Sam enjoys Bolton return
Magpies off to a flyer
By Peter O'Rourke. Last Updated: 11/08/07 6:50pm
Martins: Goal joy
Sam Allardyce enjoyed a dream return to Bolton as his Newcastle side recorded a 3-1 win at The Reebok Stadium.
The Magpies raced into a 3-0 lead in the first half with goals from Charles N'Zogbia and Obafemi Martins (2).
Nicolas Anelka pulled a goal back for Bolton in the second half, but it was not enough as Newcastle held on to get their season off to the best possible start.
While Allardyce was all smiles his former assistant Sammy Lee has much work to do.
The new Bolton boss has promised to play a more expansive game than his predecessor but they only started performing in the second half.
By then they were 3-0 down after looking nervous from the off.
Newcastle took the lead in the 11th minute with a goal out of nothing. N'Zogbia drove in a free-kick from the right which eluded the Bolton defence and goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Lee looked on a disbelief as the ball nestled in the back of the net after his players had switched off.
Newcastle extended their lead in the 21st minute and again Bolton's defending was poor. James Milner was able to weigh up his cross and found Martins at the back post. He beat Jaaskelainen with a superb overhead kick.
Bolton almost pulled a goal back three minutes later but Steven Taylor cleared Gary Speed's effort off the line.
The agony continued for Bolton in the 27th minute when Martins made it 3-0 with his second goal of the game. He had a bit of luck, however, his shot from 20 yards taking a deflection off defender Abdoulaye Faye to leave Jaaskelainen stranded.
Bolton were struggling to find their rhythm while Martins and his Newcastle team-mates were growing in confidence.
Bolton boss Lee made a change at half-time, bringing on El-Hadji Diouf for Ricardo Vaz Te, who had been ineffective. They immediately looked more of a threat and Newcastle goalkeeper Stephen Harper was tested for the first time in the 47th minute.
He did well to beat away a shot by Gary Speed from the edge of the area after Anelka had laid the ball into his path.
Bolton pulled a goal back in the 50th minute through Anelka after a superb reverse pass from Nolan. There was still work for the Frenchman to do but he gave Harper no chance and found the corner with his effort.
That gave Bolton a fighting chance but they never really troubled Newcastle after that.
Davies then came off in the 59th minute and was replaced by former Fulham striker Heidar Helguson.
Newcastle were finding it hard to raise the tempo although Geremi went close with a free kick from distance in the 61st minute.
Allardyce made a tactical change in the 69th minute, bringing on Nolberto Solano for Martins, and the visitors saw out the match with a degree of comfort.
|Bolton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|0||1st Half Goals||3|
|7||Shots on Target||5|
|4||Shots off Target||2|
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||27||39|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||27||30|
|17||Queens Park Rangers||26||22|