Trotters take Magpies scalp
By Alex Livie. Last Updated: 31/10/04 3:39pm
Bolton moved up to fourth in The Premiership with a deserved 2-1 win over Newcastle.
The Trotters showed more passion than their Geordie visitors and were full value for the points which were secured by Kevin Davies' bundled effort after Darren Ambrose had cancelled out an El Hadji Diouf header.
Chances were at a premium in the opening quarter-hour, with scrappy play and controlled defending stifling the creativity of the two sides.
Craig Bellamy's willing running was always an outlet for Newcastle and the Welshman had the first effort on target on 15 minutes but, after cutting in from the left, his shot lacked power and was easy for Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Newcastle's opening salvo was quickly followed by a shot on goal at the other end, but Jay-Jay Okocha's drive lacked accuracy.
The Magpies were guilty of squandering possession in the opening half-hour and a slack pass from Lee Bowyer almost created an opening for Stelios Giannakopoulos but Andy O'Brien was alert and cleared the danger.
A sloppy piece of play by Newcastle keeper Shay Given presented Bolton with a clear opening, but it was passed up by Davies.
Given inexplicably kicked the ball at Diouf and the Senegalese forward slipped Davies in with a superb pass. However Davies did not do the pass justice as, looking uneasy with the ball on his left side, dragged his shot across the face of goal and wide.
Newcastle's failure to protect the ball continued after the interval and they were made to pay on 54 minutes when Diouf headed The Trotters in front from close range.
The Magpies gifted Bolton yet another throw and, after Radhi Jaidi beat Given in the air, Diouf was on hand to stoop down and head home.
The lead was short-lived, as Darren Ambrose drew Newcastle level with his contender for goal of the season.
There appeared little danger when Ambrose picked the ball up in the middle of the park, but he escaped his marker before unleashing a howitzer which flew beyond Jaaskelainen and into the top corner.
Any hopes the Magpies fans had of their side taking control were dashed, as they continued to gift possession to Bolton and they paid the price when another set piece led to Bolton's winner.
Newcastle failed to deal with a lofted ball into the box and Davies, having flicked the ball on in the first instance, showed more desire than Given, who could have done better, to slide in and slot home.
Graeme Souness threw on Laurent Robert and Shola Ameobi in a bid to preserve his unbeaten record at the helm and the French winger had a great chance to level when showing Fernando Hierro a clean pair of heels, but he opted to pass rather than shoot.
Robert had a better chance three minutes from time after working a great position with his fellow countryman Olivier Bernard, but Jaaskelainen was the equal of his low drive.
Bolton sub Henrik Pedersen should have put some gloss on the scoreline when the ball fell to him after Given could only parry an Okocha drive, but he lashed the ball into the crowd.
The win takes Bolton up to fourth in The Premiership and if they continue to show this kind of passion, they will surely be challenging for a place in Europe.
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|Bolton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|7||Shots on Target||3|
|8||Shots off Target||1|
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|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|