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 Saturday, 28 December, 2002, 16:55 GMT
Bolton hold Everton
Wayne Rooney was making his Premiership start for Everton
Wayne Rooney hit the bar in the second half
Everton 0-0 Bolton

Bolton gathered another point in their struggle for Premiership survival as Everton - inspired by Wayne Rooney - proved unable to find a way past Sam Allardyce's gritty side.

The draw means Bolton are unbeaten in three games and remain out of the relegation zone, a point ahead of Sunderland.

Wayne was outstanding for us today, but for his finishing.

Everton manager David Moyes

Despite being sent off against Birmingham on Boxing Day for the first time in his career, Rooney was handed his fifth Premiership start by Everton manager David Moyes.

The teenager illuminated an indifferent game and also came closest to breaking the impasse when he hit the crossbar.

Demonstrating his strength and ability to run with the ball he twisted past Anthony Barness in the box and slammed a shot against the crossbar with Jussi Jaaskelainen beaten.

Just before that another Rooney effort was parried superbly by the goalkeeper and his second was cleared off the line by Simon Charlton.

The 17-year-old striker enjoyed an equally productive opening half.

He came close after a moment of inspiration in the 32nd minute, escaping Ivan Campo and turning Charlton before hitting a shot which Jaaskelainen parried at point-blank range.

The teenage striker fashioned another two golden opportunities in first-half injury-time.

He left Gudni Bergsson for dead before hitting a deflected shot which was bundled out of play by Barness.

From the resulting corner Rooney hit a goalbound effort which was somehow squeezed behind by a fortunate deflection from Ian Nolan.

Bolton's Ivan Campo tackles Everton's Wayne Rooney
Rooney continues to grab the headlines

Earlier Everton's opener almost arrived from another corner which was flicked on by Lee Carsley but palmed away by Jaaskelainen.

While Rooney was the focal point for Everton's attacks, Bolton looked to Michael Ricketts.

The Bolton striker was denied a clear chance by the intervention of Joseph Yobo after Jay-Jay Okocha's pass.

Then Ricketts was denied again by a saving challenge from David Weir which stopped the Bolton striker latching onto Nolan's pass.

I feel like we've got a moral victory

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce

Late on Okocha also hit the woodwork, the Nigerian's superbly flighted free kick rebounding off the bar.

This was the first time in 16 Premiership games that Bolton had kept a clean sheet.


Everton: Wright, Yobo, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Carsley (Alexandersson 78), Tie Li, Gravesen, Naysmith (Pembridge 78), Campbell (Radzinski 55), Rooney.
Subs Not Used: Watson, Baardsen.

Booked: Weir.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Barness, Bergsson, Campo, Charlton, Nolan, Frandsen, Okocha, Gardner, Pedersen (Facey 84), Ricketts (Tofting 60).
Subs Not Used: Walters, Livesey, Poole.

Booked: Frandsen, Charlton, Ricketts, Bergsson.

Attendance: 39,480

Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Five Live's Dave Woods
"Rooney tormented Bolton's defence"
 Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
"This is a very creditable draw"
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