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Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 04:38 GMT 05:38 UK
Ferguson refuses to panic
Kevin Nolan celebrates his match-winning strike
Nolan (centre) celebrates his match-winning strike

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to press the panic button, despite watching his side ambushed by Premiership minnows Bolton.

A 76th-minute strike by Kevin Nolan was enough to send United crashing to their first defeat of the season and give Bolton three points at Old Trafford for the second straight season.


Both teams went for it - they had their moments we had our moments.
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
But Ferguson, who is struggling to cope with an injury crisis that has robbed him of Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Wes Brown, refused to judge his players harshly.

"It was a great game of football," Ferguson said. "Both teams went for it. They had their moments, we had our moments.

"We were strong defensively up until the goal. It was a slight error that cost us the goal, cost us the match eventually but the players know that.

"After that we pounded them but their goalkeeper pulled off some great saves."

David Beckham's error resulted in Nolan's goal
David Beckham's error resulted in Nolan's goal
Bolton's Finnish keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen produced two Superb stops to deny Ole Gunnar Soljskaer and Nicky Butt.

But Bolton dominated for long periods and United's lack of drive will undoubtedly give Ferguson cause for concern after his failure to sign a new striker this summer.

For Bolton boss Sam Allardyce, who put together his squad for 4.2m, it was a sweet rerun of last year's triumph over United's 90m collection of superstar talent.


Two years on the trot is unheard of for a club like ours
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
"It is like last year. In fact it is even better. Two years on the trot is unheard of for a club like ours," Allardyce said.

"I'm just delighted for our fans and the players should be very proud about what they did."

As Bolton savour a precious three points in their battle to stay in the Premiership, Ferguson must now rally his United troops for what promises to be a very tough trip to Leeds on Saturday.

Central defender Rio Ferdinand can expect a hostile reception on his return to his former club, who have made a promising start to the season.

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Bolton chairman Phil Gartside
"To win here two years running is fantastic"
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