevin Davies failed to turn in the rebounds and Klasnic saw an effort cleared off the line.

It was the home side who dictated play in the remaining ten minutes and got their reward in the dying minutes. A wonderful flowing move that would grace any football pitch in the world was capped by Mark Davies who slammed the ball home from close range after Kevin Davies, Elmander and Klasnic were all involved in some superb interplay.

Petrov saw an injury time free-kick fly inches wide, before referee Mike Dean called time on a fantastic afternoon of football.

Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Knight, Cahill, Robinson, Chung-Yong (Rodrigo 60), Muamba (Klasnic 70), M Davies, Taylor (Petrov 60), Elmander, K Davies (Unused substitutes: Bogdan, Steinsson, Blake, Cohen)

Blackpool: Kingson, Crainey, Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt, Vaughan, Taylor-Fletcher (Ormerod 84), Grandin (Carney 88), Varney (Southern 86), Adam, Campbell (Unused substitutes: Halstead, Euell, Phillips, Edwards)

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