Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Stoke City

  • August 16, 2008 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton top the Premier League table after an opening day 3-1 victory over newly promoted Stoke City.

Wanderers found themselves 3-0 up at the break courtesy of goals from Gretar Steinsson, Kevin Davies and Johan Elmander.

However, they were made to pay for complacency as Ricardo Fuller scored a consolation in second half stoppage time and deny Bolton a clean sheet.

Stoke began the game on the front foot, with their supporters making their presence known in their first top flight game in 23 years.

Summer signing Dave Kitson had two early chances for the visitors, but he headed over both times, before Leon Cort forced Jussi Jaaskelainen into a point blank save, although the flag had gone up for offside.

Elmander had a chance in between for Bolton but his effort flew over Thomas Sorensen's crossbar.

Davies had a chance to open the scoring for the hosts just after the half hour but he headed wide following good work from Matt Taylor

But Wanderers didn't have to wait long to break the deadlock, and they did so in spectacular fashion through the most unlikely of scorers.

Steinsson picked up a crossfield ball and hooked the ball into the area, however, his powerfull cross dipped over Stoke 'keeper Sorensen and into the top corner via the post.

The Iceland international could hardly believe his luck, and it was his first goal since moving to the club in January.

The goal was rather harsh on Tony Pulis' side but Wanderers seemed to take control of the game going into the break and doubled their lead with 43 minutes on the clock.

Gary Cahill's free-kick was delievered into the six yard box and Davies, under pressure from two Stoke defenders, turned and headed past Sorensen.

Just two minutes after failing to defend a set-piece, the Potters were undone again. This time Joey O'Brien played in a free-kick and Elmander headed home from close range to score on his debut.

Elmander had double reason to celebrate as he dedicated his goal to his newly born daughter.

The Sweden international could have grabbed another goal five minutes after the restart but he fired wide after being played through by fellow debutant Fabrice Muamba.

Soon after, he found himself clear on goal once again, but Sorensen reacted quickly to beat Elmander to the ball and clear to safety.

Skipper Kevin Nolan almost made it four in the last fifteen minutes, but his cheeky flick was cleared off the line by Dave Kitson with Sorensen beaten.

Taylor could have added the fourth with time running out, but it was Pulis' side who were to score the final goal, claiming a consolation goal, their first in Premier League history.

Possible future England centre half Ryan Shawcross put the ball into the area and Bolton were caught out, with substitute Ricardo Fuller heading past a stranded Jaaskelainen.

The result leaves Bolton top of the Premier League table after the opening round of fixtures, and they will be hoping to continue their winning start at Newcastle next weekend.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, A O'Brien, Samuel, J O'Brien, Nolan, Muamba, Taylor, Davies, Elmander (McCann 76)
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Hunt, Gardner, Riga, Shittu, Cohen
Booked: Steinsson
Goals: Steinsson 34, Davies 41, Elmander 45

Stoke City: Sorensen, Wilkinson (Dickinson 76), Cort, Shawcross, Griffin, Delap, Olofinjana, Whelan (Lawrence 56), Cresswell, Kitson, Sidibe (Fuller 65)
Subs Not Used: Simonsen, Pericard, Diao, Faye
Booked: Lawrence, Olofinjana
Goals: Fuller 90

Attendance: 22,717
Referee: Chris Foy

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 32 33
20 AFC Wimbledon 33 31
21 Tranmere Rovers 31 23
22 Southend United 33 16
23 Bolton Wanderers 30 11
View Full Standings >>


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