Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

  • December 12, 2010 | By Chris Mann
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There was late drama at the Reebok Stadium as a Stuart Holden volley gave ten-man Bolton a famous 2-1 victory over rivals Blackburn Rovers.

The game appeared to be heading for a bore draw until the 56th minute dismissal of Mark Davies, which sparked the game into life.

Fabrice Muamba opened the scoring in the 65th minute on his 100th appearance for the club, only for Mame Biram Diouf to equalise with three minutes remaining.

Both sides would have expected to leave with a point, but Wanderers pressed forward and won the game less than a minute later as Holden gambled on a knock-down from Kevin Davies and sent a volley beyond Paul Robinson in the Rovers goal.

Rovers broke out of the blocks the quicker and fashioned out the first half chance of the game inside the first minute when El-Hadji Diouf's cross was flicked wide by Jason Roberts.

Bolton bounced back and Mark Davies sent a low shot at Robinson just moments later, before Martin Olsson was inches away from connecting with a Morten Gamst Pedersen cross at the other end.

Martin Petrov sent a low shot narrowly wide of the post in the 21st minute, before later having a goal disallowed for offside, as he looked to make his mark on the game.

Then, on 34 minutes, the visitors should have taken the lead. After Zat Knight had fouled Roberts on the edge of the box, Pedersen's resulting free-kick was spilled by Jussi Jaaskelainen and Gael Givet somehow shot high and wide from inside the six-yard box, under no pressure at all.

Wanderers began brightly after the break and Holden saw a shot blocked by Robinson, just moments after Gary Cahill was denied by the former England goalkeeper from a point-blank header. Cahill, like Muamba, was also making his 100th appearance in Bolton colours.

The game then sparked into life as Mark Davies was shown a second yellow card for leaning into an aerial challenge with Phil Jones with an apparent elbow.

Rovers pushed forward in a bid to break the deadlock and it almost came just after the hour as Christopher Samba's header was blocked on the line by Kevin Davies, before Givet fired high and wide from close range for the second time in the game.

He was left to rue that miss as Wanderers took the lead just moments later through an unfamiliar figure.

After the Blackburn defence had cleared a free-kick from Sam Ricketts, the ball fell to Muamba just inside the area. On his right foot, he turned away from an unrushing Rovers defender and fired low past Robinson with his left, handing Bolton the lead despite their man disadvantage.

Kevin Davies almost added a second on 75 minutes when he sent a Petrov cross narrowly wide of the target, but it was Sam Allardyce's side who were to find the net just three minutes from time.

Hitting Bolton on the counter, Roberts picked out the run of Mame Diouf and after he got away from Knight and Cahill, he flicked a shot beyond Jaaskelainen and into the far corner of the net.

That left the game looking likely to end level but within 20 seconds of the kick-off, the hosts had their lead back as the Reebok support burst into raptures.

A diagonal ball from Ricketts picked out Kevin Davies and he knocked the ball down to Holden who fired a stunning volley into the bottom corner of the Rovers goal, handing Wanderers the three points.

The result leaves Owen Coyle's side occupying sixth place in the Barclays Premier League, ahead of next Saturday's trip to the North West when they visit Sunderland.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Chung-Yong (Muamba 58), M Davies, Holden, Petrov (Taylor 77), Elmander, K Davies
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Steinsson, Klasnic, Rodrigo, Blake
Booked: Knight, M Davies, Elmander, Cahill
Sent Off: M Davies
Goals: Muamba 65, Holden 88

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Salgado (Dunn 72), Samba, Nelsen, Givet, Olsson (M Diouf 61), Emerton, Jones, Pedersen, E Diouf (Hoilett 77), Roberts
Subs Not Used: Bunn, Kallinic, Benjani, Hanley
Booked: Jones, Olsson, Nelsen
Goals: M Diouf 87

Attendance: 24,471
Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
15 Shrewsbury Town 26 30
16 Cambridge United 25 30
17 Bolton Wanderers 25 29
18 Lincoln City 25 28
19 Fleetwood Town 25 28
View Full Standings >>


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