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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 November 2007, 16:55 GMT
Bolton 0-0 Middlesbrough
By Mike Burnett

Kevin Davies and Andrew Taylor
Bolton and Boro had to settle for a point in a tightly contested match

Gary Megson remains without a win as Bolton manager after his side were held to a goalless draw by fellow strugglers Middlesbrough at the Reebok Stadium.

Despite an epic midweek draw against Bayern Munich, Megson has yet to win in five matches but Gary Speed and Kevin Davies should have done better.

Speed's free-kick hit the side netting early on before Davies sent a 20-yard effort wide just before the break.

Boro's best effort saw Jeremie Aliadiere's shot with 20 minutes left.

Megson clearly hoped the impressive 2-2 result in Munich might have marked a turning point in Bolton's fortunes.

After seeing his team draw with Aston Villa, West Ham and Bayern, as well as lose to Manchester City in the Carling Cup, Megson was still chasing his first win in charge.

But with Nicolas Anelka still injured and fellow striker El-Hadji Diouf suspended, it was unsurprising the game delivered no goals and only a few real chances.

Speed was unlucky to see his free-kick dip just wide of the top right-hand corner half an hour in, and Davies saw his 20-yard drive beat the keeper but breeze outside the far post.


Ivan Campo, who missed Thursday's draw in Germany, also came close near the hour mark, when he failed to turn the ball goalward from close range.

Boro's boss Gareth Southgate had plenty to worry about early on as his side's chances were even more sparse.

Their main highlight of the opening half was Emanuel Pogatetz returning to action after his lengthy lay-off, coming on for Andrew Taylor in the 30th minute.

The visitors' best chance, however, was when Gary O'Neil tried his luck on goal five minutes before the break but saw his effort blocked.

Things improved in the second half for Southgate's side as they built some forward momentum.

Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, back after missing Thursday's Uefa Cup tie, had to react quickly to block Aliadiere with 20 minutes to go.

And moments later, Jaaskelainen was again alert to deny Stewart Downing's drive from 20 yards out.

However, despite some frantic scrambles in the box, both teams had to settle for an unsatisfactory point.

Bolton, on eight points, remain in the bottom three with just one league win this season to their name, while Boro are two points above and without a Premiership victory in eight matches.

  • Bolton boss Gary Megson:
    "We've got to start taking the position we're in forward in wins instead of draws, and that's the challenge for us.

    "We're disappointed because we were doing the pressing for most of the time but it's our sixth game in 17 days.

    "While Middlesbrough were on a bonding trip and preparing for eight days, we were traipsing around Europe and putting a good shift in at Bayern."

  • Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate:
    "We've got quite a young side who stood up to that challenge. We wanted to come here and win it if we possibly could.

    "I thought Jeremie Aliadiere gave us everything he had up front but we weren't able to create enough clear-cut chances to warrant winning the game.

    "But we certainly defended well enough that we deserved the point."

    Bolton: Jaaskelainen, McCann, Meite, Andrew O'Brien, Cid, Guthrie, Nolan (Giannakopoulos 64), Campo, Speed (Teymourian 80), Gardner, Davies.
    Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Braaten, Michalik.

    Booked: Nolan.

    Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Young, Riggott, Wheater, Taylor (Pogatetz 30), O'Neil, Boateng, Cattermole, Downing, Aliadiere, Sanli (Hutchinson 68).
    Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Shawky, Lee.

    Booked: Wheater, Young.

    Att: 17,624

    Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

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