Wed, Nov 09, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Bolton rockets up Premiership table


Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers players watch the ball hit the goal post in the 83rd minute as Tottenham attempt an equalizing goal during their English Premiership match at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton, England, on Monday.


Bolton captain Kevin Nolan's long-range strike send his side rocketing up to third in the Premiership on Monday with a 1-0 win over Tottenham at the Reebok Stadium.

Nolan's seventh goal of the season came in the 32nd minute and was enough to divide two of the top flight's top teams.

The match was watched by England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was in the stands to see Spurs' international contingent ahead of Saturday's friendly with Argentina.

And Eriksson left the stadium with "Nolan for England" ringing in his ears after his stunning strike gave Bolton their third 1-0 win in a row -- with the 23-year-old also the match-winner against Charlton and Zenit St. Petersburg.

Nolan admitted that luck had been on his side as Spurs striker Jermain Defoe had a goal ruled out for offside and the visitors twice hit the woodwork in the closing stages.

"We were lucky with the goal but we stuck in there and dug deep," he told Sky Sports.

"Thankfully it went in! We knew Tottenham were going to be tough opposition, they have been brilliant throughout the season," he said.

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce admitted: "A little good fortune is always needed. After a terrific goal we had a few let-offs. Defoe was definitely onside. There was a hopeful cross that hit the bar, that could have slipped in. They threw everything at us and we had to defend correctly."

The win moves Bolton up to third with 23 points from 12 games, eight points behind leaders Chelsea, who stay on 31 after their shock loss on Saturday to Manchester United, with second-placed Wigan on 25 with a game in hand.

Manchester United are fourth after ending Chelsea's 40-game unbeaten Premiership run at Old Trafford.

Nolan's goal was reward for a dominant start by the hosts, but Spurs had the ball in the net on 33 minutes, only to see Defoe's finish ruled out for offside before Young-Pyo Lee missed a chance.

Nolan nearly made it 2-0 on 40 minutes when his low right-footed shot rattled the upright.

Spurs pushed forward in the closing stages and were twice denied an equaliser when Egyptian striker Mido's close-range effort hit the post and Paul Stalteri's cross in stoppage time hit the crossbar.

Spurs boss Martin Jol was disappointed that the visitors could not at least claim a draw as his side dropped one spot to sixth.

"We deserved something out of this game. We did everything right," Jol said.

"A draw I could have lived with but not a defeat like this. I am satisfied with the boys but we should have had a draw," he said.

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