Jaaskelainen inspires Bolton win
Bolton shot-stopper imperious
Last Updated: 08/11/08 6:20pm
Matt Taylor's second-half goal was enough for a Bolton side inspired by Jussi Jaaskelainen's heroics as they secured a 1-0 victory over Hull City at the KC Stadium.
Hull went into the game on the back of successive league defeats for the first time this season following 5-0 and 4-3 losses to Chelsea and Manchester United, while Gary Megson's side had ended a run of three games without a win last weekend as they saw off Manchester City 2-0.
The hosts started the brighter of the two teams in what was a largely uneventful first half, with Geovanni lively in the opening exchanges and firing in a low, left-footed effort that required the full attention of Jaaskelainen.
Marlon King's back-heeled flick towards goal after 18 minutes rebounded back off the crossbar, the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock prior to the interval, though it was Bolton that took the lead minutes after half-time.
Gavin McCann whipped in a corner and the ball eventually fell to Taylor, with the Bolton midfielder firing in an innocuous looking effort that found its way into the back of the net.
Hull toiled as they went in search of an equaliser, but they could find no way past Jaaskelainen as the Finnish shot-stopper made incredible saves to deny Geovanni and King among others.
Davies wore the skipper's armband in the absence of the suspended Kevin Nolan, whose influence was sorely missed, while Elmander was back in the side after recovering from a groin strain.
Instead it was Hull who always had the edge as they probed down the flanks, and through the industrious Geovanni there was always an outlet.
It was his 13th-minute shot from 25 yards that Jaaskelainen was forced to smother low down to his left-hand post.
The Brazilian then provided an 18th-minute cross from the left wing into the heart of the area, where King showed considerable ingenuity.
Rising for the ball, but with his back to goal, King caught it with his right backheel and then agonisingly saw it clip the crossbar.
Daniel Cousin was also a whisker away in the 31st minute when he attacked a left-wing ball with his head, this time from George Boateng, only for it to drop inches wide of the left-hand post.
It was then sod's law that after doing nothing in the first half, Bolton managed to take the lead five minutes into the second.
McCann delivered a corner into the near post that was met by a looping header from captain Ian Ashbee that came off the back of Gretar Steinsson.
The ball then sat up for Taylor to strike a half-volley from the edge of the area that crept inside Myhill's right-hand post, much to his fury and frustration.
The reason Hull then failed to equalise was down to Jaaskelainen as he stole the spotlight.
A foul from Fabrice Muamba on Dean Marney gave Geovanni the perfect opportunity from 22 yards, but despite looping a right-foot shot over the wall, a full-stretch Jaaskelainen clawed the ball away.
Then in the 70th minute, after Ricardo Gardner was cautioned, Marney whipped in a fierce delivery too quick for Bolton's belated offside trap.
An all-alone Geovanni seemed certain to score as he rose from the edge of the six-yard box to nod the ball down into the turf, only for Jaaskelainen to somehow scrape the header off his line.
Bolton then came close themselves through Taylor and substitute Ebi Smolarek prior to Jaaskelainen again turning on the style.
Again Geovanni was thwarted in the 85th minute as a low, right-footed angled
drive spun off the Finn's body.
Three minutes later and King was the one frustrated as Jaaskelainen pushed away an edge-of-the-area shot before punching clear the loose ball that Geovanni was poised to nod home.
When Ashbee whistled a 22-yard half-volley inches over the crossbar it summed up Hull's afternoon - a case of so near, yet so far.
|Hull City||Team Statistics||Bolton Wanderers|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||2|
|8||Shots off Target||3|
Barclays Premier League
|10||West Ham United||28||31|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||28||25|