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Match Report


Posted Wed 04 Jan 12 at 23:06 PM

Report: Everton 1 Wanderers 2

David Ngog turned in a man of the match performance on his fist return to Merseyside, helping Wanderers recover from a goal down to pick up three points against Everton at Goodison Park.

Having fallen behind in quite remarkable circumstances after Tim Howard's long punt forward had bounced up and over stand in stopper Adam Bogdan and into the Bolton net, Owen Coyle's charges responded in the best possible fashion.

Two goals in the space of five second half minutes turned a game that was played in gale force winds on its head.

Ngog netted his second goal in a Bolton shirt, sidestepping John Heitinga before planting a left-footed effort from 12 yards beyond Howard.

Gary Cahill, who was also outstanding throughout, then doubled Wanderers' tally with a precise drive from an acute following a clever reversed pass from Chris Eagles.

All in all it was a thoroughly professional performance from Wanderers, who picked up three points to haul themselves off the foot of the Premier League table.

Gary Cahill

There were two changes to Owen Coyle's starting line-up, one of which was enforced. Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen was ruled out with a thigh strain sustained late on in the draw against Wolves four days earlier, meaning Bogdan assumed the role between the sticks. Academy youngster Jay Lynch provided back-up on the bench due to Rob Lainton's injury.

The other change to the side saw Eagles restored to the starting XI in place of Ivan Klasnic, with Coyle opting for a flexible 4-5-1 formation.

It was the second meeting between the two sides in just six weeks, with the Toffees having triumphed in the reverse at the Reebok.

And it was the hosts who engineered the first real opening of the contest. American international Landon Donovan, making his first start of a second loan spell at Goodison Park, was felled by Sam Ricketts on the left angle on the Bolton penalty area. Left-back Leighton Baines swirled a cross into the penalty area through a ruck of players, with the ball eventually cannoning off beanpole striker Denis Stracqualursi and narrowly wide of Bogdan's goal.

The swirling wind and greasy playing surface was always going to make for difficult playing conditions, though the two respective goalkeepers would have been grateful for early touches of the football.

Bogdan plucked Donovan's looping header out of the air whilst Howard took no risks opting to tip Eagles' deflected cross over his crossbar.

As the half wore on, Ngog began to grow more and more into the game at the spearhead of Wanderers' attack. Bolton were able to frustrate the hosts in forcing them to play most of their own football inside of their own half, whilst the summer signing from the red half of Merseyside covered copious ground and caused the Everton defence problems.

The home side continued to press forward, and Stracqualursi was denied a first Everton goal by the outstretched boot of Zat Knight before Leon Osman rasped an effort within a whisker of Bogdan's far post after clever hold up play from Louis Saha.

It was no surprise that Wanderers' first sight of goal fell the way of Ngog. A long punt forward bounced over the head of Phil Jagielka and with the summer signing baring down on goal, only a superb recovery tackle prevented the Frenchman from a clear effort on Howard's goal.

Ngog continued to bore the brunt of the Trotters' forays forward. In first half stoppage time Nigel Reo-Coker slipped the ball into Ngog's feet, who from the edge of the area stung the palms of Howard.

After the interval there was an added impetus to the Bolton attack, as Mark Davies danced around Sylvain Distin and into the Everton penalty area following Petrov's feed only to be thwarted by Howard's legs.

Howard was again forced into action by Ngog on the hour mark. The Bolton striker expertly controlled the ball in the smallest of spaces before bending an effort goalwards that fully extended the American stopper.

Bolton were looking the more likely to break the deadlock, that was until the 63rd minute when the hosts took the lead in bizarre fashion.

Goalkeeper Howard hammered the ball forward from inside his own penalty area and after a freak bounce 30 yards from the Bolton goal, Bogdan was left backpedalling as it looped up and over his head.

It was an unfortunate way to concede, but Wanderers responded in the best possible fashion immediately pegging Everton back.

Nigel Reo-Coker was once again the driving force, powering into the penalty area and succeeding in smuggling a pass to Ngog. With a number of blue shirts in attendance, Ngog shifted the ball onto his left foot before planting a shot into Howard's bottom corner.

It was no more than Wanderers deserved, as the home fans once again began to voice their frustrations.

And the decibels in those aforementioned frustrations became all the more vocal, as Wanderers were fired into a lead by Cahill.

The defender found a pocket of space after Everton had failed to deal with a free-kick. Eagles' cute angled pass found the England international, who from an acute angle arrowed a low effort across Howard and into the far corner of the net to send the travelling Bolton fans into raptures.

With time ticking away Coyle introduced Darren Pratley and Kevin Davies to sure things up and it paid off, as Everton were unable to carve out any more chances aside from Baines' sublime free-kick hitting the underside of Bogdan's bar. Referee Phil Dowd brought the game to an end on what was a thoroughly pleasing evening for the Whites.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Heitinga, Jagielka (Rodwell 42 (Cahill 61)), Saha, Donovan, Stracqualursi, Distin, Neville, Osman (Gueye 53) (Unused substitutes: Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, McFadden, Anichebe)

Wanderers: Bogdan, Steinsson, Knight, Cahill, Ricketts, M Davies, Muamba, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Ngog (K Davies 87), Eagles (Pratley 81) (Unused substitutes: Lynch, Wheater, Robinson, Tuncay, Klasnic)

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