West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 19, 2011 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/c1feb

Bolton remain in the relegation zone after falling to a 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.

Jerome Thomas gave Roy Hodgson's side the lead with 16 minutes on the clock, steering clear of the Wanderers offside trap before rounding Jussi Jaaskelainen and tapping in to the empty net.

Thomas turned from hero to villain five minutes later, though, as Fabrice Muamba went down inside the box under his challenge. Ivan Klasnic stepped up to take the resulting penalty and put the visitors back on level terms.

From that point on, Bolton never really looked like winning the game and they were punished for a poor second half performance by Shane Long, who rose highest to nod home the winner with 56 minutes on the clock.

Following on from the 5-0 success over Stoke City a fortnight ago, Bolton started well on their travels, with Chris Eagles having the best of the early chances with a dipping half volley which flew narrowly wide of Ben Foster's left-hand post.

Jaaskelainen was called in to action for the first time on four minutes, as he tipped a header from Jonas Olsson behind for a corner.

Moments later, Bolton were back up at the other end, with Gary Cahill seeing a goalbound header cleared off the line by Gareth McAuley. Cahill appealed for a handball, but the claims were waved away by referee Neil Swarbrick.

With 15 minutes gone, Cahill was alert at the other end. Long had got in behind the Wanderers defence and just as he looked set to pull the trigger, Cahill made a fantastic sliding challenge to deny the Republic of Ireland international.

Albion maintained their pressure and it paid off just 60 seconds later as Thomas got away from Joe Riley, beating the offside trap in the process, before rounding Jaaskelainen and poking the ball home to give the hosts the lead.

In response to going behind, Bolton hit back and were level just five minutes later as Thomas fouled Muamba inside the box and Klasnic powered home the resulting spot kick.

After giving away the penalty, Thomas' mixed afternoon got even worse when he was shown a yellow card on 27 minutes for another foul challenge on Muamba.

Eagles hit a free-kick straight at the wall as half entered it's final 10 minutes, before the Wanderers midfielder was involved in a clash with the Baggies' Steven Reid.

As the half drew to a close, Bolton stepped up their pursuit of a goal and it almost came five minutes before the break.

Mark Davies played a smart one-two with Klasnic, dummied his way past a couple of defenders and got a shot away at goal, only to be denied by the outstretched leg of Foster, ensuring the sides went in level at the interval.

Unfortunately for the 2,600 travelling Bolton supporters, the side that showed up in the first half was completely unrecognisable after the restart, as the hosts took control of the game.

With 56 minutes gone, David Wheater made a superb block to deny Long, but almost immediately afterwards, Long got the better of Wheater in the air and nodded a Nicky Shorey cross beyond Jaaskelainen as West Brom went back in front.

Thomas had the opportunity to make it three just after the hour, but with only Jaaskelainen left to beat, he played the ball to Youssouf Mulumbu who fired over the bar.

Wanderers made a double substitution as the game entered the final 20 minutes, as Martin Petrov and David Ngog were brought on to replace Eagles and Kevin Davies.

Ngog had an immediate chance to impress with a surging run from the halfway line, but after twisting and turning into a dangerous position, he took one touch too many and conceded possession.

Zoltan Gera sliced over the bar on 77 minutes and that proved to be the final chance of a lackluster second half of football in the Midlands.

Victory for the Baggies moves them in to the top half of the Premier League table, while Coyle's Bolton side remain in 18th as a result of their ninth defeat of the season.

Wanderers return to action next Saturday when they host Everton at the Reebok Stadium, a fixture they haven't lost since 2008.

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Shorey, Brunt, Mulumbu (Cox 90), Morrison, Thomas (Dorrans 80), Gera, Long
Subs Not Used: Fulop, Tchoyi, Dawson, Jones, Fortune
Booked: Thomas
Goals: Thomas 16, Long 56

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Riley, Cahill, Wheater, Robinson, Eagles (Petrov 69), Muamba (Kakuta 81), Reo-Coker, M Davies, Klasnic, K Davies (Ngog 70)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Tuncay, Knight, Pratley
Goals: Klasnic 21(pen)

Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Attendance: 26,221

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 26 27
20 Milton Keynes Dons 27 25
21 Tranmere Rovers 25 22
22 Southend United 26 13
23 Bolton Wanderers 24 7
View Full Standings >>


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