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BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"Bolton perked-up decidedly in the second-half"
 real 14k

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
"We were never comfortable at any stage"
 real 14k

Sunday, 13 May, 2001, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Bolton battle back at West Brom
Gudni Bergsson (left) of Bolton and West Brom's Jason Roberts
Bolton's Gudni Bergsson (left) holds back Jason Roberts
West Brom 2-2 Bolton

Bolton kept alive their hopes of Premiership promotion with two late goals in the First Division play-off final first leg at The Hawthorns.

West Brom seemed to have taken a major step towards ending their 15-year exile from the top flight having taken a 2-0 lead with nine minutes to go.

Goals from strikers Jason Roberts and Lee Hughes put Gary Megson's side in control of the tie before Bolton's dramatic fightback.

Lee Hughes scores from the spot
Lee Hughes fires West Brom into a two-goal lead

Roberts had given West Brom a deserved half-time lead after racing on to Richard Sneekes ball and producing a clinical finish.

And Hughes made it 2-0 from the penalty spot 10 minutes into the second half.

At that stage, Albion were firmly in the driving seat but Gudni Bergsson raised Bolton's hopes when he climbed to meet a corner with a looping header that crept in off the underside of the bar.

And Per Frandsen made it 2-2 with a penalty two minutes from time to give Sam Allardyce's men the edge going into the return leg at the Reebok Stadium on Thursday night.

Baggies dominate

The Baggies, who only avoided relegation to Division Two on the final day of last season, had looked good value for their lead after dominating for most of the match.

Top scorer Hughes had twice wasted excellent opportunities to give his side the lead in the opening exchanges.


We played for 81 minutes as good as football as we have all season and they could not get nowhere near us
  West Brom boss Gary Megson
Bolton, who suffered heartbreak against Ipswich at the same stage last season, just could not get going and it was no surprise when Roberts put the home side ahead.

A long ball by former Wanderers midfielder Sneekes put him through on goal two minutes before the break and after shaking off the presence of Bergsson, he calmly slotted his 17th goal of the season past the on-rushing keeper.

The start of the second half continued in the same manner. But Megson's side only had to wait four minutes when Hendrie again tangled with Roberts, who went down under the Scot's challenge.


If we are as bad in the second leg as we were today we will struggle
  Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
Referee David Laws pointed straight to the spot and Hughes kept his nerve to slot home his 23rd goal of the season.

But with nine minutes left, Bolton grabbed a lifeline when Icelandic international Bergsson headed home Hansen's corner.

Bolton then completed their fightback when they were awarded a penalty after Tony Butler brought down Hansen.

Substitute Frandsen held himself together to convert the spot-kick and give Wanderers two crucial away goals to take into the return leg.


West Brom: Hoult, Lyttle, Clement, Butler, Van Blerk, Fox, Sneekes, Hughes, Roberts, Appleton, Gilchrist. Subs: Jensen, Taylor, Sigurdsson, Jordao, Adam Chambers.

Bolton: Clarke, Bergsson, Elliott, Charlton, Hendry, Barness, Farrelly, Ricketts, Hansen, Holdsworth, Gardner. Subs: Banks, Whitlow, Frandsen, Nolan, Marshall.

Referee: D Laws (Whitley Bay)

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