Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Norwich City

  • September 17, 2011 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL:

Bolton suffered their fifth successive home league defeat after Norwich City ran out 2-1 winners at the Reebok Stadium.

Former Atherton Collieries man Anthony Pilkington gave the visitors the lead after 37 minutes, before Bradley Johnson doubled their advantage three minutes before the break.

Ivan Klasnic was sent off in first half stoppage time for an alleged headbutt on Marc Tierney, despite television replays later showing contact to be minimal.

Wanderers got themselves back in the game when Martin Petrov converted from the spot on 64 minutes, but Owen Coyle's side failed to break down the Premier League new-boys, who registered their first win of the campaign.

Jussi Jaaskelainen had conceded five goals in the defeat to Manchester United last weekend and he looked a little nervous early on, with Elliott Bennett's strike being tipped over the crossbar by the Wanderers goalkeeper.

Controversy was rife moments later, with the referee's assistant signalling for a Norwich free-kick. Every player on the field had stopped, with the ball at the feet of Steve Morison. Referee Howard Webb then signalled play on and the Canaries forward ran unopposed towards the Wanderers goal, only to be denied by a block from Jaaskelainen.

As a result of the confusion from the officials, Jaaskelainen ran over to remonstrate with the referee's assistant, only to turn around and be shown a yellow card from the villain of the piece, Howard Webb.

The visitors should have taken the lead on 14 minutes as Russell Martin headed straight at Jaaskelainen. The Finn almost fumbled the ball into the back of his own net, but Martin would surely have scored had he headed the ball either side of the 'keeper.

There was concern for Klasnic moments later as he went to ground after an ugly clash with Leon Barnett. The Croatia international looked to have been knocked unconscious by the collision, before re-entering the game three minutes later after treatment from medical staff.

Any momentum that was being built up by both teams ended there and it wasn't until the 37th minute that the game came back to life, with Paul Lambert's side going ahead.

David Fox's corner was knocked back across the box by Barnett and Pilkington directed the ball beyond Jaaskelainen and in off a combination of the heel of Tuncay and a post.

Bolton offered no immediate reply and found themselves two-down six minutes later as Johnson was found unmarked from a Fox free-kick and headed into the corner of the net via the post.

That gave Wanderers a little more urgency going forward but their hopes of a comeback were dashed on the stroke of half-time as Klasnic was given his marching orders for an alleged headbutt on Tierney.

Neither side threatened in the moments after the interval and it wasn't until the 64th minute that the game produced a moment worth highlighting.

David Ngog, on as a half-time substitute for the ineffective Kevin Davies, was tripped inside the box by Barnett and Petrov stepped up to fire the resulting penalty into the bottom corner to bring the hosts back into the match.

Bolton had been given a new lease of life and Ngog came close to equalising just a minute later, only to see his goalbound shot deflected behind for a corner.

Chris Eagles saw a shot tipped behind on 70 minutes, only for referee Webb to award Norwich a free-kick for a foul by Ngog, before Morison came close at the other end just moments later, shooting narrowly wide of the target after turning away from Zat Knight.

Neither side managed to create a major scoring opportunity in the final quarter of the game, that was until Bolton created the best chance of the match in the final minute of stoppage time.

Eagles' cross was met by a superb diving header from Ngog and with the ball seemingly destined for the far corner, John Ruddy pulled off the save of the day to ensure the visitors made their trip back down south with all three points.

The result means Bolton have lost their first three home league games for the first time since 1909/10, when they finished bottom of the old Division 1. It also means Wanderers have lost their last five home league games, a new club record that they would not have wanted.

The Trotters return to action on Tuesday night when they face Aston Villa in the third round of the Carling Cup at Villa Park. Next up in the league for the Whites is a trip to Arsenal next Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Tuncay (Eagles 46), Pratley (M Davies 74), Reo-Coker, Petrov, K Davies (Ngog 46), Klasnic
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Muamba, Kakuta, Wheater
Booked: Jaaskelainen, Reo-Coker, Robinson
Sent Off: Klasnic
Goals: Petrov 64(pen)

Norwich City: Ruddy, Naughton, Martin, Barnett, Tierney, Bennett, Fox, Johnson, Pilkington (Vaughan 77), Hoolahan (Crofts 87), Morison (Holt 76)
Subs Not Used: Rudd, Surman, Martin, de Laet
Booked: Holt
Goals: Pilkington 37, Johnson 42

Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 21,223

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2020/21 Player of the Year?
56.86% Ricardo Santos
17.79% Matt Gilks
10.64% Alex Baptiste
9.94% Eoin Doyle
2.52% Antoni Sarcevic
1.54% Gethin Jones
0.42% Nathan Delfouneso
0.28% Ryan Delaney