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Match Report


Posted Sat 17 Sep 11 at 17:30 PM

Report: Wanderers 1 Norwich 2

A brave second half showing from Bolton wasn't enough to rescue a point as Norwich took all the spoils by winning 2-1 at the Reebok.

Martin Petrov netted a 65th minute penalty but that was after Wanderers had found themselves two goals behind and down to ten men at half-time.

Quick-fire strikes from Anthony Pilkington and Bradley Johnson had put the visitors in a position of strength, while Ivan Klasnic saw red in the immediate moments before the interval for an alleged head-butt on Norwich defender Mark Tierney.

Wanderers 1 Norwich 2

Summer signings Tuncay and Darren Pratley were given their first Premier League starts for the club in a new-look midfield as Owen Coyle made two changes from the team named against Manchester United. Mark Davies and Chris Eagles were the men to make way, with both dropping down to the substitutes' bench.

There were a couple of early routine saves for Jussi Jaaskelainen, who dealt with long-range efforts from Elliott Bennett and Leon Barnett in the opening ten minutes of the game. In fact it was an interesting start to the game for the Bolton goalkeeper, who also had his name taken by referee Howard Webb for remonstrating with the linesman who failed to award a clear-cut offside decision.

After their early sighters, the Canaries again brought Jaaskelainen into the action when Russell Martin found half a yard of space inside the penalty area. But having been picked out by Wes Hoolahan's cross, the full-back could only direct his header straight at the Finn.

There was a real scare for Ivan Klasnic with a quarter of an hour played as the Croatian was seemingly knocked-out cold during a challenge with Norwich centre-half Leon Barnett. With Klasnic lying flat on his back, Wanderers' medical team raced onto the pitch, however, the number 17 was soon back on his feet.

Chances were few and far between for Bolton in the first half, but Martin Petrov was always an outlet on the left wing. On several occasions the Bulgarian delivered testing crosses, most notably when the faintest of touches from John Ruddy prevented Kevin Davies getting an all-important touch at the far post.

That arrived before an eventful final ten minutes of the half which saw Norwich move into a 2-0 lead and Bolton reduced to ten men.

Anthony Pilkington bundled the ball into the back of Wanderers' net from close-range to give the visitors the advantage on 38 minutes. After Barnett had launched a cross into the area, Paul Lambert's summer signing from Huddersfield managed to tuck his finish between Tuncay and the post following a goalmouth scramble.

The Canaries' second goal of the game was scored just five minutes later as Bradley Johnson planted a low header into the bottom corner of the net. David Fox picked out the former Leeds United man with a free-kick from the right and Johnson glanced the ball past the helpless Jaaskelainen.

Before the half was out, Wanderers were reduced to ten men as Klasnic was shown a straight red card for an apparent head-butt on defender Marc Tierney. Referee Howard Webb communicated with his assistant, who had been closer to the incident, before making his decision.

Coyle's response was to throw on Chris Eagles and David Ngog after half-time, with Kevin Davies and Tuncay the men to make way.

Bolton showed plenty of endeavour in the second 45 minutes as they sought to a method of salvaging something from the game. It was always going to be difficult with a numerical disadvantage but the Whites were given plenty of hope when they were awarded a penalty kick on 64 minutes.

Referee Webb had no hesitation in pointing to the spot when Ngog went to ground inside the area under a challenge from Barnett. Petrov had already been denied by Ruddy with a free-kick from outside the box, but there was to be no repeat from 12 yards out as the Bulgarian slammed the ball into the bottom corner to halve the deficit.

Boosted by the goal, the Reebok became a cauldron of noise as the home fans got behind their team. Ngog saw shot deflected wide and Eagles had an effort from just inside the area palmed over the bar from Ruddy.

The complexion of the game had completely changed, although Norwich still offered plenty of threat, with this particularly evident when Morrison held off the challenge of Zat Knight and fired narrowly wide of Jaaskelainen's goal.

The Whites continued to push forward as the minutes ticked by to a point where Gary Cahill was deployed as an emergency striker during the final stages. And deep into stoppage time, Ngog was denied his first goal in a Bolton shirt when Ruddy made an excellent stop to push his near post header behind for a corner.

But, ultimately, time ran out and it was Norwich who hung on to take all three points back to Norfolk.

Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Tuncay (Eagles 46), Pratley (Mark Davies 74), Reo-Coker, Petrov, Klasnic, Kevin Davies (Ngog 46) (Subs not used: Bogdan, Muamba, Kakuta, Wheater)

Norwich: Ruddy, Martin, Johnson, Morison (Holt 78), Pilkington (Vaughan 78), Hoolahan (Crofts 87), Fox, Bennett, Barnett, Tierney, Naughton (Subs not used: Rudd, Surman, Chris Martin, De Laet)

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