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Monday, 7 October, 2002, 06:26 GMT 07:26 UK
Boro crush struggling Bolton
Ugo Ehiogu scores his first goal of the season
Ugo Ehiogu put Middlesbrough into the lead
Middlesbrough 2-0 Bolton

Middlesbrough's impressive start to the season continued with a comfortable home win against Bolton.

Ugo Ehiogu scored his first goal of the season to give Middlesbrough a first-half lead, before Cameroon international Geremi's second-half strike secured the win.

  Key moments
8 mins: Maccarone 'goal' ruled off-side
23 mins: Ehiogu heads opening goal
72mins: Geremi seals win

It sees Steve McClaren's men cement third place in the Premiership and narrow the gap behind leaders Arsenal and Liverpool, who play on Sunday.

But Bolton's loss means the Trotters have now gone five games without a win.

Middlesbrough took the lead after 23 minutes when Ehiogu capitalised on a moment of hesitation by Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to head in a Geremi corner.


I thought we thoroughly deserved to win the game
Steve McClaren
It was no more than the home team deserved having wasted several good chances in the opening 20 minutes.

With only 30 seconds on the clock, Massimo Maccarone should have done better when he sent his shot over the bar from close range following good work by Alen Boksic.

The Italian striker had the ball in the net eight minutes later, but his effort was unluckily ruled out as Joseph-Desire Job strayed offside.

Boro squandered another good chance in the 13th minute when Boksic sliced his shot wide of the post from only six yards out following a pass from George Boateng.

But for all the home team's first-half possession, Steve McClaren's men were unable to put Saturday's game beyond doubt and Bolton twice came close to levelling the score.

Franck Queudrue
Boro dominated the match
First Per Frandsen stung Mark Schwarzer's fingers with a fierce 20-yard shot after a neat lay-off from Youri Djorkaeff.

Then Schwarzer again had to be alert to tip over a Kevin Nolan effort just before the break.

Bolton returned for the second half with Michael Rickets on for the ineffective Dean Holdsworth.

But Middlesbrough's pace continued to cause Bolton problems with Job and Maccarone putting a lot of pressure on the visitors' back four.

With Ivan Campo moving into defence Bolton looked more resilient at the back, and Whitlow did well to block Boksic's effort minutes into the second half.


I am worried about our situation because we are not drawing games like we did last season, we are losing them
Sam Allardyce
But despite Bolton's improvement, Middlesbrough sealed the win half-an-hour into the second half when Geremi scored his first goal at the Riverside to give the home side a 2-0 lead.

Alen Boksic sprung the offside trap before releasing Cameroon international Geremi, who coolly slotted the ball past Schwarzer.

To Bolton's credit, they refused to let their heads drop and Djorkaeff and Gundi Bergsson both came close.

But Middlesbrough stood firm and the Riverside crowd saw their team's unbeaten home record continue.


Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Stockdale (Cooper 81), Ehiogu, Southgate, Queudrue, Greening, Boateng, Geremi, Job, Maccarone (Whelan 90), Boksic (Nemeth 73).
Subs Not Used: Marinelli, Crossley.

Goals: Ehiogu 23, Geremi 68.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Barness, Whitlow, Bergsson, Charlton (Farrelly 46), Frandsen (Okocha 72), Campo, Djorkaeff, Nolan, Dean Holdsworth (Ricketts 46), Pedersen.
Subs Not Used: Tofting, Poole.

Booked: Campo, Nolan, Djorkaeff.

Attendance: 31,005.

Referee: C Wilkes (Gloucestershire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's John Murray
"Middlesbrough look like the real deal"
Middlesbrough's Gareth Southgate
"We've been making lots of chances"
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
"We made it too easy for them"
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