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Bolton edge five-goal thriller


Stuart Holden

Stuart Holden

Stuart Holden

Bolton survived a late comeback by Wolves to take all three points from a thrilling contest which finished 3-2 at Molineux.

The hosts dominated the opening period but shot themselves in the foot - as they had in their previous game against Arsenal - by conceding a goal in the first minute, Richard Stearman heading past his own goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann.

Second-half strikes from Johan Elmander and Stuart Holden gave Bolton a 3-0 lead and, although Kevin Foley and Steven Fletcher swiftly reduced the deficit, Mick McCarthy's side were unable to find the equaliser.

It seemed Wolves had learned little from Wednesday's experience as they again fell behind early on. Lee Chung-yong's cross was only partially cleared and he headed back into the danger zone where Stearman, under pressure from Matt Taylor, nodded past Hahnemann.

Bolton's Kevin Davies saw a shot saved before Wolves went close to making it 1-1 when Nenad Milijas rifled in a free-kick, which Jussi Jaaskelainen did well to parry. Milijas called Jaaskelainen into action again a minute before the break and Matt Jarvis then broke into the box but was thwarted by the Finnish stopper.

Wolves continued to press as the second half began, with Milijas' chip from the edge of the box clipping the bar. Fabrice Muamba's shot was deflected wide but the hosts remained in the ascendancy until a moment of magic.

Holden found Elmander, who had his back to goal but twisted sublimely through a crowd of defenders before calmly finishing in the bottom corner.

Holden then got on the scoresheet from Lee's pass and Wolves looked dead and buried.

They swiftly pulled one back, though, as Jarvis set up Foley to beat Jaaskelainen and, after 10 minutes of pressure, they grabbed another. Jaaskelainen flapped at Jarvis' corner but missed, allowing substitute Fletcher to nod home.

The comeback appeared to be on but nobody could connect with crosses from George Elokobi and Fletcher in the closing stages and Steven Mouyokolo glanced wide late on.