Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Cardiff City

  • November 03, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton began life under Dougie Freedman with victory, as they came from behind to beat Cardiff City 2-1 at the Reebok Stadium.

Both sides were poor in the first half, but Cardiff managed to take a lead into the break as Craig Noone wrongfooted Adam Bogdan in the Wanderers goal to put the Bluebirds in front after 40 minutes.

Things picked up after the restart and two goals in the space of five minutes secured the points for the hosts, as a Martin Petrov penalty, followed by a neat flicked finish from David Ngog completed the turnaround.

Ngog was sent off for a second bookable offence in stoppage time, but Cardiff failed to make the most of their man advantage as Bolton held on to claim the win.

The pre-match build up at the Reebok included a spectacular fireworks display, but, in truth, supporters could have been forgiven for thinking that would be the only entertainment of the night.

New Wanderers boss Freedman made four changes to the side that lost at Middlesbrough last weekend, with Zat Knight, Matt Mills, Keith Andrews and Darren Pratley all recalled to the starting eleven, as the team lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Both sides would register just one shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, however, as they both looked to cancel each other out defensively.

The first talking point of the game arrived on 13 minutes, with Cardiff midfielder Kim Bo-Kyung stumbling over inside the Bolton box, under a challenge from Andrews. The travelling supporters appealed for a penalty, but referee Tony Bates waved play on.

There was another penalty appeal on the half hour, but this time it was the home supporters making all the noise. Chris Eagles advanced into the Bluebirds box and went to ground under a challenge from Matthew Connolly, but, once again, the referee ignored the protests.

The opening goal arrived on 40 minutes, as the Bolton defence failed to clear their lines and Noone dragged the ball through a body of Wanderers defenders and past a wrongfooted Bogdan to put the Championship leaders in front.

Wanderers responded well and came close to an unlikely equaliser as Pratley's 30-yard strike was deflected behind for a corner, but they would go in a goal down and were booed off at the break.

The teams came out unchanged at the start of the second half and Bolton immediately looked more dangerous than they had in the entire opening 45 minutes, with a cross-cum-shot from Lee Chung-Yong bringing City goalkeeper David Marshall into a smart stop.

Andrews and Chris Eagles would then try their luck from distance, with Eagles bringing a smart stop out of Marshall, while Andrews saw his shot sail narrowly wide of the target.

Bolton survived an onslaught of corner kicks before the hour mark, prompting Freedman into his first change, as Petrov came on for the ineffective Pratley.

Ngog came on for Kevin Davies shortly afterwards and the Frenchman had the ball in the net with his first touch on 66 minutes, only for his celebrations to be cut short by the assistant referee's offside flag. Television replays showed the decision to be harsh on Ngog, who was still awaiting his first Reebok Stadium goal since his move from Liverpool last year.

Knight headed wide from a corner and Ngog brought another stop out of Marshall, before the Wanderers striker won a penalty after going down inside the box under the challenge of Bo-Kyung.

The decision looked harsh on the Cardiff midfielder, but that didn't matter to Wanderers, who levelled courtesy of Petrov's calmly taken spot kick.

Bolton completed the turnaround five minutes later, as Sam Ricketts fired a shot goalwards and Ngog reacted smartly to flick the ball into the net with his heel and finally net his first goal at the Reebok.

Chung-Yong was booked for a foul moments later and was lucky to avoid a second yellow card with 10 minutes to go, in what was his final action of the game, with Tim Ream taking his place in a tactical shuffle.

Cardiff piled man forward in the final 10 minutes, with Noone coming close to an equaliser on two seperate occasions.

Their chances of a route back into the game increased in the first of five added minutes, with Ngog sent off for a second bookable offence.

The visitors were denied a penalty in the third added minute, as Mark Hudson appeared to be brought down inside the Wanderers box by Warnock, prompting a melee of players to surround the referee.

Cardiff's final chance arrived in the final minute. After Bolton failed to deal with a corner, City goalkeeper Marshall fired a shot goalwards, only for the ball to strike Bogdan in the face and go behind, leaving Wanderers to celebrate picking up the three points.

The win moves Bolton up one place to 17th in the Championship table, with Leicester City next up for the Trotters on Tuesday night.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Ricketts, Knight, Mills, Warnock, Chung-Yong (Ream 79), Andrews, Pratley (Petrov 57), Eagles, M Davies, K Davies (Ngog 63)
Subs Not Used: Lynch, Sordell, Afobe, Spearing
Booked: Warnock, Chung-Yong, Ngog
Sent Off: Ngog
Goals: Petrov 69(pen), Ngog 74

Cardiff City: Marshall, Connolly, Hudson, Turner, Taylor, Cowie, Whittingham, Bo-Kyung (Gunnarsson 70), Noone, Mason (Frei 83), Helguson (Gestede 63)
Subs Not Used: Lewis, McNaughton, Kiss, Conway
Booked: Connolly
Goals: Noone 40

Referee: Tony Bates
Attendance: 17,304

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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