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Premier League

  • 6 May 2012
  • • 14:00
  • • Macron Stadium, Bolton
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 25662

Bolton 2-2 West Brom: Late Morrison equaliser sees Coyle's strugglers throw away two-goal lead

Bolton 2-2 West Brom: Late Morrison equaliser sees Coyle's strugglers throw away two-goal lead

The Totters took the lead through a Martin Petrov penalty and an own goal from Billy Jones, but stay in the drop zone after late goals see them remain in the bottom three

Bolton let a two-goal lead slip in what could prove vital points dropped in their race to avoid relegation from the Premier League as West Brom fought back to claim a 2-2 draw at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday.

Martin Petrov converted a penalty against the run of play in a first half controlled by the Baggies, and got a lucky second after Petrov’s cross was deflected into their own goal by both Liam Ridgewell and Billy Jones.

But Roy Hodgson’s side went on to get the reward their play deserved later in the game when Chris Brunt fired in from the edge of the box and substitute Simon Cox set up James Morrison for the late equaliser.

Owen Coyle again started the match with a front two in the form of David N’Gog and Kevin Davies, with the pair involved as Chris Eagles hit the side-netting inside two minutes with an audacious swerving shot from outside the box.

However it was West Brom who saw more of the ball in the opening stages, exerting greater control in midfield having omitted winger Jerome Thomas in favour of central midfielder Keith Andrews.

Marc Antoine-Fortune, in for Peter Odemwingie in attack, headed into Adam Bogdan after beating Tim Ream in the air to a left-wing cross, while partner Shane Long tested the keeper with a shot from the left edge of the box.

Bolton saw some success with a more direct route of attack down the flanks, with their first genuine chance of the game coming through right-back Dedryck Boyata.

The youngster switched play with a long ball to left winger Petrov, whose low cross evaded N’Gog but reached Davies at the back post, who could only blast over under pressure.

Adam Bogdan was called into action soon after when Gareth McAuley rose highest to head from close range into the keeper’s arms before tipping Shane Long’s effort onto the post.

Bolton however took the lead against the run of play after winning a penalty when Mark Davies went down under pressure from Keith Andrews and Youssouf Mulumbu. Petrov drilled his penalty low into the left corner, flicking Ben Foster’s fingertips.

The Trotters looked to calm the game down after their goal, but West Brom continued to get forward well and Jonas Olsson headed narrowly wide from Chris Brunt free kick.

Fortune forced an error from the hesitant Bogdan towards the end of the half as he reached a long diagonal ball ahead of the goalkeeper, but rushed his shot and blasted over.

David Wheater was replaced by Zat Knight for the second period after sustaining a twisted ankle reaching for a cross from Liam Ridgewell, and his side opened the half getting forward well down the flanks with Davies influential in winning knock-downs for the quicker Petrov and N’Gog.

Coyle’s brought on top goalscorer Ivan Klasnic on the hour mark and the impact was instant.

The striker found Petrov running down the left flank, allowing the Bulgarian to send in a low cross that Ridgewell intercepted only for it to be cruelly deflected past the despairing Foster by Jones for an own goal.

But, from then on, the home side collapsed.

Brunt got a goal back almost immediately for the Baggies after connecting sweetly with the ball on the edge of the box, to fire into the bottom left corner following a ricochet in the Bolton defence.

The late goal heralded 15 minutes of determined defending from the home side, punctuated only by the substitute addition of Lee Chung-Yong following his long absence with a broken leg.

Their hopes of a crucial three points were shattered when, with thirty seconds of normal time remaining, the impressive substitute Simon Cox threaded the ball from the edge of the box into James Morrison’s path. The 25-year-old didn’t need a second invitation and rifled in from the far post to leave the Trotters two points below safety with just one game left to play.

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