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Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Saturday, 17 April 2010 17:05 UK

Stoke   1 - 2   Bolton

Matt Taylor
Bolton's two-goal hero Matt Taylor celebrates his late equaliser

By Les Roopanarine

Matt Taylor claimed a dramatic late double as Bolton came from behind to undo a dominant Stoke performance.

The Potters established an early lead when striker Dave Kitson slotted in a lobbed pass from Tuncay.

Robert Huth and Tuncay went on to rattle the woodwork for the home side, but on 85 minutes Matt Taylor drove in a deflected free-kick for the Trotters.

And two minutes later Taylor completed Stoke's misery by tucking away a cross from substitute Vladimir Weiss.

Taylor's decisive intervention capped a remarkable turnaround for Bolton, who were woeful in the first half but may well have secured their Premier League status for another season with a victory that looked unthinkable five minutes from time.

Coyle pleased with Bolton response

Comprehensively outplayed for the first 45 minutes, the visitors looked every inch a team still smarting from a run of four successive league defeats.

The half-time introduction of Ivan Klasnic contributed significantly to an improved second-half showing, but Stoke manager Tony Pulis will nonetheless be left scratching his head after this one.

So too, perhaps, will Owen Coyle, whose Bolton side had gone over seven hours without scoring before Taylor popped up with two in three minutes.

A visit to the inhospitable environs of the Potteries, where Stoke had previously been beaten just five times in the league all season, was hardly what Coyle needed in his quest to put further daylight between Bolton and the relegation zone.

Yet the Scot can now contemplate a league table that shows his side seven points clear of the bottom three with three games remaining.

Whether consciously or not, Coyle effectively added a new term to the footballing lexicon when he suggested before the game that Stoke are not just a "long-throw team".

Perhaps he was aware of the unlikely statistic that his Bolton side have scored more goals than Stoke from throw-ins this season, six to the Potters' five.


Either way, Pulis's side are not without occasional finesse amid the heavy artillery, and the artful simplicity of their opener would have pleased the most discerning aesthete.

Gathering the ball just outside the centre circle, Tuncay sprung the offside trap with an inventive flick over the Bolton defence, allowing Kitson to steal in just ahead of goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen before slotting home an angled finish.

Yet it would be an exaggeration to suggest that the Potters have undergone an overnight transformation, and either side of their goal Bolton were obliged to fend off a barrage of set plays, with Rory Delap's long throws naturally to the fore.

It was from that familiar source that the home side quickly came close to adding a second, Germany defender Huth rising to send a glancing header against the post which the lurking Liam Lawrence was unable to covert.

Stoke were abetted by a wretched Bolton display, epitomised by the moment when a rare attack petered out with Paul Robinson sliding a pass almost comically into empty space.

But for all their initial lack of confidence and cohesion, the visitors improved steadily after the break, thanks in no small part to the introduction of Klasnic, who came on for Sam Ricketts.

Pulis frustrated by officials

Croatia international Klasnic twice fired narrowly wide of the far post, and was also in the vanguard of a rapid counter-attack that culminated with Jack Wilshere forcing a rare save from home stopper Thomas Sorensen.

Nonetheless, Stoke came closer to claiming the next goal, Dean Whitehead drawing a fine reaction save from Jaaskelainen with a close-range lob.

Jaaskelainen again came to Bolton's rescue when he tipped a close-range Tuncay effort onto the post; Gretar Steinsson somehow did enough to persuade Kitson to fire the loose ball over with the goal at his mercy.

It set the scene for an unlikely finale, although controversy surrounded referee Stuart Attwell's decision to award the free-kick that led to Taylor's equaliser.

The suspicion was that Weiss went down under minimal contact from Whitehead on the edge of the box, although there could be no disputing the quality of the late cross he stood up for Taylor's winner three minutes later.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis:

"It's disappointing - we missed so many chances, and the game really should have been out of sight by the time they scored their first.

"The free-kick was frustrating, but it was just one of those games.

"It was Bolton's day and you just have to take it on the chin."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle:

"It's a huge three points. I certainly felt it was a free-kick, and I was delighted we got it.

"We're not safe yet, there are still some good teams fighting for their lives, just as we are.

"We've got to keep picking up points, because there will be a few twists and turns yet."

Live text and stats


Saturday, 17 April 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Stoke 1-2 Bolton FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Kitson 13
  • Taylor 85
  • Taylor 88





Ref: AttwellAtt: 27,250


  • Stoke 56%
  • Bolton 44%

Attempts on target

  • Stoke 5
  • Bolton 8

Attempts off target

  • Stoke 6
  • Bolton 5


  • Stoke 5
  • Bolton 1


  • Stoke 11
  • Bolton 5
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:22 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
  • 90:00+3:41 Foul by Dean Whitehead on Jack Wilshere, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
  • 90:00+1:19 Abdoulaye Faye produces a right-footed shot from close range that goes over the bar.
  • 87:38 Vladimir Weiss provided the assist for the goal.
  • 87:38 GOAL - Matthew TaylorStoke 1 - 2 Bolton Matthew Taylor scores a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Stoke 1-2 Bolton.
  • 84:35 GOAL - Matthew TaylorStoke 1 - 1 Bolton Matthew Taylor hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 1-1 Bolton.
  • 83:34 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Vladimir Weiss by Dean Whitehead.
  • 80:54 Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the free kick.
  • 80:54 Substitution Dave Kitson goes off and James Beattie comes on.
  • 80:54 Substitution Mark Davies replaces Fabrice Muamba.
  • 80:54 Corner from the left by-line taken by Matthew Etherington, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Cahill by Dave Kitson.
  • Correction - 80:28 Vladimir Weiss takes a shot. Thomas Sorensen makes a comfortable save.
  • 80:28 Vladimir Weiss takes a shot. Comfortable save by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 79:05 Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Ricardo Fuller misses to the right of the target.
  • 77:39 Danny Higginbotham takes a shot. Jussi Jaaskelainen makes a comfortable save.
  • 76:04 Substitution Tuncay Sanli goes off and Ricardo Fuller comes on.
  • 74:52 Shot from just outside the box by Ivan Klasnic goes over the crossbar.
  • 72:31 Shot by Tuncay Sanli from inside the penalty area bounces off the post. Close range shot by Dave Kitson clears the bar.
  • 69:48 Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 69:48 Substitution Liam Lawrence goes off and Matthew Etherington comes on.
  • 69:48 Substitution Chung-Yong Lee leaves the field to be replaced by Vladimir Weiss.
  • 69:48 Dean Whitehead takes a shot. Jussi Jaaskelainen makes a save. Jack Wilshere fouled by Dave Kitson, the ref awards a free kick.
  • 66:02 Danny Collins takes a shot. Comfortable save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 65:18 Abdoulaye Faye restarts play with the free kick.
  • 65:18 Booking Jack Wilshere booked.
  • 65:08 Foul by Jack Wilshere on Glenn Whelan, free kick awarded.
  • 63:16 Shot by Matthew Taylor. Comfortable save by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 59:00 Jack Wilshere takes a shot. Save by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 56:09 Tuncay Sanli challenges Gary Cahill unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 55:24 Ivan Klasnic has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 54:17 Effort on goal by Matthew Taylor from long distance goes over the crossbar.
  • 51:33 Matthew Taylor takes the direct free kick. Ivan Klasnic takes a shot. Blocked by Glenn Whelan.
  • 51:33 Booking Glenn Whelan is given a yellow card.
  • 51:18 Glenn Whelan concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Wilshere.
  • 50:01 Ivan Klasnic produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 48:56 Kevin Davies takes a shot. Rory Delap gets a block in.
  • 48:32 Dean Whitehead concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Wilshere. Free kick taken by Gretar Rafn Steinsson.
  • 46:07 Effort from inside the area by Zat Knight misses to the right of the goal.
  • 45:21 Foul by Abdoulaye Faye on Ivan Klasnic, free kick awarded. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
  • 45:01 Substitution Ivan Klasnic joins the action as a substitute, replacing Samuel Ricketts.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:17 The match has reached half-time.
  • 43:39 Gary Cahill concedes a free kick for a foul on Tuncay Sanli. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 38:57 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Liam Lawrence.
  • 37:59 Corner taken right-footed by Liam Lawrence, Paul Robinson makes a clearance.
  • 33:35 Dave Kitson is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
  • 32:17 Glenn Whelan produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, Samuel Ricketts gets a block in.
  • 32:17 Booking Booking for Fabrice Muamba for unsporting behaviour.
  • 32:04 Foul by Fabrice Muamba on Robert Huth, free kick awarded.
  • 26:26 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gretar Rafn Steinsson by Dave Kitson. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 24:08 Liam Lawrence takes a outswinging corner.
  • 19:43 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Liam Lawrence from the right by-line, clearance by Kevin Davies.
  • 15:24 Header from inside the area by Robert Huth bounces off the post.
  • 13:31 Kevin Davies concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Higginbotham. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 12:13 Tuncay Sanli provided the assist for the goal.
  • 12:13 GOAL - Dave KitsonStoke 1 - 0 Bolton Dave Kitson finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Stoke 1-0 Bolton.
  • 10:50 Robert Huth produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
  • 3:26 Gretar Rafn Steinsson fouled by Dave Kitson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 2:46 Jack Wilshere challenges Glenn Whelan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 1:53 Short corner taken by Chung-Yong Lee from the left by-line.
  • 1:23 Unfair challenge on Kevin Davies by Danny Higginbotham results in a free kick. Strike comes in from Matthew Taylor from the free kick, Dean Whitehead gets a block in.
  • 0:00 The game kicks-off.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.

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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 17 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 35 54 77
2 Man Utd 35 51 76
3 Arsenal 34 40 71
4 Tottenham 34 28 64
5 Man City 34 27 62
6 Liverpool 34 21 56
7 Aston Villa 33 12 55
8 Everton 35 9 54
9 Birmingham 35 -8 47
10 Fulham 34 -2 43
11 Stoke 34 -4 43
12 Blackburn 35 -16 43
13 Sunderland 35 -7 41
14 Bolton 35 -25 35
15 Wolves 35 -23 34
16 Wigan 34 -34 32
17 West Ham 34 -16 31
18 Hull 34 -38 28
19 Burnley 35 -37 27
20 Portsmouth 34 -32 15