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Monday, 28 October, 2002, 21:55 GMT
Bolton hold Black Cats
Michael Gray scored the only goal of the game
Gray scored Sunderland's first goal under Wilkinson
Bolton 1-1 Sunderland

Phil Babb headed into his own net 10 minutes from time to deny Howard Wilkinson his first win as Sunderland manager.

Michael Gray had given Sunderland the lead in first-half stoppage time and they looked destined to hold onto their lead before Babb's unfortunate intervention.

The result leaves Bolton rooted to the bottom of the Premiership table, with Sunderland just a point and a place above them.

  Key incidents
38 mins: Claudio Reyna is stretchered off after an innocuous looking challenge on Youri Djorkaeff.
45 (+1) mins: Michael Gray scores the first goal of Howard Wilkinson's reign as Sunderland manager.
80 mins: Sunderland defender Phil Babb turns the ball into his own net.
The match showed why both sides are in such a perilous position.

They lacked composure on the ball and quality in the final third of the pitch.

Bolton enjoyed more possession though and in Youri Djorkaeff had the most impressive player on the pitch.

The Frenchman was the hub of most of Bolton's best moves and shot narrowly wide on seven minutes after cleverly flicking the ball clear of two defenders.

Sunderland's biggest threat was teenage striker David Bellion, preferred to Tore Andre Flo alongside Kevin Phillips in attack.

The young forward was a constant threat with his rampaging runs down the channels and outperformed the disappointing Phillips.

The visitors suffered a double injury blow before half-time, with first goalkeeper Thomas Myhre and then Reyna going off injured.

Yet they still managed to take the lead in first-half injury time.

Defender Ivan Campo, who looked vulnerable throughout, headed weakly out of defence and Gray capitalised, thumping a first-time shot past goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Bolton striker Michael Ricketts
Michael Ricketts celebrates Bolton's equaliser
The goal was hard on Bolton and they desperately sought an equaliser after the interval.

Manager Sam Allardyce brought on Nigerian playmaker Jay-Jay Okocha midway through the half to try and inject more creativity into his side.

Bruno N'Gotty saw a header desperately cleared off the line by defender Jody Craddock before the hosts did manage to achieve parity.

Kevin Kilbane miskicked a long throw-in and Mike Whitlow was able to head back into the area.

Babb, playing in his 300th league game, then glanced a headed past substitute keeper Jurgen Macho and into his own net.


Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Mendy, N'Gotty, Whitlow, Gardner, Frandsen, Campo, Nolan, Farrelly, Djorkaeff, Ricketts. Subs: Poole, Pedersen, Okocha, Dean Holdsworth, Barness.

Sunderland: Myhre, Wright, Babb, Craddock, McCartney, Kilbane, Reyna, McCann, Gray, Phillips, Bellion. Subs: Macho, Flo, Thirlwell, Bjorklund, Piper.

Referee: E Wolstenholme (Lancashire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Dave Woods
"The result was hard luck on Wilkinson's side"
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
"Our pressure told on the Sunderland defence"
Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson
"I was delighted with the performance"
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28 Oct 02 | Eng Prem
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