Date: 26th April 2009 at 12:10pm
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On this weekend six years ago, Bolton Wanderers took a giant stride toward Premier League safety with a win over West Ham United in a game illuminated by Jay Jay Okocha`s dazzling goal. On the corresponding Saturday in 2009 the Whites edged toward the magic 40 point mark against another team in claret and blue, but that is where the similarity ends, for this was an encounter of stultifying dullness.

In a first half devoid of goal scoring opportunities, Fabrice Muamba should have put the home side ahead, but his ludicrous miscue, from three yards out, showed once again, that he lacks even the most basic of ball skills. When Aston Villa did take the lead, just before the interval, it was an accident. Ashley Young`s curling cross evaded everyone and bounced in off the post.

Things looked grim for Bolton, who`ve come from behind just once this season, but Tamir Cohen, starting his first game this season and producing his best performance in a Wanderers shirt, equalised on the hour, after Andy O`Brien had headed down a Mathew Taylor free kick.

Manager Gary Megson was happy with another lumpen display. ‘We did OK today without playing champagne football. What we did do well was that we worked our socks off.`

No, it wasn`t champagne football. It was more the sort of stuff you`d expect from a pub team. What Whites fans would give for someone with a fraction of the talents of a certain Nigerian hero.


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