Date: 26th December 2006 at 9:28pm
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Bolton eventually battled back to beat Newcastle 2-1, even though Newcastle had taken an early lead.

Christmas was lingering long in the minds of the Bolton players as the game kicked off. For the first 20 minutes or so, the Wanderers couldn’t put a pass together, were making silly mistakes at the back and falling over like Bambis on ice. By this time, they had already gone one down to a Kieron Dyer goal. Davies chested the ball down and as Tal Ben Haim went to make the interception, he slipped, allowing Dyer a clean run through on goal. He slotted the ball under Jussi and ran off to celebrate. The Toon Army in the Upper South Stand took the roof off.

There were other chances too. Martins went close with an effort across goal and Dyer, Milner and Parker were all forcing Bolton on to the back foot.

Eventually, Bolton began to play better. Not brilliant, but better. At one point, Nicolas Anelka ran 50 yards to tackle the full back in a most Kev Davies-style way. Then, on 32 minutes, Nolan and Ramage chased down a Gary Speed header and, with the goalkeeper coming out, Ramage headed into his own goal. It was against the run of play but no one in a Bolton shirt seemed to mind.

Buoyed by the goal, Bolton began to press and had the upperhand just before the interval.

In the second half, Bolton began to dominate. Diouf and Anelka were linking up well. And it was these two, plus a contribution from the head of Kevin Davies that led to the winning goal on 57 minutes. A long throw came into the box, Davies nodded it down, Diouf played it to the back post where Anelka slotted home from short range.

From then on, it was easy for the Whites as they pressed for a third. They had to be careful and Jussi also was pressed into making a save from Parker with 15 minutes to go. However, the game was won and, with the news that Liverpool had lost, Bolton had temporarily moved up to third place.

 

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