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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:03 GMT
Watson torments Bolton
Pistone and McBride mob Everton scorer Steve Watson
Pistone and McBride mob Everton scorer Steve Watson
Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Everton

Everton kept up their challenge for a European place in impressive style as they plunged Bolton Wanderers deeper into relegation trouble at the Reebok Stadium.

Steve Watson's first-half double set David Moyes' side on the way to another vital victory as they continue to emerge as the Premiership's surprise package this season.

Watson opened the scoring with a brilliant overhead kick after 33 minutes - and added another before the interval to stun Bolton.

Steve Watson is capable of doing something different when he's in and around the box.

Everton assistant manager Alan Irvine

Gudni Bergsson scrambled home a goal for Bolton with seconds to go, but Everton claimed the three points.

It was no more than Everton deserved, but left Bolton boss Sam Allardyce contemplating more worries at the wrong end of the Premiership table.

Bolton's transfer-listed striker Michael Ricketts was given a place in the starting line-up - and he should have marked his appearance with a goal in the first minute.

Everton's Steve Watson challenges Simon Charlton
Everton's Steve Watson challenges Simon Charlton

He escaped the attentions of the Everton defence, but screwed a tame effort wide of the target.

Everton were otherwise untroubled and it was no surprise when they took the lead in spectacular fashion through Watson.

After Everton's first goal you could see the confidence drain out of our team

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce

Brian McBride's flick did not appear to pose any danger until Watson flashed a brilliant overhead kick past Jussi Jaaskelainen from just inside the area.

Bolton were stunned and Watson was on target again after 38 minutes to put Everton in complete command.

McBride's shot was beaten clear by Jaaskelainen and Watson was on hand to score from close range.

Bolton boss Allardyce made an interval change, bringing on Kevin Nolan for Henrik Pedersen.

Steve Watson scores his second
Steve Watson scores his second

But Everton continued their smooth progress and should have added a third when Radzinski broke clear of Ivan Campo but failed to get a shot on target.

Gary Naysmith's stunning left foot volley brought a brilliant save from Jaaskelainen as Everton pushed forward.

Watson could have completed his hat-trick with ten minutes left, but his header was well saved by the busy Jaaskelainen.

Everton continued to waste chances, and were given a few anxious moments after Bergsson scored, but they were deserved winners.


Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Mendy, Bergsson, N'Gotty (Facey 68), Charlton, Gardner, Frandsen, Campo, Djorkaeff, Pedersen (Nolan 45), Ricketts.
Subs Not Used: Poole, Whitlow, Barness.

Booked: Mendy, Gardner.

Everton: Wright, Pistone, Stubbs (Yobo 78), Weir, Unsworth, Watson, Li, Gemmill, Naysmith (Pembridge 84), McBride, Radzinski.
Subs Not Used: Campbell, Gravesen, Gerrard.

Booked: Watson.

Attendance: 25,119.

Referee: R Styles (Hampshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Simon Mann
"Bolton were well beaten"
Everton scorer Steve Watson
"It was a good away victory"
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
"We got exactly what we deserved - absolutely nothing"
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