Date: 13th September 2009 at 12:38pm
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Bolton garnered their first points of the season at the expense of Portmouth, in a game belying predictions that it would be a dour affair. The Whites were quickest out of the traps. Tamir Cohen headed narrowly over from Sam Ricketts`s cross and Matt Taylor shot comically wide when played in by Gretar Steinsson. They were ahead shortly after though, as Cohen lashed a shot into the roof of the net from close in on the left, with Steinsson once more the provider.

What followed was a familiar routine with the Wanderers on the retreat and surrendering ground in midfield. The ability to defend crosses was entirely absent. Frederic Piquionne put his header wide when supplied by Tommy Smith, but the home side were on level terms just after as Younes Kaboul headed home from a corner unchallenged. The former Spurs defender almost repeated the act, moments later, again without competition.

But it was the visitors who went into the break ahead. Fabrice Muamba dispossessed Nadir Belhadj, and in his eagerness to retrieve the situation, Bolton old boy Tal Ben Haim brought down Kevin Davies leading referee Chris Foy to award a penalty. Replays later showed that the Israeli had taken the ball first. Former Portsmouth player Matt Taylor slotted home coolly from the spot.

The home side were level again just after the hour, as Bolton failed to clear their lines, as they had done repeatedly against Liverpool and Kevin-Prince Boeteng found the net with Jussi Jaaskelainen unsighted.

Ivan Klasnic took the pitch for his Wanderers debut on 71 minutes and the Croat, along with a later substitute, Chris Basham, was to have a telling effect on the game. Basham sent Klasnic away down the right and his cross found Kevin Davies. The Bolton captain`s shot would surely have been on target, but for a last gasp intervention from Aaron Mokoena.

With the game winding down, Klasnic headed on Jlloyd Samuel`s throw to Gary Cahill. The defender`s first header went up in the air, but he was first to react and his second beat David James for the winner. Bolton manager, Gary Megson was happy with the result, but not the performance.

‘I’d argue that was the worst we have played this season, he said. ‘At times we looked overly anxious and at times we looked hesitant to do the positive thing.`

‘Portsmouth had the lion’s share of possession and played the better football.`

‘But the chances we had over the course of the game were better than the ones Portsmouth had.`

 

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