Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Birmingham City

  • May 09, 2010 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/b9086

Bolton finished the season with victory as goals from Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic sealed a 2-1 success over Birmingham City.

Davies headed Wanderers into the lead on 33 minutes, before Birmingham had a goal wiped out for handball just a few minutes before the break.

Klasnic added a second on the hour following good approach work from Vladimir Weiss and that looked to have sealed the points until James McFadden pulled one back on 77 minutes after Jussi Jaaskelainen had saved a Christian Benitez penalty.

Wanderers, however, held to to claim the three points which see them finish the season in 14th position in the Premier League.

Despite the final result, it was Birmingham who created the first chance of the game with just two minutes on the clock.

Lee Bowyer released Cameron Jerome down the right flank and after he played the return ball, Bowyer somehow dragged his shot hopelessly wide when found unmarked on the edge of the box.

If that miss wasn't bad enough, Matt Taylor was left just as red-faced at the other end on 15 minutes when he failed to open the scoring.

After Kevin Davies picked out Jack Wilshere, the on-loan midfielder squared the ball to Taylor but he took too long to control the ball and saw his one-on-one with Joe Hart saved by the Blues 'keeper.

Bolton kept up the pressure and almost went ahead a minute later as Zat Knight curled an effort against the post from 25-yards.

Jerome headed over the bar twice in quick succession before the deadlock was broken on 33 minutes by the Wanderers skipper.

After a Barry Ferguson foul on Wilshere, Paul Robinson's resulting free-kick picked out Davies and he headed past Hart to claim his ninth goal of the season.

Alex McLeish's side thought they were level just five minutes later when McFadden had the ball in the net, but it was ruled out by referee Kevin Friend.

Sebastian Larsson picked out the Scot and after seeing his initial shot saved by Jaaskelainen, he put the ball in the net at the second attempt, only for it to be controversially ruled out for handball. McFadden was booked as a result of his protests, with Larsson and Roger Johnson also being cautioned by the match official.

Into the second half and Birmingham almost pulled level on 52 minutes, but Jaaskelainen was alert to keep out Johnson with a fine save.

It proved to be an important stop as Bolton doubled their lead on the hour. After a curling pass from Wilshere, the ball appeared to have evaded Vladimir Weiss but he reacted well and laid the ball off to Klasnic who calmly slotted it into Hart's bottom left corner.

The goal prompted a response from the terraces, with chants of "Coylie, sign him up!" echoing around the Reebok Stadium in what was the last game of the Croat's loan deal from Nantes.

Owen Coyle then made a double substition, with Lee Chung-Yong and Stuart Holden coming on in place of Weiss and Taylor in midfield.

Holden, returning after a two-month absence with a fractured leg, soon came close to adding a third but his long-range shot flew narrowly wide of goal, with Hart looking beaten had it been on target.

Benitez, a substitute for Larsson, should have pulled Birmingham back into it on 73 minutes, but he sent his header wide of goal.

After a foul by Robinson, he had the chance to make amends just four minutes later from the penalty spot.

Jaaskelainen, however, saved the spot kick and then a follow up from Bowyer, before McFadden got in ahead of both Knight and Gary Cahill to poke the ball home via the underside of the crossbar.

The game was stopped for a moment late on after a Birmingham ran fan on to the pitch, much to the amusement of fans and players alike.

After play restarted, Klasnic came close to adding a third in stoppage time but it didn't matter in the end as Wanderers claimed a 2-1 victory on the final day to complete a league double over McLeish's side.

Bolton finish the season one place and two points worse off than last season and with a big summer of changes expected at the club, who knows how many who started the game will still be around come mid-August.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Weiss (Chung-Yong 65), Muamba, Wilshere (Gardner 90), Taylor (Holden 66), Klasnic, K Davies
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Samuel, M Davies, Ricketts
Booked: Klasnic, Steinsson
Goals: K Davies 33, Klasnic 60

Birmingham City: Hart, Carr, Ridgewell, Johnson, Vignal, Larsson (Benitez 65), Bowyer, Ferguson, McFadden, Michel (Fahey 74), Jerome
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Murphy, Parnaby, Carsley, Mutch
Booked: Bowyer, Ridgewell, McFadden, Larsson, Johnson
Goals: McFadden 77

Attendance: Kevin Friend
Referee: 22,863

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23 Wycombe Wanderers 0 0
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