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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 September, 2004, 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK
Bolton 1-1 Birmingham

Muzzy Izzet's first goal for Birmingham since his move from Leicester prised a point away from Bolton at the Reebok.

Bolton took an early lead when Tunisian defender Radhi Jaidi scored his second goal in successive games with a crisp half-volley from Kevin Davies's flick.

Izzet levelled soon after the restart, ripping an unstoppable shot past Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Bolton's Stelios Giannakopoulos fired inches wide and Emile Heskey went even closer as both sides sought a winner.

Birmingham boss Steve Bruce strung five men across midfield, with Heskey operating as a long striker.

But they carved out the first chance when Jesper Gronkjaer escaped down the left, Stephen Clemence just failing to convert.

Bolton's Rahi Jaidi
Jaidi followed up his strike against Arsenal with one against Birmingham

Bolton's reply saw Ivan Campo manufacture a yard of space to fire in a rasping shot that caused some discomfort to keeper Maik Taylor.

Despite the absence of Jay-Jay Okocha, Bolton picked up the pace and took the lead on 16 minutes through Jaidi.

The Tunisian defender was alert to the possibilities after Davies had flicked on a free-kick from Nicky Hunt and stole in to score with a half-volley.

Bruce's tactics were not paying dividends as Birmingham were not stemming Bolton in midfield, and Heskey was becoming increasingly isolated up front.

Inevitably, it was Robbie Savage who tried to inspire his side and he paid the price with a booking for a foul on Wales international team-mate Gary Speed.

Birmingham came out firing for the second half and almost drew level one minute in when Izzet found space in the area to fire in a powerful shot which Jaaskelainen tipped over the bar.

A minute later Heskey was off balance and fired wide six yards out with Bolton on the back foot.

Robbie Savage and Gary Speed battle for possession.
Robbie Savage shows no favours to his Welsh team-mate Gary Speed

Izzet got his and Birmingham's reward in the 48th minute when he grabbed the equaliser in fine style.

Gronkjaer played the ball in and the Turkey midfielder smacked an unstoppable shot beyond the Bolton goalkeeper for his first goal since joining from Leicester.

After a ragged spell Bolton slowly pieced their game together and Blues defender Jamie Clapham was on hand to nod away a threatening cross from substitute Stelios .

Henrik Pedersen then had the ball in the net with a fabulous shot, but his effort was controversially ruled out by referee Rob Styles.

Speed then hooked a ball into the Birmingham goalmouth and as Stelios moved on to it his path appeared to be blocked off by Mario Melchiot, but Styles was not interested.

Bolton stood off Gronkjaer and almost paid the price as the Dane drifted in from the left flank and zipped a shot just over the bar.

David Dunn was brought on by Birmingham to try and find a winner and he almost picked out Heskey with a raking pass, which picked up pace off the slick turf and ran through to Jaaskelainen.

Bolton almost snatched a winner when substitute Les Ferdinand flicked on and although Stelios controlled the ball neatly on his chest it took a long time to come down and he was under pressure when he fired wide from 14 yards.

Heskey came even closer in injury time when he bravely went in among the flying boots and glanced a header inches wide.


Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, N'Gotty, Jaidi, Gardner, Campo, Nolan, Speed, Davies (Ferdinand 79), Diouf (Giannakopoulos 65), Pedersen.
Subs Not Used: Poole, Cesar, Hierro.

Booked: N'Gotty, Jaidi.

Goals: Jaidi 16.

Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Melchiot, Cunningham, Upson, Clapham, Gronkjaer (Dunn 77), Savage, Clemence, Johnson, Izzet (Gray 88), Heskey.
Subs Not Used: Vaesen, Yorke, Morrison.

Booked: Savage.

Goals: Izzet 49.

Att: 23,692.

Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Birmingham boss Steve Bruce


Interview: Bolton manager Sam Allardyce




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