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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 21:26 GMT 22:26 UK
Blackburn peg back Bolton
Ricardo Gardner (l) chases Blackburn's Damien Johnson
Bolton's Ricardo Gardner (l) chases Damien Johnson
Blackburn 1-1 Bolton

Bolton are back on top of the Premiership after drawing with Blackburn in the local derby at Ewood Park.

Wanderers lead the league on goal difference but they would be two points clear were it not for a late Blackburn equaliser.

Lucas Neill's goal two minutes from time cancelled out Rod Wallace's earlier strike for Bolton.

Wallace's goal - just six minutes after coming on - marked a dream debut for the much travelled striker.

Bolton had the first chance of an open game when winger Ricardo Gardner cut inside but his subsequent shot was off-target.

I am not really that bothered about going top, I was more bothered about getting something from the game
Sam Allardyce

Mike Whitlow blocked a shot from Corrado Grabbi as Blackburn eased their way into the game.

At the other end, Gardner picked out Michael Ricketts with a fine cross but the striker could not get any power or direction on his header.

Bo Hansen then tested Brad Friedel from just inside the area after Henning Berg had only partially cleared another good delivery from Gardner.

Blackburn had another chance when Damien Duff chased what looked like a lost cause and managed to set up Alan Mahon who blasted over the bar.


And Turkish international Tugay almost scored a spectacular goal a minute before the break.

The midfielder pounced on a poor clearance from Jaaskelainen and knocked it straight back from 40 yards but it went inches wide.

I thought we walloped Bolton and played some wonderful stuff
Graeme Souness

In the second half, Duff beat the Bolton offside trap but shot wide with only Jaaskelainen to beat.

At the other end, Ricketts sent a tame shot into the arms of Friedel after Bjornebye's back pass was woefully short.

Wallace came on as substitute for Bolton in the 63rd minute and the 31-year-old made an immediate impact.

As Gardner teed up a corner from the left, Wallace shrugged free of his marker and flicked a header beyond Friedel.

Blackburn stepped up their game and Tugay released substitute Marcus Bent but his effort was too high.

Jaaskelainen then pulled off a point blank save from Matt Jansen.

But with two minutes left, Damien Duff swung in a corner and Neill got on the end of it to salvage a point.

BBC Sport's Jimmy Armfield
"Rovers always carried the real threat"
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
"Whether we deserved it or not it's disappointing to concede a late goal"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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