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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 October, 2004, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Bolton 1-0 Crystal P

Kevin Davies (left) celebrates his goal with his Bolton team-mates
Kevin Davies' goal gave Bolton a narrow victory over Crystal Palace.

Bolton's afternoon began badly when Gary Speed and Ivan Campo were both injured in an aerial collision, and Campo was unable to continue.

But late pressure in the first-half paid off when Davies lept to glance home Bruno N'Gotty's long free-kick.

Palace should have been level just after half-time but Danny Granville contrived to hit the post from six yards out and Bolton held on.

Bolton, who were without skipper Jay-Jay Okocha with a groin injury, began the game without a win in four attempts and their lack of confidence showed.

Palace's lone striker Andy Johnson was a constant threat and was through on goal after just five minutes but his touch let him down.

The visitors threatened again when Nicky Hunt brought down Joonas Kolkka and Ben Watson's low free-kick was deflected narrowly wide.

Just as Bolton were beginning to settle, they were rocked once more when Speed and Campo clashed heads in midfield.

Manager Sam Allardyce took the bold decision of replacing the Spanish defender with striker Henrik Pedersen.

Speed, meanwhile, was twice forced off the field to stem the flow of blood from his head wound but Palace could not take advantage.

Once Speed returned, Bolton began to look much more comfortable.

Pedersen made a surging run into the box but was eventually crowded out and Palace keeper Gabor Kiraly made a superb save from Stelios Giannakopoulos' deflected shot.

The home fans were screaming for a penalty when Emmerson Boyce appeared to trip El-Hadji Diouf but Bolton finally broke through on the stroke of half-time through Davies' second goal of the season.

Davies twisted in the air to glance home a clever header to give the home side the lead.

Moments after the interval, Speed again left the pitch and as he received more treatment, Palace should have grabbed the equaliser.

Jaaskelainen could only parry Watson's free-kick but Granville lashed the follow-up against the bar.

Pedersen almost made Palace pay for their wastefulness when he latched onto a misdirected header in defence but could not get the better of Kiraly.

Kiraly continued to keep his side in the game, tipping over Pedersen's header.

With a point still in sight, Palace continued to work hard but they rarely threatened Bolton.

As full-time approached, there was time for Allardyce to introduce summer signing Khalilou Fadiga, who was making his first appearance since recovering from a heart complaint.

The Senegalese midfielder seemed determined to make an impression and was unlucky not to give Bolton a more convincing victory when his fizzing long-range effort flew just over.


Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, Jaidi, N'Gotty, Gardner, Campo (Pedersen 16), Nolan (Barness 90), Speed, Giannakopoulos, Davies, Diouf (Fadiga 77).
Subs Not Used: Oakes, Ferdinand.

Booked: Davies.

Goals: Davies 45.

Crystal Palace: Kiraly, Boyce, Popovic, Hall, Granville, Routledge, Riihilahti (Derry 79), Watson (Freedman 69), Hughes, Kolkka (Lakis 61), Johnson.
Subs Not Used: Speroni, Sorondo.

Booked: Watson.

Att: 25,501

Ref: N Barry (N Lincolnshire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Bolton boss Sam Allardyce


Interview: Crystal Palace's Iain Dowie (Real only)




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