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Report: Bolton 1-1 Spurs

Posted on 23 April 2002  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Glenn Hoddle said last week that our every mistake had been punished this season - add another to the list at the Reebok Stadium.

Dean Holdsworth was on the spot in the 71st minute as Ben Thatcher missed his clearance to earn Bolton a share of the spoils in this lively encounter.

Worse still, we blew the best chance of the game just 60 seconds earlier when Sergei Rebrov failed to control Gus Poyet's unselfish pass across goal to leave him a clear sight at Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Up until then Steffen Iversen's early goal looked good enough as the home side struggled to find any real imputus. Holdworth's arrival certainly proved the catalyst to their improvement, but it could have been all over by then.

We were by far the better side in the first half and following Iversen's strike, missed a batch of chances in the final few minutes that would surely have put the game beyond the Trotters.

Charlton and Nolan both tested Keller from distance before Iversen handed us that perfect start.

With only nine minutes on the clock Poyet spotted Iversen's run, there was no flag and the Norwegian striker was left clear 40 yards from goal. Jaaskelainen raced out to meet him immediately and that made up Iversen's mind for him as he dragged the ball wide of the keeper and slotted into the open goal.

The home fans went mad at the linesman and by the time a couple of borderline offside and refereeing decisions went against them, they were on their feet in protest around the stadium.

Keller produced the first real save of the half to tip Frandsen's piledriver over after 17 minutes and Djorkaeff hesitated when he could arguably have latched onto Ngotty's pass.

But we grew stronger as the half went on and carved out a number of chances in the final few minutes.

Poyet headed just over, Sheringham couldn't keep Iversen's cross-shot on target, Iversen might have done better when he got his toe to Taricco's low cross and Davies, in space, hit his volley into the ground when well placed.

Poyet's speculative effort from fully 35 yards almost caugh Jaaskelainen out a minute after the break but the game went backwards for a spell after that as long ball after long ball was swept up by the respective defences.

Then the golden chance. Anderton picked out Poyet's run into the box but instead of going for goal, the Uruguayan squared for Rebrov who, 10 yards out, failed to control the ball, took himself wide and ended up dinking an effort wide.

A minute later and it was 1-1. Djorkaeff's free-kick was cleared but he lobbed the ball back in, Whitlow flicked on, Thatcher missed his clearance and Holdsworth nipped in to flick the ball past Keller.

That gave the home side a lift and they looked to have taken the lead after 75 minutes when Djorkaeff found Ricketts, who shot into the bottom corner only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. You can imagine how well that went down.

Djorkaeff was finally making an impact and he came closest to a winner with five minutes left, curling his free-kick onto the bar from 22 yards. That would have been harsh on us, but defeat perhaps harsh on Bolton, so perhaps a point apiece was about right.