There are always a few heart-stopping moments when you travel to the Reebok and so it proved early on when Kevin Davies fizzed over a cross from the right that was missed by Ricardo Rocha and thankfully scooped over the crossbar by Michael Dawson. From the resulting corner, Ivan Campo, very popular in these parts if his pre-match reception is anything to go by, was afforded a free header, but nodded wide and fouled in the process.
The aerial assault came thick and fast, as Bolton strove to win the second balls that often catch teams out after making the initial clearance. In amongst all this the team were pinging the ball around on the deck in an attempt to carve out an opening for messrs Keane , Berbatov or the advancing Jenas.
Teemu Tainio, restored to the side on the right, embarked on a jinking run that took the sizeable Bolton defences by surprise before striking too high. On 27 minutes a slick move involving Jenas, Malbranque and then Keane, resulted in the latter flighting over a cross that was met on the volley by Berbatov at the back post but was parried away by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
There was a chaotic scene in front of our goal when, from a long ball from Ricardo Gardner, Davies won a flick-on and Nicolas Anelka got away from Ricardo Rocha on the edge of the area. The central defender recovered himself and prevented a likely goal for the Frenchman, but ended up taking out Paul Robinson.
However, the next goalkeeper in action was Jaaskelainen and the most significant part was picking the ball out of his net. A looping ball into the area from Zokora was seized upon by Jenas who then proceeded to drill in a shot on goal that was deverted away by Jaaskelainen. Berbatov could not pounce on the rebound, that was left to Keane to smash home a shot that went in off off the Finnish keeper in the 34th minute.
The joy was shortlived - about four minutes - and it was a free-kick from the right given away by Rocha that proved our undoing. El-Hadji Diouf floated over his kick and Campo rose at the far post and headed back across Robinson and into the net despite the attentions of both Rocha and Jenas.
Th response was a measured one and there were half chances for Malbranque when Jaaskelainen got caught outside of his natural territory, before Joey O'Brien put the ball just past his own goal from a Tainio centre.
Bolton began the second period in a robust fashion, but the first save of real note was forced from Jaaskelainen following a stinging low drive from Tainio. A dipping Malbranque volley zipped just over Jaaskelainen's bar just after the hour and, as a footballing contest, we were definitely holding the upper hand.
It was just that nagging threat of another set piece proving a concern and Anelka did come close to connecting his head to a flick-on after a long throw.
Tainio carved out an opening that Malbranque and Keane opted to leave for each other and the opportunity bounced off the shins of Keane and amounted to nothing.
Darren Bent was added to the mix on 73 minutes in place of Berbatov and was followed onto the pitch by Aaron Lennon in a bid to covert one point into three.
One last chance followed after a quick interchange between Jenas and Malbranque, the Frenchman picked out Keane's run with a reverse pass and Keane drilled an instant shot with his left foot from 16 yards that Jaaskelainen diverted wide diving to his right.
We are still awaiting our first league win at the Reebok Stadium after Bolton quickly hit back following Robbie Keane's opener on Sunday afternoon.