Everton 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • January 04, 2012 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/6c42d

Bolton moved off the bottom of the Premier League after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Everton.

It was a blustery evening at Goodison Park. Nobody would have anticipated a goalkeeper opening the scoring, but that was exactly what happened when Tim Howard put the hosts ahead on 63 minutes.

A routine clearance from the Toffees goalkeeper got caught up in the swirling wind and after taking a wicked bounce around 30 yards from goal, the ball looped over the despairing dive of Adam Bogdan and into the back of his net.

Howard was as surprised, if not a little embarrassed by events. He would surely have felt joy with his strike, but the smile was wiped off his face as Wanderers equalised four minutes later through former Liverpool striker David Ngog.

From then on, Bolton continued to push forward for a winner and it came 12 minutes from time as Chris Eagles picked out Gary Cahill in the Everton box, who struck past Howard to give Wanderers a vital three points in the battle for survival.

Landon Donovan was making his return to Goodison Park after joining David Moyes' side on a two-month loan deal from the LA Galaxy and he was in the thick of the action right from the word go.

The USA international won a free-kick after being brought down by Sam Ricketts on the right flank. Leighton Baines took the resulting free-kick and found Denis Stracqualursi in the Bolton box, who could only succeed in heading the ball wide of the target.

Eagles sent a tame shot straight into the hands of Howard with seven minutes gone, before Gretar Steinsson's cross shot flashed across the face of goal just two minutes later.

Everton broke straight up the other end and Donovan sent a looping header straight at Bogdan, before Stracqualursi fired wide moments afterwards from another Toffees attack.

A mistake from Zat Knight provided Louis Saha with a golden chance to break the deadlock on 15 minutes, but the Everton forward got the ball stuck under his feet and scuffed an effort wide.

Ngog and Leon Osman both had half chances at each end, but neither failed the threaten the opposing goalkeeper as the game passed the half hour mark.

Osman fired wide of the Bolton target again moments later, before Phil Jagielka was the Everton hero as he prevented Ngog from running clean through on goal. Unfortunately for Jagielka, he soon limped off the field after appearing to pick up an injury in making the challenge.

With the half drawing to a close, Everton saw appeals for a penalty turned down by referee Phil Dowd as Donovan went down inside the area under the challenge of Ricketts.

Then, in the final moments of first half stoppage time, Everton were thankful to Howard as he turned an effort from Ngog over the bar as the two sides went in goalless at the break.

Five minutes after the restart, Bogdan made a mess of claiming a Baines corner and the loose ball fell at the feet of Jack Rodwell. The England international couldn't capitalise on Bogdan's error, though, and sent a shot wide of the target.

Howard was having a superb game for the hosts and he frustrated Wanderers again on 51 minutes. Mark Davies skipped away from a couple of Everton defenders inside the box and sent a shot goalwards, only to see it blocked by the outstretched leg of the American.

Then, on the hour mark, Howard pulled off another superb save. This time, Ngog cut inside from the left-hand side of the box and curled a shot towards goal, only for Howard to tip the ball round the post.

The Everton goalkeeper was deservedly heading for a man-of-the-match award but his next contribution will be one that features on 'what happened next' competitions for the next decade.

Sylvain Distin played the ball back to Howard, who launched the ball up field from inside his penalty area. The ball travelled 70 yards before taking a wicked bounce in the Bolton half, sending it looping over the head of Bogdan and into the back of the Bolton net, giving Everton the lead.

Bolton had lost every Premier League game this season after conceding the first goal and they had failed to come from behind to win a league outing since March 2010.

Many would have expected them to crumble under the pressure but to their credit, Owen Coyle's side bounced back and were level just four minutes later.

Ngog made half a yard of space for himself in the Everton box and sent a curling strike goalwards. Howard had earlier stopped a similar effort but this time, the former Liverpool man made his effort count.

Then, 12 minutes from time, the visitors were ahead. Everton failed to clear a Martin Petrov free-kick and Eagles slotted a superb ball through for Cahill, who fired low and hard past Howard from an acute angle to complete the turnaround.

Cahill looks set to leave Bolton in the coming days and his final contribution almost poured cold water on his goal.

In the final minute of stoppage time, Cahill conceded a free-kick just outside the Bolton area. Baines stepped up to shoot and after seeing his strike go up and over the Wanderers wall, the ball cannoned back off the crossbar before being cleared to safety.

Moments later, referee Dowd brought the game to an end as Bolton recorded their first win at Goodison Park since 2005.

Next up for Bolton is the FA Cup third round tie at Macclesfield Town on Saturday, before they return to league action the following weekend at Manchester United.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka (Rodwell 42 (Cahill 61)), Distin, Baines, Donovan, Neville, Heitinga, Osman (Gueye 53), Stracqualursi, Saha
Subs Not Used: Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, McFadden, Anichebe
Booked: Distin
Goals: Howard 63

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Ricketts, M Davies, Muamba, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Eagles (Pratley 81), Ngog (K Davies 87)
Subs Not Used: Lynch, Robinson, Tuncay, Klasnic, Wheater
Booked: Ngog, Reo-Coker, Cahill
Goals: Ngog 67, Cahill 78

Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance: 29,561

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