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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 21, 2007

UEFA Cup can kick-start Bolton's season - Lee

Sammy Lee is hoping Bolton can kick-start their season after getting a lucky break in the UEFA Cup.

They were heading for their sixth defeat in seven games when Abdoulaye Meite grabbed the equaliser against Rabotnicki with seven minutes to go in the first-round first leg match last night.

The defender toe-poked the ball home after goalkeeper Filip Madzovski had fumbled a free kick from Nicolas Anelka.

It was the defender's first goal of the season - only his second for the club - and a very welcome one at that in Macedonia.

Bolton had gone into the game on the back of a another defeat, this time at Birmingham at the weekend.

Now they can go into the home match against fellow strugglers Tottenham on Sunday with renewed confidence following this 1-1 draw.

Bolton needed a good start in this game in the City Stadium after their poor form in the domestic campaign.

Instead Rabotnicki, joint top of their league, took the lead through Nemanja Milisavlevic in the 53rd minute.

And in front of a passionate home support they proved difficult opponents for the bottom club in the Barclays Premier League.

Bolton boss Lee said: 'You always need luck in games. It does play a part.

'I am hoping we can build on that performance and go on from here.

'What was pleasing was the number of chances we created against a good side.

'There were a lot of positives in my book to be taken from this game.'

Anelka squandered a great chance to give Bolton the lead on the stroke of half-time when he sent his effort into the side netting after rounding the goalkeeper.

Milisavlevic made them pay with a cool finish to send the home crowd into raptures and Lee was critical of his team's defending.

He said: 'What was displeasing was the way we defended. We struggled to contend with 50-yard balls over the top. That is a concern for me.'

Bolton would appear to have the advantage going into the second leg in a fortnight.

But Lee refused to look too far ahead.

'It is only half-time and we are not favourites,' he said. 'They will give us a difficult game in the second half.'