STOKE CITY FC 1 BOLTON WANDERERS 2
......."most probably Owen (Coyle) hasn't had much going for him lately.....certainly got some today!" So said Tony Pulis in his after match comments, I agree with his view totally.Be in no doubt apart from a ten minute spell Stoke completely bossed this game,yet in the end lost it.
Its all about goals.The visitors had not won for three or four matches,and for most of this one they never looked like scoring.Indeed they were woeful in the first half, heads dropping when Dave Kitson put us in front in the 13th minute.By halftime we ought to have been out of sight,yet were only the one goal to the good.
Headers narrowly over the bar, posts struck,clear and sometimes easy chances missed as we went for the second goal in the second half.To be fair Bolton improved ,clearly an unhappy Mr Coyle had had plenty to say to them during the break. Jussi Jaaskelainen denied Whitehead,just getting his fingertips to the midfielders lobbed effort as it headed for the open net,sufficient in fact to slow its progress for a defender to clear.Tuncay unmarked put a lovely ball from Etherington against the post from close range when the open goal seemed an easier target.
Bolton's purple patch was initiated by Ref Attwell.He judged, seriously belatedly (so much so that Stoke broke a good third the length of the pitch before he blew....think the Bolton players made the decision for him !) that Whitehead had felled Weiss centrally on the edge of the box.More than a little dubious.Taylor scored from the free kick( 85 min),the low strike taking a deflection of Ricardo Fuller,to see it on its way into the Stoke net.
The Bolton players celebrated, as you would scoring your first goal for 7 hours, but not a quarter as much as when Taylor grabbed a second,directing the ball into the Stoke net from close in from Weiss's excellent cross.
Stoke still had chances to salvage a point from a game they should never have lost,the best chance falling to Abdy Faye who skied the ball over an empty net from 4 yards out.
When its not your day its not your day.......Bolton, like Stoke, look to be safe.......Dick Turpin would have been proud of them today!