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Tuesday, 14 December, 1999, 22:04 GMT
Bolton giantkillers down Dons

Michael Johansen Michael Johansen celebrates his decisive penalty for Bolton


Bolton 2-1 Wimbledon

Bolton have beaten Wimbledon to claim the third Premiership scalp of their Worthington Cup campaign and earn a place in the last four.

Following Tranmere's victory over Middlesbrough by the same margin, one of the semi-finals will be an all-Division One affair, guaranteeing a place for a lower-than-Premiership side in the final.

Wimbledon had come from behind in every game of their Cup run, but the task proved too difficult against a Bolton side that exuded confidence in defence after snatching the lead with two quickfire strikes in the second quarter of the match.


Match facts
17 mins - Cort puts Dons ahead
33 mins - Gudjohnsen scores a brilliant equaliser
39 mins - Johansen fires in the winning penalty
80 mins - Gudjohnsen hits the post
Wimbledon started the stronger and deservedly went ahead on 17 minutes thanks to a Carl Cort, who gathered a John Hartson through-ball and drilled it effortlessly past Jussi Jaaskelainen.

It looked as if it was business as usual as the Premiership side began to turn the screw, but manager Egil Olsen's men were suddenly thrust onto the back foot by six minutes of home team brilliance.

The equaliser came with Eidur Gudjohnsen's fantastic solo effort in the 33rd minute. The Icelandic striker danced through four Dons defenders and belted the ball past keeper Neil Sullivan from less than 10 yards.

It was his 10th goal of the season and he came agonisingly close to making it 11 moments later, but Gudjohnsen was unable to control the cross and the chance went begging with an open goal and Sullivan sprawled on the floor.

The Bolton purple patch produced good sustained pressure on the visitors, who cracked spectacularly when Marcus Gayle was ajudged to have pulled Bob Taylor back by his shirt as he latched onto a Ricardo Gardner corner.


Taylor and Ardley Wimbledon had the better of the early exchanges
Michael Johansen made no mistake with the ensuing penalty to make it 2-1 and give the Division One side an improbable lead.

Olsen persisted with his attacking 4-3-3 formation in the second half and Wimbledon looked the more fluent and creative in the period immediately after the interval.

But Jamaican World Cup star Ricardo Gardner continued to cause headaches for the Wimbledon defence on the quick break, while his compatriot Robbie Earle provided very much the same service at the other end of the pitch.

Bolton weathered the Premiership side's storm for most of the second half and rarely looked stretched as Wimbledon probed and poked at the Lancashire club's goal.

In fact, it was Gudjohnsen who came closest to scoring again in the second half with a shot that thundered into the woodwork just 10 minutes from time. He was back again a minute later and was dispossessed while trying to go around Sullivan.

A free-kick and corner in the four-and-a-half minutes of injury time were not enough to save the London side, with a shot cleared off the line in a six-yard box melee just before the final whistle.

Teams

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Holden, Fish, Bergsson, Whitlow, Johansen, Jensen, Elliott, Gardner, Taylor, Gudjohnsen. Subs: Banks, Hansen, Aljofree, Strong, Passi.

Wimbledon: Sullivan, Cunningham, Cort, Andersen, Kimble, Ardley, Earle, Roberts, Gayle, Euell, Hartson. Subs: Davis, Hughes, Waehler, Badir, Leaburn.

Referee: A Wilkie (Chester Le Street)

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See also:
14 Dec 99 |  Football
Rovers claim another prize scalp
30 Nov 99 |  Football
Rovers set up Boro clash
Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.