Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Sunderland

  • August 15, 2009 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton began the season in defeat as Sunderland ran out 1-0 victors at the Reebok Stadium.

Darren Bent scored the only goal of the game just five minutes into his debut as Steve Bruce celebrated his first game in charge by taking three points.

After seeing the best of the opening exchanges, the visitors took the lead as Bent rose high at the back post, heading Steed Malbranque's cross back across Jussi Jaaskelainen and into the far corner.

Bolton hit back and Fabrice Muamba saw an effort fly wide moments later, before Kenwyne Jones' deflected strike went just over the bar at the other end as Sunderland countered.

Midway through the half, Bent and Malbranque were involved in a superb move, freeing Kieran Richardson who failed to find a way past Jaaskelainen who raced off his line.

Just a minute later, Bent came close to doubling Sunderland's lead, but his turn and shot went just wide of the right-hand post as the Wanderers defence failed to cope with the pressure.

Jones and Bent again came close to adding to their tally, but found Jaaskelainen unbeatable, before Bent saw a looping effort float just wide of goal.

Bolton finally brought Marton Fulop into action at the end of the first half, as Gary Cahill met Matt Taylor's swinging corner, only to be denied by a superb instinctive stop from the goalkeeper.

Neither side created any clear-cut chances as the first 20 minutes of the second period drifted by, with Johan Elmander seeing a superb curling effort fly just wide of goal on 68 minutes.

Debutant Lee Chung-Yong brought some much needed inspiration into Bolton's attacking play and was almost played through on goal, but Elmander's pass was just behind the South Korean as another opportunity fell away.

Then, just as he did late in the first half, Fulop denied Bolton an equaliser in second half stoppage time, with Sean Davis being denied a debut goal by another superb reaction stop.

Referee Andre Marriner blew for time just a minute later and Sunderland took a deserved three points on a disappointing opening day for Gary Megson's side.

Bolton return to action next Saturday, when they face Phil Brown's Hull City at the KC Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, McCann (Lee 68), Davis, Muamba, Taylor, Elmander (Ward 83), K Davies
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Samuel, M Davies, Cohen, A O'Brien
Booked: Davis, Muamba

Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, Collins, Ferdinand, McCartney, Cana, Malbranque (Henderson 46), Cattermole, Richardson (Campbell 76), Bent, Jones
Subs Not Used: Gordon, Nosworthy, Edwards, Leadbitter, Healy
Booked: Campbell
Goals: Bent 5

Attendance: 22,247
Referee: Andre Marriner

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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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