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Match Report

 

Posted Thu 21 Jun 12 at 22:39 PM

A last minute winner from Michael Chopra saw Town come from behind to beat Bolton 2-1 at the Reebok Stadium.


Blues had gone behind to a stunning early strike from Mark Davies before drawing level midway through the second-half from the penalty spot, with DJ Campbell slotting into the bottom corner.


There was still time for Chopra to come off the bench and pounce, firing home from close range after Adam Bogdan had only parried Bradley Orr’s shot.


Mick McCarthy was forced into one change to the side that beat Nottingham Forest in midweek, with Andy Drury replacing the injured Luke Hyam in midfield.


The game started at a bright pace with chances at either end. First Lee Martin saw a goalbound effort blocked after four minutes, before Keith Andrews was denied by a fine tip over from Stephen Henderson.


But the deadlock was broken by the hosts after just six minutes. Mark Davies received the ball off Jay Spearing, before firing in a shot that arrowed into the top corner from 25-yards leaving Henderson with no chance.


Dougie Freedman’s side went close again after 16 minutes, with good work from David N’Gog down the left seeing him lay the ball off for Kevin Davies, but the Bolton skipper could only steer his effort wide of the target from ten yards out.


Blues went close to equalising after 32 minutes though. A well worked free-kick saw Drury lay the ball off to Martin, who shot at goal with Bogdan palming his effort out to Bradley Orr, but the Town loanee could only fire the rebound over the bar.


The hosts were looking to double their advantage before the break and a defence splitting ball from Mark Davies saw him find Chris Eagles with space to run at Aaron Cresswell but the winger fired well wide of Henderson’s goal three minutes before the referee blew for half-time.


Bolton started the second-half well and Henderson made a great save to deny Kevin Davies after 50 minutes, diving low to keep out the striker’s header following a cross from his namesake Mark.


The big striker was then again thwarted by Henderson, with the Town stopper saving well just before the hour mark.


Mick McCarthy made a double change, bringing on Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Daryl Murphy, and the latter made an immediate impact as he won Blues a penalty.


Orr played the ball inside to Murphy, who spun away from Tyrone Mears, before the defender tripped the Celtic loanee in the area.


Campbell stepped up and fired into the bottom corner to bring Town back on level terms, with 20 minutes remaining.


Emmanuel-Thomas, a second-half substitute, was looking to fire Town into the lead and set off on a mazy run, beating three Bolton defenders before firing in a shot that unfortunately flew high and wide of the goal.


The former Arsenal man then played in Martin with five minutes remaining, who shot from close range only to be denied by the legs of Bogdan.


But the hosts were also in search of a winner and the impressive Mark Davies danced his way past the challenge of Guirane N’Daw, before seeing his effort from the edge of the area fly just wide with three minutes remaining.


However Town weren’t finished yet and after Murphy won a corner, Blues took the lead in the final minute.


Orr’s effort was spilled by Bogdan and Chopra scrambled the ball home from a yard out.


Town then had two chances to seal the win in injury time, with Chopra and Orr both failing to capitalise, but in the end Town held firm to take all three points. 

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