Newcastle United 2 Bolton Wanderers 1

Last updated : 07 March 2005 By Footymad Previewer
Crisis - what crisis? This time a fortnight ago, Graeme Souness was being slaughtered as Newcastle struggled to find any momentum.

Now four games and four wins on, everything is rosy in United's garden after they secured a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, a quarter-final spot in the FA Cup and a third Premiership win of the year.

Souness was far from complimentary of the Bolton style of play when his United side were beaten by the odd goal in five at the Reebok Stadium in October.

But it was all smiles from the United boss this time around as midfield duo Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer grabbed all three points with Stelios Giannakopoulos scoring for Bolton in between.

Fresh from the UEFA success against Heerenveen, Souness still rang the changes as he recalled the cup-tied Jean Alain Boumsong, Bowyer who was free from suspension, and Celestine Babyaro.

Nicky Butt and Aaron Hughes were named as substitutes while Andy O'Brien did not make the bench and Patrick Kluivert was again ruled out through injury.

It was then unlucky for Wanderers full-back Nicky Hunt in the 13th minute in the most bizarre of circumstances. In a 50-50 challenge with Amdy Faye, the defender was struck on the left shoulder by the ball and immediately dropped to his knees with what appeared to be a dislocation and was stretchered from the field and replaced by Khalilou Fadiga.

United finally managed a shot on target after 25 minutes and had two opportunities to break the deadlock in the space of 15 seconds.

On each occasion Titus Bramble made all the running when breaking on the right and pulling the ball back to Alan Shearer on the edge of the area. Jussi Jaaskelainen blocked the United's skipper's drive with the ball returning to Bramble to put a cross on a plate for Dyer whose five-yard header was this time kept out by the keeper's legs.

But Newcastle were not to be denied much longer and went in front after 34 minutes due to Bowyer's determination. The former England man started and finished the move with a flowing ball to Stephen Carr on the right after waltzing past Gary Speed and Stelios. Bowyer continued his run and met Carr's cross to perfection with a stooping header across Jaaskelainen.

Bolton were level four minutes before the break as the United defence was carved open and Stelios drove in the equaliser. Jay-Jay Okocha's cross was flicked on by Kevin Davies and headed down by Speed and the Greek international shot right-footed past Shay Given.

Just before the break, hesitation in the United rearguard again let in Stelios and Given had to force the ball behind.

Within 30 seconds of the second half restarting former Roma defender Vincent Candela picked up the first yellow card of the game after scything down Shola Ameobi and was followed by Fernando Hierro after 49 minutes.

The former Real Madrid skipper blatantly tripped Dyer as he bore down on goal following a surging 40-yard run. United were furious when the Spaniard only saw yellow and they were not awarded a penalty.

When the free-kick was eventually taken, Laurent Robert's effort curled agonisingly wide with the keeper stranded.

Ricardo Gardner came to Bolton's rescue after 67 minutes when he popped up on the line to keep out a Boumsong header as United piled on the pressure.

Just 60 seconds later United regained the lead when a Shearer shot was blocked and Dyer latched on to the rebound to volley high into the net.

Bowyer, searching for his second goal of the game, went close in the 77th minute as Jasskelainen saw his 20-yard effort late but managed to scramble it behind and when Shearer was twice presented with chances inside the box his first was kept out by the keeper and he then hit the rebound wide.