Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Portsmouth

  • February 09, 2008 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton were made to rue missed chances as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Portsmouth.

Former Pompey player Matt Taylor had the best of the chances for Wanderers, but Lassana Diarra's late goal stole all three points for the visitors.

The Trotters dominated the whole of the first half, and after a bref 15 minute spell where Pompey looked dangerous after the break, Gary Megson's side will be wondering how they lost the game.

Kevin Davies had the first opportunity of the afternoon, but fired straight at David James from a good position inside three minutes.

Five minutes later, Matt Taylor fired over from a free-kick after Danny Guthrie had been fouled by Papa Bouba Diop.

Guthrie tried himself soon after, but his header from Gretar Steinsson's cross was blocked by Hermann Hreidarsson and cleared to safety.

David James kept finding himself in the right place at the right time and made another comfortable save from Davies' header after 16 minutes.

Pompey's Noe Pamarot was forced from the field inside the first half hour after a strong challenge from Guthrie and was replaced by Lucien Aubey.

Guthrie, however, was booked for his next challenge. Diarra appeared to have gotten away from the young midfielder, but the on-loan star brought down the Pompey man and was cautioned by referee Peter Walton.

Taylor, who missed a penalty against Reading last week had a great chance to put the hosts into the lead in the 31st minute. Davies worked hard to get inside the opposition area and put the ball into a dangerous area, but the former Portsmouth player somehow put the ball over the bar from 5 yards.

The 26-year-old continued to work hard and had another chance not long after, but his effort hit Lauren in the face before being cleared up field and away from danger.

After a goalless first 45 minutes, Harry Redknapp responded to his side's poor display and replaced Milan Baros with Kanu.

But the change appeared to have no impact at all as Wanderers saw more chances come and go, much to the frustration of the home fans.

Davies twice outpaced Hreidarsson down the right flank before cutting the ball back for Guthrie and Taylor who both fired wide respectively.

Taylor had another fantastic chance to open his Wanderers account before the hour, but he put his right footed shot wide of James' post following good overlapping work from Steinsson.

After all his hard work out wide, Davies managed to beat the offside trap but his shot was well saved by James as the game remained goalless.

Grzegorz Rasiak came on for his Bolton debut on the hour, replacing the influential El-Hadji Diouf and the Pole forced James into another good save almost straight away, running into Ivan Campo's pass and firing towards goal first time.

Another former Pompey man Andy O'Brien almost became an unlikely goalscorer from Wanderers' next attack. Davies flicked on a Campo throw-in, O'Brien reacted quickest but saw his goalbound effort cleared off the line by Hreidarsson, with James, for once, beaten.

Steinsson met a Taylor corner soon thereafter but James pulled off another fine save, forcing Portsmouth into action for the first time in the game.

After Jermain Defoe won a corner, Diarra forced Jussi Jaaskelainen into his first save of the afternoon, with the Finn making a comfortable catch to his right.

But Jaaskelainen was beaten inside the final ten minutes, with a controversial goal from Diarra. O'Brien thought he had stopped the progress of Diarra's run, but his tackle rebounced off Kanu and into the path of the French international who smartly fired into the top corner.

Diarra appeared to be at least two yards offside but the goal was allowed to stand and Portsmouth looked like as though they would be taking all three points.

Substitute Tamir Cohen almost snatched a stoppage time equaliser for the Whites, but James somehow pulled off a world class save to deny the Israeli his first goal for the club and Pompey held on for the win.

The defeat leaves Bolton without a home win in four attempts as they go into a historic double header with Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Cup.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, A O'Brien, Cahill, Gardner, Nolan, Campo, Guthrie (Cohen 87), Diouf (Rasiak 60), Davies, Taylor (Giannakopoulos 82)
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Samuel
Booked: Guthrie

Portsmouth: James, Lauren, Campbell, Hreidarsson, Pamarot (Aubey 27), Hughes, Diarra, Diop, Kranjcar (Utaka 74), Baros (Kanu 46), Defoe
Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Davis
Booked: Hughes
Goals: Diarra 81

Attendance: 18,544
Referee: Peter Walton

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Portsmouth 19 42
2 Bolton Wanderers 18 39
3 Oxford United 18 36
4 Stevenage 20 36
5 Peterborough United 19 35
View Full Standings >>


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