Dashing Dyer does for Bolton
By Alex Livie. Last Updated: 27/02/05 2:50pm
Newcastle ended a fantastic seven days on a high with a spirited victory over Bolton at St James' Park.
The Magpies are desperate to mirror their cup heroics in the league and they went some way to doing that against The Trotters on Sunday.
Fine goals from Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer sandwiched an effort from Stelios Giannakopoulos to hand Newcastle a three points their performance merited.
Newcastle frustrated just as much as they thrilled the home crowd, but their superior desire saw them claim the spoils thanks to Dyer's excellent second-half strike.
Both sides took some time to settle, with a Jay-Jay Okocha free kick which went wide of Shay Given's post the only noteworthy effort in the opening 15 minutes.
Newcastle's problem this term, aside from brittle defending, has been an inability to keep possession and it was in evidence again on Sunday as they repeatedly surrendered the ball after working hard to win possession.
Bolton were knocked out of their stride when Nicky Hunt was forced off with a shoulder injury, having taken the full impact of a clearance from Amdy Faye.
Titus Bramble was almost the unlikely architect of a Newcastle opener, as he galloped down the right before teeing up Alan Shearer but his shot was parried to safety by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Bramble was not done, however, as he collected the rebound and crossed invitingly for Dyer but his header from six yards lacked power and was saved by the Bolton keeper.
Bowyer is starting to show the form that made him such an imposing figure for Leeds and he started and finished the move for the opening goal on 35 minutes.
The midfielder skipped away from two players before releasing Stephen Carr down the right-hand side.
Rather than resting on his laurels, Bowyer made a lung-bursting run which went unchecked and he was rewarded as he met Carr's cross at the perfect moment to head past Jaaskelainen.
Newcastle have a tendency to switch off at the back and Bolton were level on 41 minutes, scoring with their first attack of note.
Okocha cut in from the left and flicked neatly into Kevin Davies, he delivered a first time pass to Gary Speed who nodded the ball on to Stelios and he did the move justice by volleying across Given and into the far corner.
Bolton almost stole a lead at the interval, but Stelios was denied by the feet of Given, while at the other end vociferous Newcastle appeals for a handball in the box by Bruno N'Gotty were ignored by Steve Dunn.
The feeling of injustice Newcastle felt just before the break was nothing compared to the incredulity when Dunn failed to dismiss Fernando Hierro for a cynical foul on Dyer.
Dyer picked up the ball on the halfway line and drove towards goal, but he was halted by a lunge from Hierro just as he was set to see the whites of Jaaskelainen's eyes.
The St James' Park fans bayed for a red card, but were left dumbstruck when Hierro was allowed to remain on the field and insult was added to injury when Laurent Robert's free kick drifted narrowly wide of goal.
Newcastle pushed forward, seemingly determined to press home their superiority, but Faye on two occasions, Robert and Shearer were all off target with presentable chances.
The Magpies came within a whisker of restoring their advantage, but Jean-Alain Boumsong's header from a wicked Robert free kick was hacked off the line.
Newcastle's perseverance paid off 20 minutes from time when Dyer got the goal his display merited. The midfielder reacted quickest to Shearer's shot being charged down to slam a vicious volley beyond the despairing dive of Jaaskelainen.
Bolton had a gilt-edged chance to hit back immediately, but Vincent Candela fired over the bar despite striding through unchecked from right back.
Despite some late pressure on their goal, Newcastle came through the final 10 minutes unscathed to cap a fine seven days for Graeme Souness' men.
Click here to rate the players
|Newcastle United||Team Statistics||Bolton Wanderers|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|6||Shots on Target||2|
|6||Shots off Target||2|
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||38||47|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||38||44|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||38||30|