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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 March 2007, 15:29 GMT
Bolton 1-2 Blackburn
By Saj Chowdhury

Benni McCarthy
McCarthy (right) tussles with Speed
Two second-half penalties from Benni McCarthy were enough to hand Blackburn victory at local rivals Bolton.

McCarthy scored his first from the spot after David Bentley was fouled inside the area by Gary Speed.

The South African picked himself up to score his second penalty after he was brought down by Abdoulaye Faye.

Nicolas Anelka ensured a grandstand finish when he fired a low, angled shot past Brad Friedel, while a Faye header was disallowed for offside late on.

As Newcastle's match against Middlesbrough proved, not all derbies are blood and thunder affairs and after the tepid opening half of this encounter, the supporters at the Reebok Stadium must have thought their day could have been spent doing something else.

606 DEBATE: Give your thoughts on the match

But football being football the second half was a massively different affair.

Going into the game Bolton had won eight Premiership matches at home this season but following their 4-1 defeat by Tottenham last week, they looked uncharacteristically lacklustre and disorganised.

One player who they should have kept a closer eye on was Bentley.

The Blackburn wide player, lively throughout the match, should have given his side the lead in the first half but blazed over from 12 yards after being put clean through by McCarthy.

But another opportunist run led to the first penalty when he was fouled by Speed inside the area.

The former Newcastle player did not complain about referee Rob Styles' decision as McCarthy stepped up to fire the ball low into the bottom right of Jussi Jaaskelainen's goal.

Bolton sparked into life after the setback and came close to an equaliser but Henrik Pedersen's low, 18-yard drive was cleared off the line by David Dunn.

They were left to rue the miss when McCarthy scored his second penalty after Faye was adjudged to have fouled the striker.

The South African picked the same spot, although Jaaskelainen will have thought he could have got a stronger hand to the ball.

It looked all over but an Anelka strike three minutes from time made it a nervous last few minutes for Blackburn as Bolton piled forward.

And Sam Allardyce's men thought they had salvaged a point when Faye sent a looping header over Friedel's head but the assistant referee raised his flag for offside to deny what would have been a great comeback.

  • Bolton manager Sam Allardyce:
    "It is a shame an offside flag should have cancelled out what was such a monstrous header.

    "It's a shame but it is our own fault for giving two ridiculous penalties."

  • Blackburn boss Mark Hughes:
    "For us to come to Bolton and put in that performance and win the game was great.

    "The last few minutes were a little bit nerve-wracking but I don't know where the official got the four minutes of stoppage time from.

    "We're a good side and it takes a lot to convince people we can play. We've had injuries but now we're in the mix."

    Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, Faye, Ben Haim, Pedersen, Nolan, Campo, Speed (Teymourian 78), Giannakopoulos (Vaz Te 69), Anelka, Diouf.
    Subs Not Used: Walker, Gardner, Tal.

    Booked: Ben Haim.

    Goals: Anelka 87.

    Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Nelsen, Samba, Warnock, Bentley (Gallagher 85), Dunn, Mokoena, Pedersen, Derbyshire (Roberts 73), McCarthy.
    Subs Not Used: Brown, Khizanishvili, Kerimoglu.

    Goals: McCarthy 58 pen, 68 pen.

    Att: 21,743

    Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).

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