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Premier League

  • 19 November 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 26221

West Brom 2-1 Bolton Wanderers: Shane Long hits second-half winner to keep Owen Coyle's men in bottom three

West Brom 2-1 Bolton Wanderers: Shane Long hits second-half winner to keep Owen Coyle's men in bottom three

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The Irishman netted on his surprise return to the side to give his team their second home win after Jerome Thomas had opened the scoring and Ivan Klasnic equalised from the spot

Goals from Jerome Thomas and Shane Long secured a second home league win of the season for West Brom against struggling Bolton Wanderers at the Hawthorns.

The Trotters produced a good first-half performance, although found themselves trailing early on when Thomas had got on the end of Zoltan Gera’s through ball before rounding the goalkeeper and scoring.

After the break, however, they were completely outplayed and deservedly went down to Long’s header after 56 minutes.

The two strikes separated a controversial penalty from Ivan Klasnic and gave the Baggies a deserved three points after a dominating second-half performance.

Roy Hodgson had made three changes to the side after their 3-0 defeat at Arsenal before the international break, with Long surprisingly recalled to the starting line-up ahead of Simon Cox after recovering from a leg injury suffered in the derby day win against Aston Villa last month.

Youssouf Mulumbu and Nicky Shorey were also recalled to the first XI, with Graham Dorrans and Billy Jones joining Cox on the bench.

In contrast, Owen Coyle decided to keep faith with the side which dismantled Stoke City 5-0 two weeks ago as he sought to push his side out of the relegation zone.

In a frantic start to the match both sides looked to strike first with Chris Eagles coming close from range for Bolton and Jonas Olsson forcing goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to tip over from a West Brom corner.

Gary Cahill, celebrating his 150th Premier League appearance, was next to come close but his effort was cleared off the line by Mulumbu.

Cahill then had to be alert at the other end to deny Long after he had been slipped in by Thomas. The centre-back got across and made a great sliding challenge to deny the Irishman from opening the scoring.

However, Bolton failed to take the warning seriously and were behind moments later. Gera this time with the through-ball to Thomas who side-stepped Jasskelainen and slotted home.

The visitors didn’t have to wait long for an equaliser and just like three weeks ago when Liverpool were in the west Midlands, it was from a controversial penalty.

With the ball hanging in the air from a Wanderer's corner, Fabrice Muamba climbed over a standing Thomas in order to try and win the ball and was rewarded for his efforts when referee Neil Swarbrick gave him a penalty.

         Victory bagged | Jerome Thomas scored the Baggies' first goal in their 2-1 victory

Klasnic was on target in his last match for the Trotters and he made no mistake, coolly sticking the ball in the corner to level the match.

The Hawthorn's crowd was angry with the referee and after some more decisions didn’t go their way they were quick to show their frustration, which soon descended on to the pitch with Steven Reid and Eagles having a minor spat.

Wanderers were starting to get on top and a mazy dribble by Mark Davies, which saw him beat three West Brom players, was only stopped by the legs of Ben Foster as he shot across goal.

At the end of the half Gera headed straight at Jaaskelainen and Reid made a great challenge to block Eagles’ shot as the two sides went in to the break level.

The home side came out for the second-half in determined fashion and they had the Bolton back-line under the cosh for the first 10 minutes.

Eventually the pressure told and it was Long who did the damage, rising home to head Shorey’s first-time cross after good work from Thomas on the left.

Bolton nearly equalised straight away, but after Klasnic flicked the ball on in the home penalty area, Olsson managed to use his strength to force Kevin Davies to shoot wide.

However, the Baggies should have doubled their advantage after good work on the left saw Shorey tee up Thomas in the area but, unmarked, he could only pick out Jaaskelainen in front of him.

With the away side not looking like getting a way back into the match, Coyle replaced Eagles and Davies with Martin Petrov and David N’gog and later brought on Gael Kakuta for Muamba.

The substitutes struggled to make an impact though as West Brom continued to look in control of the match.

In the end the Baggies were able to comfortably hold out and move further away from the relegation zone as Bolton failed to win once again.

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