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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2005, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Lok Plovdiv 1-2 Bolton (agg 2-4)
Kevin Nolan celebrates Bolton's second
Two late goals saved Bolton from an embarrassing Uefa Cup first-round exit at the hands of Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

The Bulgarians took the lead shortly after the break when Georgi Iliev scored from 25 yards, and they looked good for victory with 10 minutes left.

But the match swung back in Bolton's favour thanks to an Aleksandar Tunchev own goal.

Kevin Nolan handed Bolton a flattering scoreline when he sidefooted home, three minutes from time.

Because Plovdiv's ground did not meet Uefa guidelines, the match was played 200 miles away at the Naftex Stadium in Bourgas, a port city on the Black Sea.

And the home fans, and a large Bolton contigent who had made the journey, were treated to a relatively dismal first half which only came to life in the closing stages, when Plovdiv narrowly failed to hit the target on two occasions.

The first opportunity fell to Serbian Ivan Krizmanic, but his header flew a couple of yards over Ian Walker's crossbar.

And a minute before half-time, Boban Jancevski's effort from 20 yards out was deflected away by Bolton defender Bruno N'Gotty for a corner.

Bolton's one and only attempt on goal in the first half came from the feet of El Hadji Diouf, but his shot from outside the area whistled high and wide over the Plovdiv bar.

Sam Allardyce's willingness to play with a packed midfield meant that the Premiership team had only one outlet, Jared Borgetti, who failed to make the most of his role as lone striker.

And with Plovdiv piling forward in search of the all-important goal, the likes of Diouf and Stelios Giannakopoulos were finding themselves in the wrong half of the pitch more often than not.

But neither player, or the rest of the Bolton team, could do much about Iliev's sensational strike, which came shortly after the break.

The roaming midfielder escaped two challenges to smash the ball into the top right corner of the Wanderers net.

Allardyce's first-ever European campaign appeared to be heading for a premature end before fortune shone on the Premiership side.

With 10 minutes left, Henrik Pedersen delivered a tame low cross from the left which was deflected in by the unfortunate Tunchev.

And then Nolan capitalised on a ball from Plovdiv to fire in Bolton's second and send his side into the second round.

Lokomotiv Plovdiv: Stoyan Kolev, Ivanov, Tunchev, Georgi Iliev, Kotev, Vandev (Stoinev 62), Krasimir Dimitrov, Krizmanic (Halimi 80), Jancevski, Djordani, Robert Petrov.
Subs Not Used: Martin Kamburov, Dimitar Iliev, Georgiev, Hristev, Zlatinov.

Booked: Jancevski.

Goals: Georgi Iliev 51.

Bolton: Walker, N'Gotty, Okocha, Fernandes (Nolan 56), Borgetti (Davies 56), Giannakopoulos, O'Brien (Nakata 66), Faye, Ben Haim, Diouf, Pedersen.
Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Gardner, Vaz Te, Fojut.

Booked: Nakata.

Goals: Tunchev 79 og, Nolan 86.

Agg: (2-4)

Att: 14,000

Ref: Jouni Hyytia (Finland).

Interview: Bolton boss Sam Allardyce

Bolton 2-1 Lokomotiv Plovdiv
15 Sep 05 |  Europe


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