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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
15:58 6th May 2012

ALBION came from two-down to snatch a last-gasp point and add a finishing gloss to a great week for Roy Hodgson.

Five days after being appointed as the new England manager, Hodgson saw his club side undeservedly fall two behind at the Reebok Stadium.

Despite starting the day in the comfort of tenth place, the Baggies gave as good as they got in Lancashire but trailed Martin Petrov's 24th-minute penalty and Billy Jones' bizarre own goal on 72.

However, Chris Brunt gave the Baggies hope with a fine finish 15 minutes from time.

And sub James Morrison - on his return from injury - volleyed home a dramatic 90th-minute equaliser to leave Wanderers' survival hopes hanging by a thread.

The draw means the Baggies have now matched last season's 47-point tally.

Although Bolton's plight was the day's big talking point, it was Hodgson who was the main focus of the massive away following.

The FA-bound head coach was granted a hero's welcome when he stepped off the team coach.

And he raised even more cheers when, along with the players, he threw t-shirts bearing the message 'Premier Team, Premier Fans' into the away end at the start of the team's pre-match warm-up.

More than 4,600 Albion supporters packed behind Ben Foster's goal paid their own tribute to Hodgson by wearing England gear and waving flags of St George.

For his final away game, Hodgson made two changes. Marc-Antoine Fortune and Keith Andrews came in for Peter Odemwingie (hamstring) and Jerome Thomas. Morrison returned to the bench after a six-week knee-injury lay-off where he was joined by Scott Allan, back from his loan spell at Portsmouth.

Owen Coyle named the same team that lost to Tottenham in midweek.

And it was the hosts, who started the day in the drop-zone on goal difference, that threatened first.

With barely 90 seconds on the clock, Chris Eagles lashed a 25-yard effort, which Foster had covered, into the side-netting.

Albion soon put the Bolton goal under pressure and, after neat link-up play down the left, Fortune headed Liam Ridgewell's centre straight at Adam Bogdan from ten yards.

Foster was equally untroubled when, within 60 seconds, David Ngog's ambitious drive flew straight at him after taking a deflection off Andrews.

Long-range efforts had, literally, become the order of the day and, in the tenth minute, Baggies striker Shane saw a 30-yard drive held by Bogdan.

There was a nice ebb and flow to the game and Foster was called on to make his first notable save in the 11th minute. After being caught in no man's land when Jonas Olsson headed away a ball into the box, Foster retreated to push away Petrov's stinging 20-yard drive.

Moments later, Olsson did well to prevent Ngog getting on the end of Petrov's dangerous centre but the ball broke to Kevin Davies at the far post, who blazed over from a tight angle.

It was a let-off for the Baggies, but they went close themselves moments later when Bogdan produced a fine point-blank save to keep out Gareth McAuley's downward header from Brunt's corner.

Bolton surged straight upfield and Petrov and Ngog combined again to create space for Kevin Davies at the far post, who missed his shot on the stretch.

Back came Albion and after Graham Dorrans and Youssouf Mulumbu's perseverance, Fortune miscued wide from inside the box.

Then, a great move involving Dorrans and Fortune set up a chance for Brunt, who dragged his 15-yard shot wide of the left-hand post.


The chances kept coming at both ends and Dorrans had to produce a vital last-ditch challenge to prevent Eagles getting a clear sight of goal.

Albion went agonisingly close on 19. Fortune outmuscled Tim Ream to find Long, who spun David Wheater and saw his close-range shot deflected onto the near post by Bogdan.

Foster was called on to make another important save when he tipped away Ngog's downward header, which bounced viciously up off the turf, from Petrov's flag-kick.

Brunt twice went close in quick succession, seeing a cross-cum-shot arc just wide of the far post before firing straight at Bogdan from the angle of the Wanderers penalty area.

However, just as Albion were threatening to get on top, Bolton took a 24th-minute lead.

Mulumbu was adjudged to have pushed Mark Davies in the back as he advanced into the box and Petrov made no mistake from the penalty spot, showing nerves of steel to find the bottom left-hand corner.

Bolton retreated into their shell somewhat after going in front and it was Albion who dictated the tempo. However, after a rare lull in the goalmouth action, it was the Trotters who threatened next when Eagles lashed a terrific 18-yard effort inches over.

Both teams created one more chance before the break. On 42, Fortune got in between Wheater and Bogdan to take down Olsson's stunning diagonal ball. However, the striker was forced wide by the Bolton keeper and, under pressure from former Albion triallist Ream, he shot wide from a tight angle.

In the final minute, Kevin Davies headed harmlessly over from Petrov's corner.

Wanderers were forced into a change at the break, with Zat Knight replacing Wheater, who had undergone lengthy treatment during the first half.

The fast-and-furious-paced action continued after the break, but chances suddenly become at a premium.

However, that all changed in the 58th minute.

Ridgewell found Dorrans unmarked in the box with a terrific left-wing centre, but the Scotland international could only place the ball straight at Bogdan from 15 yards.

Moments later, Bogdan did well to pluck Olsson's towering header out of the air from Brunt's corner.

Bolton recorded an effort on goal of their own on the hour-mark when Eagles fired just over from the edge of the box.

But Albion were gradually building up a head of steam and, roared on by the vociferous away support, Olsson flashed a header across the face of goal from Brunt's corner.

The Baggies went even closer on 66 when Ridgewell powered onto Brunt's pass and forced a fine near-post block out of Bogdan.

Bolton responded with a mini-spell of pressure of their own. Olsson did well to block Bolton sub Ivan Klasnic's volley inside the Baggies box before Foster pulled off a one-handed wonder save to keep out Kevin Davies' header from Petrov's centre.

But Wanderers secured a two-goal cushion on 72 - in very fortuitous circumstances.

Petrov broke down the left and from his low centre, Ridgewell's attempted clearance ricocheted off Jones and flew past the helpless Foster.

But Albion were back in it inside three minutes. Long forced the ball into Brunt's path and the skipper blasted an unstoppable 15-yard effort past Bogdan.

Bogdan had to produce fine saves to keep out Ridgewell and sub Simon Cox in the dying stages.

But Albion weren't to be denied.

In the 90th minute, a terrific move involving Fortune, Jones, Long and Cox set up Morrison for a far-post volley which he smashed into the net. Cue delirium in the away end!

BOLTON (4-4-2): Bogdan; Boyata, Wheater (Knight HT), Ream, Ricketts; Eagles, Reo-Coker, M Davies, Petrov (Chung-Yong 81); K Davies, Ngog (Klasnic 68). Subs not used: Jaaskelainen (gk), Alonso, Ryo, Vela.

ALBION (4-4-2): Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Brunt, Mulumbu (Scharner 78), Andrews (Morrison 74), Dorrans (Cox 81); Fortune, Long. Subs not used: Fulop (gk), Allan, Shorey, Dawson.

GOALS: BOLTON - Petrov (pen 24), Jones (own goal 72). ALBION - Brunt (75), Morrison (90).

BOOKINGS: BOLTON - Boyata (foul 38). ALBION - Jones (foul 45), Long (foul 54), Andrews (foul 56).

REFEREE: K Friend (Leicestershire).

ATTENDANCE: 25,662 (4,635 Albion fans).

ALBION STARMAN: Marc-Antoine Fortune.

    Data provided by Press Association

    QUICK FACTS

    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.