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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 January 2006, 19:11 GMT
Blackburn 0-0 Bolton
Bolton's Hidetoshi Nakata trudges off after receiving his first-half red card
Bolton survived a first-half sending-off and a second-half battering to secure a point in a bad-tempered match against local rivals Blackburn.

A fiery first half saw Hidetoshi Nakata sent off, receiving a second booking after a foul on David Bentley.

Brett Emerton's second-half header against the bar was the closest Rovers got to breaking Bolton's resistance.

Bolton could have stolen all three points, but substitute Ricardo Vaz Te slipped with the goal at his mercy.

Lucas Neill's misguided back-pass to keeper Brad Friedel almost gifted Bolton's Kevin Davies the opener after 10 minutes, and the American had to make a sharp save.

Early chances were at a premium as the muscular approach of both sides kept the game's more creative players under wraps and tempers were soon becoming frayed.

A series of flash-points involving the likes of Robbie Savage and Paul Dickov did little to help matters and Khalilo Fadiga was fortunate to avoid a red card after throwing the ball away immediately after being booked.

But Bolton were reduced to 10 men on 33 minutes as Nakata's late challenge on Bentley earned him a second yellow card.

Bolton made a tactical change - bringing on Ivan Campo for Jared Borgetti - but retained their physical approach with Joey O'Brien booked for a late challenge on Blackburn's Ryan Nelsen.

Blackburn did their best to raise the tempo, but a tame Emerton header from Dickov's cross was their most threatening moment before half-time.

But the home side started the second half in much more purposefully, Emerton heading Michael Gray's tremendous cross against the crossbar.

Kevin Davies and Morten Gamst Pedersen battle for possession
Davies and Pedersen battle for possession in the physical encounter

Blackburn went from strength to strength, and Bolton needed a header from O'Brien to prevent a certain goal with Steven Reid's cross destined to find Dickov.

From the resulting short-corner routine, Blackburn again went close as Nelsen missed from close range after a deflection left him off-balance.

In a rare Bolton attack, Davies' clever cross invited a touch from Vaz Te but the youngster hesitated.

Worse was to follow soon after for Vaz Te, as he embarrassingly fell over with an open goal and the ball at his feet after rounding the keeper.

Blackburn continued to throw men forward in search of an elusive winner, and it needed a brilliant goalline clearance from Campo to keep Nelsen's header out.

With Bolton desperate for the final whistle, substitute Shefki Kuqi hit the bar from an injury-time corner although the referee had already blown up for a foul.

  • Blackburn boss Mark Hughes:
    "Both sides would agree the referee didn't have his best game, but can't argue about the sending-off.

    "They could have had another player sent off, so they have no argument.

    "We had chances and hit the bar twice, so it's disappointing not to win but I can't fault the players. On another day we could have won it easily."

  • Bolton boss Sam Allardyce:
    "The stats just don't stand up when Mike Reily referees us.

    "It's blatant inconsistency and, in my opinion, not good enough. He's nearly caused a riot at Ewood Park.

    "We showed real resilience and determination to get something out of the game against the odds. We've performed miracles and I'm proud."

    Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Todd, Nelsen, Gray, Emerton (Kuqi 64), Savage, Reid, Pedersen, Dickov (Bellamy 70), Bentley.
    Subs Not Used: Khizanishvili, Enckelman, Tugay.

    Booked: Reid, Bentley.

    Bolton: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Ben Haim, N'Gotty, Gardner, Nolan, Fadiga (Jansen 78), Nakata, Giannakopoulos (Vaz Te 62), Davies, Borgetti (Campo 36).
    Subs Not Used: Hunt, Walker.

    Sent Off: Nakata (33).

    Booked: Nakata, Fadiga, O'Brien, N'Gotty, Jaaskelainen.

    Att: 18,180

    Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).

    Interview: Blackburn boss Mark Hughes

    Interview: Bolton boss Sam Allardyce


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