ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Reebok Stadium, England
Referee: G Poll | Attendance: 27196
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2 - 1
Forget the first-half drudgery; this was a thoroughly entertainign match after the break. Darren Ambrose scored a cracker after Bolotn's opener had come from a more pregmatic approach but when Davis made it 2-1 you couldn't help but feel they deserved it. Newcastle were poor until going behind woke them up but Bolton were purposeful from the off.
Free-kick is finally taken and headed clear by Gardner before Graham Poll puts whistle to mouth and ends both the game and Graeme Sounesses unbeaten run as Newcastle manager. 2-1 Bolton the final score.
The award of a free-kick for Newcastle just inside the Bolton half precipitates a bit of pushing and shoving over ownership of the ball.
Davies intelligently wanders with the ball to the right flank, waits for a Newcastle man to come and then flicks it off him for a Bolton throw as the clock shows 94 minutes.
Twice in the last couple of minutes a Bolton man has taken the ball to the corner to run down the clock and frustrate the visitors while whistles rain down from the stands.
Okocha ligthens up a tense closing few minutes with a back-heel then one-two to release Gardner down the left. He is a joy to watch sometimes.
Four added minutes are not well received at the Reebok Stadium.
Jaaskelainen calms for some composure from his team-mates as Newcastle end the game with a flurry before punting the ball straight to his opposite number and inviting Newcastle back at them. Practise what you preach Jussi.
Robert plays a one-two with Bernard from the corner and skips round a challenge to set up an angled drive. Jaaskelainen gets fingertips to it to turn it round his far post
Bernard tries to show Hierro a clean pair of heels but the defender makes a timely, sliding tackle to concede a corner.
Pedersen spurns a (half) chance to wrap up the points. A stinging drive from Okocha is only parried by Given and, though the angle was tight, Pedersen should really have hit the target with the rebound. He went for the near post at pace when shooting across Given would have been a better bet.
Bolton make their final change as Anthony Barness gets a ten minute run out at the expense of Diouf.
Robert, with a stupid, clumsy challenge on Hunt that smaks him down on his backside earns the wrath of the home fans and a yellow card from the referee.
Really, really lively game now with Bolton marginally on top.
Diouf stumbled through a couple of challenges on the edge of the box before laying it wide to Davies. His first time drive towards the near post finds Given in a solid position to deal with it.
Persistence from Elliot, strength from Ameobi and a blistering break forward from Robert and something is on for the visitors. In full flight and just 20 yards out you would have put your house on Robert having a pop but instead he elected to square it towards Shearer but the weak pass is cut out by N'Gotty.
Bowyer looked to have wasted a good position just inside the box by sending a cross for Ameobi too close to Jaaskelainen but the keeper spilled it and had to be brave to smother the rebound at Ameobi's feet.
Final Newcastle substitution of the afternoon is Olivier Bernard for Carr.
Pedersen, who has caused Newcastle real problems since he came on, cut inside fom the right to set up a shooting chance. Perhaps took one stride too many and Elliot was able to throw himself in front of the effort to block well.
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Shay Given brings down an enormous punt in a Zidane-esque style. I bet he's a tidy outfield player as well.
Shearer further antagonises the home crowd by refusing to go to the referee when instructed like a petulant child. When he finally does the referee just gives them a ticking off and no more.
A bit of a tussle between Diouf - who needs to be careful after being booked earlier for celebrating - and Sheaer leads to 'a bit of afters' but it is much ado about nothing.
Newcastle respond to the setback by withdrawing goalscorer Ambrose to bring on Shola Ameobi.
An early ball into the Newcastle box was competed for by a number of players from both sides and a flick on, I didn't catch from who, looped the ball over everyone to the far post where Davies, arriving late, slid in with an outstretched leg to hook the ball back across Given and into the net.
Hate to say I told you so but...Davies shows committment and desire to reach a ball before anyone else and sneak the ball under Given to restore Bolton's lead. 2-1
Both team will think they can win it from here and I'd be surprised if there aren't more goals in this one.
A hopeful punt forward gives Bellamy a sniff that something could be on. Hierro had an age to deal with it but wanted a second touch and it nearly let bellamy in. The second touch was more emphatic though but Newcastle will think that they can exploit the Spaniard's lack of pace here.
Another Okocha monster throw causes the usual panic in the Newcastle box and there is a muted penalty appeal when Speed is muscled over but it was never a realistic one.
Substitution from Newcastle sees Lauren Robert join the action in place of the ineffectual Kluivert.
Flowing move from Bolton prompted by Okocha, surprise, surprise is wasted by Diouf running into a blind ally on the left when an early cross was the better bet.
Poll, who's refereed this game with good common sense, lets Butt off with a warinign for a late but unmalicious foul on Davies.
Substitution for Bolton sees the lively Stelios replaced by Bolton's top goalscorer Henrik Pedersen.
Phew! After a turgid first 45 minutes we've had 10 times the action in the first 15 of the second-half.
Bolton's turn to break and a defence spliting pass from Okocha sets Diouf on a race against Given but the keeper, out of his box sharply, wins it hands down.
Bowyer goes close twice in a minute. First a great cross finds him 10 yards out in space but it is fractionally too high and he can't get over it. Second, another cross, this time a low inswinger from the right flashes just in front of Kluivert before Bowyer, six yards out skies it over the bar. luivert had been called offsideon the second one.
The blue touch paper in this game has finally been lit and Newcastle have finally started to play as the game visibly seems to have spread out.
Fernando Hierro is on for the concussed Jaidi.
Ambrose brought the ball down after it had been in the air for an age, skipped past two desperate challenges in the centre of the pitch before unleashing a fierce drive that gave the diving Jaaselainen no chance. Wonderful strike from the youngster.
Maybe the 4-3 thriller is still on the cards. Ambrose shows a level of skill and purpose absent from the first half to restore parity with a sensational strike from 30 yards. 1-1 and game on at last.
Diouf is booked for the partial removal of his shirt. Graham Poll the referee has the good grace to look apologetic when dishing it out.
About six players lept for the first ball and it was probably a Newcastle man who headed it straight up in the air. Jaidi lept with Given to nod it goalwards - he got a punch in the face in the process and his nose is spilling blood still - where Diouf found a gap between three Newcastle men to nod home from a yard out.
Another Okocha long throw, level with the 18 yeard line finally pays of as a mele in the box finally gets the ball to Diouf on the line. Even he can't miss from there.1-0 Bolton.
Well worked short corner and cross from Bolton finds Jaidi rising highest in the box but his powerful, straight header flys straight at Given who holds comfortably.
A wonderful cross field pass with the outside of the foot followed by a deflected shot from Nolan almost creates something but Diouf's first touch, not for the first time, lets him down in the box and the half-chance passes.
Lively skills from stelios as he lifts the ball over Carrs head and runs round him out on the touchline before the reteating Hughes pulls him back to concede a foul. Carr is not having a happy afternoon at all.
We won't get goals that way. Nolan and Stelios exchange unintentional passes in the Newcastle box as poor control from the pair of them causes a pin-ball scene that comes to nought.
I'm reminded that Newcastle were at nil-nil with Man City last week and the game finished 4-3. Fingers crossed for a repeat.
No changes in the break from either team; hopefully the same will not be true of goalmouth action.
Bolton have certainly been in control of this game but, despite a number of dead ball situations promising much, they haven't really forced Given in to any meaningful action. Newcastle will be happy to still be level after offering nothing to the game other than solid defending. It's got to get better than this in the second-half.
Curtain comes down on the first half that, in a word, has been disappointing.
Davies in given time and space to stride forward with the ball from half-way. His dinked chip forward is aimed for the late run of Stelios but he is watched all the way by Carr who gets in a timely defensive header to clear.
Kluivert, who has been annonymous in the withdawn striker role, makes a contribution of sorts. He is called offside.
Craig Bellamy gets his second talking to from the referee in a game that has been anything but dirty.
Davies is upended by Ambrose to set up a free-kick for Bolton along way out to the right. Stelios elected to take a quick one while everyone was lining up but his delicate chip just floats into Given's hands. Wasteful.
Okocha changes his play a bit and gets an early centre in from the left when the Newcastle defence were expecting some trickery. Almost paid off as it just brushed over Speed's leap and caused O'Brien to work in digging out a clearance. Better from Bolton.
Ambitious diagonal flighted ball - fully 60 yards - from Stelios aimed at Diouf is over hit and ends up like a top quality rugby kick into touch.
This really has been a desperate showing from Newcastle and I suspect Souness will be having a few words at the break.
Newcastle look to build something from the back and, after stringing a sequence of passes together for what seems like the first time, Hughes criminally lets it run under his foot and out for a throw. Very poor.
Bowyer went close for Newcastle in a rare foray forward but Jaaskelainen just watched it sail wide.
Diouf can consider himself unlucky. Looking for a way through the pair of Butt and Hughes he had finally wriggled his way through when Butt hauled him down. Free-kick strangley went against Diouf - the boy who cried wolf perhaps for a player who is never shy in hitting the deck.
Shearer is pulled up for pushing when challenging for a high ball which delights the home crowd - biggest cheer of the afternoon so far.
Souness is animated and furious about something. Perhaps the performance of the lineman nearest to him but more likely the insipid performance of his players who are being out fought in a disappointing first-half.
Bolton are forcing the game at the moment with Newcastle looking a little ragged. They haven't put together an attack of note in the last 20 minutes.
Stelios really doesn't need asking twice to let fly. He cut inside from the left wing and, head down, hit a piledriver that was still rising when it passed Given's goal.
Yet again Davies wins a header from Okocha's throw but Speed fluffs the first touch when it looked like a shot was on.
Diouf lifts the home crowd with a lung-bursting run down the right flank, skipping past Butt as if he wasn't their in the process but he runs out of steam and is tackled by O'Brien in the end.
Stelios tries a very ambitious shot from a free-kick, 30 yards out and well wide.
Given is a lucky man. His woeful free-kick from deep in his own box goes straight to a Bolton man and comes back quickly to Davies, in space, on the left hand side of the box. Given flew out to close him down but Davies slips it past him - fortunately for the Irishamn, it goes wide of his far post. A great chance spurned by Davies.
Little flurry of activity has sparked up the game (a bit) at least.
Sloppy back-pass in his own box from Bowyer almost lets Stelios in but O'Brien gets him out of jail by stretching a leg to nick it on past the advancing Bolton player. Stelios throws in the ubiqitious tumble and roll once tackled in the box but the referee again waves away Bolton protests.
Diouf tries to spin around Carr and dives once the ball is out of his control. referee is not fooled.
Bolton are on top in terms of possession but you get the feeling if Newcastle could just get their passing going properly they would carry a bigger goal threat.
Okocha's bombing throws are obviously of concern to Newcastle, and rightly so. They are standing someone right in front of him every time but the latest was again flicked on by Davies but no one wa able to benefit.
Okocha tries to inject a little flare with a rasping drive from just wide of the corner of the Newcastle box. Worth a try but it curled the wrong way and didn't trouble Given for a moment.
Hasn't really ignited yet this game. Both teams working hard but it's pretty ordinary fare so far.
For a moment Carr looked to have time to measure a short cross from the right side of the box but he takes too long and a recovering tackle from Nolan snuffs out the danger.
electric break from Bellamy as he takes the ball at pace from the half-way line to the dead ball line. Does the right thing in cutting it back to around the penalty spot but his break was at such pace none of his team-mates are there yet.
Another long Okocha throw finds the head of Davies and his flick on isn't dalt with by Kluivert. Breaks back to Davies who blasts it across the goal but well wide.
Free-kick is fizzed into the box by Stelios and Given, flapping at it a bit, helps it on its way for a throw.
Carr gets himself into trouble out by the left corner flag. Played for a free-kick under heavy Bolton pressure but was correctly penalised for handball after falling down and holding it.
A trademark huge throw into the Newcastle box from Okoch causes a moments panic both is ultimately well defended by Elliot.
Meaty back-pass from Carr forces Given to show his ball skills which he does in an unfussy manner.
Diouf does the hard work to turn inside Hughes and get to the edge of the box but then fluffs an attempted cross.
Hughes rather makes a meal of a minor foul from Diouf. free-kick and nothing more though.
Okocha twists and turns out on the right flank and, despite Newcastle doubling up on him he still digs out a cross but it drifts behind the goal for a goal-kick.
Some sharp passing down the right hand side forces Shearer out wide but his cross is blocked. Newcastle come again and the ball drops for Bellamy in the box. His subtle lay-off aimed at Sheaer is weak when a shot looked the better option.
Shearer and Bellamy kick-off on a crisp autumn afternoon in Bolton.
Occupancy of fourth place is the prize on offer for a win toady - for Bolton a draw will surfice. Kick-off is just just a minute away.
The Reebok Stadium this afternoon sees two of the Premiership's form teams go head to head in what promises to be an open and entertaining affair. Bolton have lost just once in the last eight - including games against Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United - while Newcastle are undeated in eight since Graeme Souness took charge, though thisis the first time his charges take on opposition from above them in the league. Something has to give (unless it's a draw) but goals semm to be very much on th
Join us live at 14.15 GMT as Bolton's Gary Speed faces his former team.