Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Aston Villa

  • April 25, 2009 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton have moved a step closer to securing their Premier League safety after a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Tamir Cohen earned Wanderers a point after Ashley Young had given Villa a first half lead, meaning both sides had to settle for the draw.

Matt Taylor had the first chance of the game with four minutes on the clock, but his tame header was comfortably saved by former Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Brad Freidel.

Gavin McCann saw his crossed free-kick beat everybody on nine minutes, including the post, before Villa began to take control of possession in midfield.

After struggling to bring Jussi Jaaskelainen into action, James Milner's 21st minute shot looked goalbound but for a superb block from Cohen, before Milner forced Jaaskelainen into a low save from a free-kick just two minutes later.

Wanderers spurned a great opportunity to break the deadlock after half an hour. With the goal at his mercy, Fabrice Muamba latched onto a cross from Taylor but got the ball stuck between his feet, allowing Freidel to eliminate the danger.

Captain Kevin Davies brought Freidel into another stop with a header in the 42nd minute, before Villa took the lead just a minute later.

Young bent the ball in from the left flank and despite John Carew failing to make contact, the ball sailed across goal and went in off the inside of Jaaskelainen's far post.

That goal seemed to spark Bolton into life after the restart, as Davies shot just wide following a knock down by Johan Elmander.

At the other end, Young was a constant threat and forced Jaaskelainen into a smart stop in the 53rd minute.

In typical fashion, Wanderers drew level on the hour through a set-piece. Taylor's cross was knocked down by Andy O'Brien and after Villa's defence had failed to clear, Cohen lashed home from close range for his first goal of the season.

Soon after, Cohen went down under a challenge from Gareth Barry in the area, but referee Lee Probert waved away the appeals and play continued.

Carew came close to putting Villa back infront on 77 minutes but shot wide and he had another chance with five minutes to go.

Nicky Shorey's cross from the left was met by the head of Carew, but Jaaskelainen reacted smartly to tip the ball behind for a corner.

As two minutes of stoppage time were added, neither side created any final chances and had to settle for a point a piece.

Wanderers return to action next weekend when they visit local rivals Wigan Athletic, knowing that they can guarantee their Premier League place for next season.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, A O'Brien (Puygrenier 78), Samuel, K Davies, McCann, Muamba, Cohen (Basham 87), Taylor, Elmander
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Hunt, Smolarek, Riga, Makukula
Goals: Cohen 60

Aston Villa: Freidel, Knight, Davies, Cuellar, Shorey, Milner, Petrov, Barry, A Young, Heskey (Delfouneso 76), Carew
Subs Not Used: Guzan, Sidwell, Salifou, Gardner, Albrighton, Clark
Booked: Barry
Goals: A Young 43

Attendance: 21,709
Referee: Lee Probert

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>


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