Bolton Wanderers 3-0 West Ham United

  • April 09, 2011 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton warmed up for next weekend's FA Cup semi-final with a resounding 3-0 victory over West Ham United at the Reebok Stadium.

First half goals from Daniel Sturridge and Lee Chung-Yong had Wanderers two-up inside 20 minutes, before Sturridge netted his second, and Bolton's third, six minutes after the break.

The on-loan Chelsea forward had the opportunities to complete a hat-trick, but he was made to settle for a brace as Wanderers signed off in style ahead of the trip to Wembley.

Wanderers started brightly and Johan Elmander shot wide in the opening 60 seconds, before Sturridge saw a goalbound strike deflected behind by Manuel da Costa just a minute later.

From the resulting corner, Gary Cahill rose highest at the far post, only to see his header sail narrowly wide of Rob Green's left-hand post.

The visitors had a great chance to open the scoring on 11 minutes when Wayne Bridge got in behind Gretar Steinsson, but with only Jussi Jaaskelainen left to beat, Steinsson recovered to make a superb challenge and keep the scores at nil-nil.

Steinsson was involved at the other end just a minute later, as his cross was touched on by Martin Petrov for Sturridge to shoot just wide.

Sturridge was already proving to be a thorn in the side of the Hammers backline and he opened the scoring on 14 minutes with a piece of individual brilliance.

After receiving the ball from Elmander, Sturridge played a dummy on the West Ham defenders to work himself into a yard of space, before curling a left-footed strike beyond the out-stretched hand of Green and into the top corner.

Kevin Davies should have doubled the lead just four minutes later, but after racing away from Matthew Upson, he dragged his shot wide of the target with Petrov and Sturridge waiting in the centre.

It wasn't to matter though as Bolton extended their lead on 20 minutes. Elmander played a superb crossfield pass to Petrov, who controlled and returned the ball into the middle for Chung-Yong to rise unchallenged and head past the helpless Green.

Petrov was next to try his luck for the hosts, forcing Green into an uncomfortable parry on the half hour, before Elmander shot narrowly wide of the target from the follow up.

Sturridge headed straight into the hands of the West Ham goalkeeper moments later, before Thomas Hitzlsperger smashed a 20-yard strike straight at Jaaskelainen in a rare moment of attack for the visitors.

West Ham came close within seconds of the restart, but after forcing Jaaskelainen into a fine low save, Demba Ba turned round to realise he had been flagged as offside.

Scott Parker sent a tame shot straight into the hands of Jaaskelainen on 50 minutes, moments before Bolton broke straight up to the other end and added to their lead.

After receiving the ball from Petrov on the left flank, Sturridge cut inside da Costa and raced towards goal, before turning away from Parker and unleashing an unstoppable low strike into the bottom corner of Green's goal.

Fredi Bobic was the last Bolton player to score a hat-trick back, in April 2002, and Sturridge came close to completing one of his own on 55 minutes, only to be denied by a last ditch challenge from James Tomkins.

After recovering from the danger of Sturridge, the Hammers raced up the other end and came close to clawing one back, only for Ba's header to be pushed away by Jaaskelainen.

Sturridge tried his luck again on the hour, but he couldn't get the better of Green with an attempted lob. Moments later, Tomkins hit the Bolton crossbar as West Ham continued in their pursuit of getting a goal back.

Petrov saw a free-kick from long range hit the top of the net on 65 minutes, before Ba hit the post at the other end just a minute later, with Jaaskelainen routed to the spot on his line.

Ivan Klasnic replaced Davies on 82 minutes and came close to adding a fourth just two minutes after his introduction, unlucky to see his strike from the edge of the area fly narrowly wide of the target.

As the game ticked to a close, Elmander saw a shot blocked from just inside the area, before Sturridge had the change to seal his hat-trick in stoppage time, only to see his close range effort land the wrong side of the post.

After two minutes of stoppage time had been played, referee Lee Probert called time on a superb victory for the Wanderers, who will go to Wembley with confidence ahead of the FA Cup semi-final next weekend.

Next up in the league for the Trotters is the visit of Arsenal to the Reebok Stadium on April 24, the first of three games in a week as the season begins to come to a close.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Alonso, Chung-Yong (Taylor 78), Muamba, Petrov (Rodrigo 79), Elmander, K Davies (Klasnic 82), Sturridge
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Robinson, Blake, Cohen
Booked: Cahill
Goals: Sturridge 14,51, Chung-Yong 20

West Ham United: Green, Tomkins, Da Costa, Upson (Jacobsen 46), Bridge, Noble, Parker (Spector 76), Hitzlsperger, Piquionne (Cole 46), Keane, Ba
Subs Not Used: Boffin, Gabbidon, O'Neil, Obinna

Referee: Lee Probert
Attendance: 25,857

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Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 18 16
20 Tranmere Rovers 17 16
21 Milton Keynes Dons 18 13
22 Southend United 19 6
23 Bolton Wanderers 15 1
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