Birmingham City 2-3 Bolton Wanderers

  • March 12, 2011 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/77a6e

Bolton will travel to Wembley in April after securing a 3-2 victory over Birmingham City in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.

Wanderers twice led through goals from Johan Elmander and Kevin Davies (penalty), but were pegged back on both occasions thanks to strikes from Cameron Jerome and Kevin Phillips.

The tie looked set to be heading for a replay, only for Lee Chung-Yong to head beyond Ben Foster in stoppage time to seal Bolton's passage into the last four for the first time in eleven years.

Both sides started brightly and got shots away inside the opening five minutes. Sebastian Larsson struck over the crossbar in the second minute, while former Blues midfielder Fabrice Muamba shot straight at Foster with five minutes gone.

Elmander then had two chances to open the scoring. First, he saw an effort deflected behind for a corner, before rising to meet Petrov's delivery, only to see it fly over the crossbar.

Jussi Jaaskelainen was making his 500th appearance in goal for the visitors and he was tested for the first time on 12 minutes, moving across his line after Curtis Davies had rose highest to meet a Larsson free-kick.

Martin Petrov saw a shot blocked by Stuart Parnaby soon after, before Jerome brought Jaaskelainen into action again with a cross-cum-shot.

Gretar Steinsson became the first player to enter the referee's book on 20 minutes, but he would have cared little as Wanderers took the lead just 60 seconds later.

After latching on to a clever flick from Ivan Klasnic, Elmander raced through on goal before emphatically striking beyond Foster to give the visitors the lead at St Andrews.

Birmingham, who were already suffering with injuries, had to make two changes before the half hour. Martin Jiranak and Barry Ferguson were replaced by Liam Ridgewell and Nathan Redmond, moves which would not have been anticipated by Blues boss Alex McLeish.

The hosts had Bolton under pressure soon after the changes and won a corner on 34 minutes when Jean Beausejour saw a shot deflected behind.

They continued to maintain their pressure and Bolton had Jaaskelainen to thank for denying Jerome a minute later. Both players appeared to miss the ball over on the left touchline, but Jaaskelainen reacted quickest to pass the ball to Cahill, who cleared to safety, or so he thought.

Just a minute later, Birmingham were level. David Wheater failed to deal with a routine long ball forward and Jerome pounced to send a low strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the area, ensuring the two sides went in all square at the break.

After a rather slow start to the second period, the game suddenly burst back into life on 53 minutes when Curtis Davies handled inside his own area. Wanderers fans behind the goal screamed for a penalty, but referee Phil Dowd awarded a free-kick to Birmingham, citing a foul by Gary Cahill as the reason why.

Five minutes later, there were penalty appeals at the other end. In an attempt to round Jaaskelainen, Jerome went down inside the box. Despite the appeals, Dowd awarded a corner, correctly judging Jaaskelainen to have kicked the ball behind.

On 63 minutes, Phillips saw a header cleared off the line by Wanderers substitute Lee Chung-Yong, just a minute before Bolton had the ball in the back of the net.

After latching on to a pass from Elmander, Kevin Davies scuffed the ball into the bottom corner, only to see the offside flag raised against him by the assistant on the far side.

That did not stop the visitors though and they were ahead a minute later. After Kevin Davies was upended inside the box by his namesake Curtis, the Trotters captain stepped up to send Foster the wrong way and put his side back in front.

With 20 minutes to go, Phillips worked himself into a yard of space inside the Bolton box before unleashing an unstoppable shot which came back off the post, with Jaaskelainen beaten.

Elmander had a great chance to seal the victory five minutes later, only to be denied by an unrushing Foster, who had timed his challenge to perfection.

Then, with ten minutes left on the clock, the Blues equalised with a goal out of nothing. After Redmond beat Wheater to a flicked header, the ball fell to Phillips, who turned and sent a looping volley beyond Jaaskelainen and into the back of the net.

With the tie looking set for a replay, neither side made any serious threat in the final third in the latter stages. That was until the final minute of normal time, when Chung-Yong gave Wanderers a sensational victory.

After Kevin Davies had headed a free-kick back across goal, the South Korea international got inbetween two Birmingham defenders to head beyond Foster and book a date at Wembley for in April's semi finals.

Bolton will make the trip down to London on the weekend of 16/17 April, meaning the scheduled Premier League clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage will now be played at a later date.

Back to reality for Wanderers, though. Next up is a trip to Old Trafford when they face league leaders Manchester United next Saturday.

Birmingham City: Foster, Parnaby, Davies, Jiranek (Ridgewell 28), Murphy (Derbyshire 83), Larsson, Ferguson (Redmond 29), Mutch, Beausejour, Phillips, Jerome
Subs Not Used: Doyle, Gardner, Ozturk
Goals: Jerome 38, Phillips 80

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Wheater, Robinson, Elmander, Holden, Muamba (M Davies 61), Petrov (Taylor 90), K Davies, Klasnic (Chung-Yong 61)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Rodrigo, Blake, Alonso
Booked: Steinsson, K Davies
Goals: Elmander 21, K Davies 66(pen), Chung-Yong 90

Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance: 23,699

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