No changes at half time from either side seemed to result in no real changes to the pattern of play, although
it seemed that the Yeovil defence were able to protect Chris Weale a little better than in the first 45 minutes,
with Bolton struggling to get the ball in possession inside the Yeovil penalty area.
The Glovers had an appeal for a penalty turned down when a Bolton player appeared to grab hold of Phil Jevons
inside the area, stopping him from turning, resulting in Jevons landing on the deck. Whilst the shirt pull was
obscured by referee Dermot Gallagher, it should have been clear as daylight to the Yeovil College Stand.
The Yeovil crowd were therefore incensed when Gallagher awarded two free kicks to Bolton within seconds. Whilst
the first was justified, the second was a clear dive by Fernando Hierro leaving an angry Darren Way eyeballing
his more illustrious opponent who had fallen across Way to win his free kick.
Lee Johnson came within a coat of paint of striking the goalframe when he struck a screamer from 30 yards out,
with only the bend on the ball taking it away from a stranded Poole. But in the midst of another Yeovil attack
instigated by Darren Way, the Yeovil midfielder, who was having a cracker of a match, turned on his ankle and had
to hobble off. Gary Johnson chose to liven up the proceedings by also withdrawing Adrian Caceres - seeing Yeovil's
Welsh duo, Gavin Williams and Kevin Gall take to the field. Bolton also chose to put on Kevin Davies for Les
Ferdinand at the same time.
Gall himself nearly had the find of impact he had upon his arrival against Oxford on Saturday when he put
in a right wing cross straight onto the boot of Andrejs Stolcers whose first time volley went wide, but gave
Bolton a sharp warning as to the threat now at hand. The speed of Gall and Williams was certainly starting
to stretch the Bolton back four.
Perhaps with that in mind, Bolton manager Sam Allardyce's
next move was to bring on top scorer Henrik Pedersen into play. His first contribution was to strike the woodwork,
somehow deflecting an on-target Fernando Hierro header from a corner away from the target and onto the crossbar.
In fairness to the substitute, Weale probably had the initial header covered.
Bolton had looked threatening all night from their set-pieces, something that should have come as no surprise
given their side's ability to even give Premiership champions Arsenal problems from dead-ball situations. You
could have therefore staked your house on Bolton's breakthrough having come from a corner kick or free kick
such was Yeovil's relative comfort with the Premiership side's open play.
With just ten minutes left, that breakthrough came. El-Hadji Diouf, who had otherwise had a bit of a stinker
of a game, put in an excellent near post cross from a corner, allowing Julio CESAR to plant a bullet
of a header to the back post, giving Weale no chance of getting to the ball.
The Glovers put on Bartosz Tarachulski for Andrejs Stolcers, and Gavin Williams did his best to restore
parity with a marvellous run through five Bolton players with the Welshman winning, then losing, then winning
the ball again as he refused to allow Bolton tackles to stop his run.
Bolton though showed their class seven minutes after the first as Yeovil pushed men up. A touch of Route One
from the visitors saw Henrik PEDERSEN show his team-mates what they'd been lacking for the first 80 minutes,
as he took down the long ball, shrugged off a challenge, and buried the ball in the far corner to double Bolton's
lead and make the game finally safe with three minutes left.
Yeovil harried for a spot of consolation, forcing a number of late corners, but try as they might, their
comfort in midfield and in passing the ball about could never quite turn that possession into the hardcore chances
they needed to unlock the fourth best side in the country. But to hold Bolton for 80 minutes was a fine achievement
indeed in a match that whilst Bolton always looked the superior side, they never were allowed to look the
divisions above Yeovil that the football pyramid would suggest that they are.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 8.4 / 10
57 votes received.
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