Baggies frustrate Bolton
Battling Baggies earn their first point after an entertaining draw.
By Ashley Marshall. Last Updated: 30/08/08 5:59pm
Carson: Keeps Bolton at bay.
West Brom earned their first point of the season after a battling goalless draw at Bolton.
Bolton's Kevin Davies twice had goals disallowed for offside in the final five minutes, first pouncing on a rebound from a stinging Kevin Nolan drive then latching onto a Danny Shittu header two minutes later.
Do-Heon Kim hit a rasping 30-yard against the underside of the crossbar ten minutes from time, and only a fantastic fingertip save from Jussi Jaaskelainen kept Bolton in the game in a below-par first half.
West Brom had the better of a scrappy first period, passing the ball well and creating chances against a physical Bolton side.
But Nolan and Davies could consider themselves lucky to be on the pitch at half-time, as both Bolton players were guilty of dangerously high and late tackles.
James Morrison brought the best out of Jaaskelainen on 25 minutes, linking up well with Kim only to see his shot tipped around the post.
After an instantly forgettable first half, the game increasingly opened up and, after Scott Carson pulled off an equally stunning stop to deny Riga Mustapha, both sides came agonisingly close to winning it in the last 15 minutes.
The visitors saw a cracking drive from Kim hit the bar and bounce down on the line, with Jaaskelainen denying Ishmael Miller from the rebound, while the Trotters saw two late goals from Davies chalked off by the flag of the referee's assistant.
Bolton had the first chance of the game after five minutes when Ricardo Gardner was fouled 30 yards out, and Joey O'Brien's free-kick was only just too long for Gavin McCann, who could only fire into the side-netting.
Almost immediately at the other end, Morrison cut through the Bolton defence
and, although it looked like he had created a decent chance for himself, he cut
the ball across from the left channel and Miller's shot was deflected over.
BlowThe Wanderers suffered a blow just 14 minutes in when midfielder Joey O'Brien was forced off after a clash of heads in the home penalty area, and he was replaced by Riga.
And the visitors came within a fingertip of taking the lead midway through the
first half when Morrison's curling shot from 25 yards was superbly turned round
the left-hand post by Jaaskelainen.
A wonderful passing move down the left then released Albion new-boy Borja Valero, but the former Real Mallorca playmaker's shot towards the far corner lacked any real sting and Jaaskelainen made the comfortable save.
McCann was then yellow-carded for a late sliding lunge on Leon Barnett, joining his skipper Nolan in the referee's book after a similar challenge involving Jonathan Greening.
Gary Megson will certainly have wanted more from his men against the team that discarded him after he twice led them to promotion to the top flight, but the
Baggies again went close to opening the scoring within three minutes of the
restart when Greening's free kick from the right was headed inches over the
crossbar by Gianni Zuiverloon.
The game then sprang to life on the hour mark, when Miller collected a through-ball for Albion only to fire just over from the edge of the six-yard box.
Then, at the other end, Riga was adjudged to have been brought down inches
outside the penalty area by Paul Robinson and, although the left-back looked to have won the ball fairly, a yellow card was also brandished in his direction.
SaveBolton nearly rubbed salt into the wounds when, from the resulting set-piece,
Riga's shot was arrowing towards the top corner before Carson produced a save as important and impressive as Jaaskelainen's in the first half.
Both sides came close to a late winner, the Baggies being denied by the width
of the goal-line when Kim's 30-yard drive bounced down off the crossbar onto the line and into the path of Miller, whose effort was parried to safety at point-blank range by Jaaskelainen.
Then it was Bolton's turn to suffer when the referee adjudged Greening to have
handled a shot from Nolan only to again give a free-kick on the edge of the area when the offence - if indeed it did hit the hand - looked to have taken place just inside.
Riga again stepped up, but this time his shot flew the wrong side of the post.
Bolton nearly nicked it with five minutes remaining, when a Nolan shot was
blocked into the path of Davies, but his fierce shot into the roof of the net was rightfully ruled out for offside, and the striker knew it was not to be his day when he saw a second effort ruled out for offside in the last minute.
|Bolton Wanderers||Team Statistics||West Bromwich Albion|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|4||Shots on Target||3|
|12||Shots off Target||6|
Barclays Premier League
|16||West Bromwich Albion||17||16|
|17||West Ham United||17||14|