Section: Bolton

FA Cup: Bolton 1-2 Liverpool

Liverpool secure late win at Bolton thanks to fine Philippe Coutinho strike

Philippe Coutinho celebrated his new five-year contract with an added-time winner as Liverpool kept their FA Cup hopes alive in a dramatic late turnaround at Bolton.

The Brazil international committed his long-term future to the club on Monday and marked the occasion with only his third goal of the season in the second additional minute to seal a 2-1 win.

Raheem Sterling had equalised in the 85th minute as Wanderers buckled under the pressure of having to play the last 25 minutes with 10 men after Neil Danns’ dismissal following Eidur Gudjohnsen’s disputed penalty.

It kept alive the hope of a fairytale ending to Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool career before he flies off to join Los Angeles Galaxy, with the final falling on the day of his 35th birthday.

The Liverpool captain was making his 700th appearance, becoming only the third person to reach the landmark for the club after Ian Callaghan (857) and Jamie Carragher (737), in this tie but for once he was not the one to influence proceedings.

But for a long time it looked as though it would be a miserable occasion for the midfielder as Neil Lennon’s team produced a similarly admirable defensive performance to the one which had earned them a goalless draw at Anfield, and for 85 minutes it looked like being the perfect gameplan.

With injury denying Emile Heskey another chance to face his former club, defender Matt Mills started the match as a makeshift striker alongside Eidur Gudjohnsen.

His lack of experience in the position was reflected by the pre-match odds, which had him at 50-1 to score with midfielder Darren Pratley, out for six weeks with a hamstring injury, rated a better bet at 20-1.

As in their first meeting, chances were at a premium for Wanderers and the best, as at Anfield, fell to Gudjohnsen who ballooned over from Josh Vela’s cross, and David Wheater who headed straight at goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Liverpool, as you would expect, created the greater number of opportunities, with Sterling planting a shot against the post after being given far too much time to turn and pick his spot by the Bolton defence.

It was a rare error of judgement in the first half as they restricted the visitors to weak efforts from Gerrard, Coutinho (twice) and Sterling.

Dorian Dervite produced the tackle of the match early in the second half to dispossess Sterling just as he was about to pull the trigger having raced on to Coutinho’s pass as the hosts’ defending continued to keep the Premier League side at bay.

If Liverpool were frustrated by their opponents then they were infuriated by referee Roger East’s decision to award a 59th-minute penalty.

Skrtel was naive in dangling a leg but the 19-year-old Clough showed the nous of an old pro in taking full advantage to go down from minimal, if any, contact.

Gudjohnsen drilled home from the spot but Bolton soon found themselves down to 10 men when Danns was sent off for a second bookable offence for a foul on Joe Allen.

Daniel Sturridge was sent on to find a goal in the final 20 minutes, just as he had on his comeback against West Ham on Saturday, but it was Jordan Henderson, another substitute, and defender Emre Can who came closest, with the former’s volley deflected on to a post by Wheater and goalkeeper Andy Lonergan finger-tipping the other on to the crossbar.

Sterling was the saviour five minutes from time as he slotted Can’s pass through Lonergan’s legs – Liverpool’s 700th FA Cup goal – before Coutinho bent one into the top corner from distance as Bolton’s resistance eventually broke and the Reds booked a fifth-round tie at Crystal Palace.

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Championship: Rotherham 4-2 Bolton

Rotherham produced a terrific first-half display against Bolton to set up their second league win in 15 matches.

Ben Pringle volleyed Conor Newton’s cross home before Conor Sammon netted his first Rotherham goal on 22 minutes.

Matt Derbyshire set up Sammon’s tap-in and Paul Green’s glancing header, before Derbyshire smashed in the Millers’ fourth after the interval.

Liam Trotter and Matt Mills reduced the arrears, but Rotherham moved five points clear of the relegation zone.

Bolton, on 33 points, are only four points better off than the hosts but went into this game on a run of only one defeat in their last 11 league games.

Their form since Neil Lennon took charge in October has been in stark contrast to their early season results. but a horror opening period left the visitors with too much to do, despite a late rally.

Pringle was on hand at the back post to turn home a delivery from Newton – making his first start for Steve Evans’s side since his move from Newcastle last summer – and though Bolton rallied, Eidur Gudjohnsen was denied the chance to level by Richie Smallwood’s sliding tackle.

Derbyshire was the game’s stand-out player and his effort – saved by Andy Lonergan – left on-loan Derby forward Sammon with an easy goal.

Sammon had only managed one goal in 19 league appearances while on loan at Ipswich earlier in the campaign, but gave his new side a platform to go on and secure their sixth win of the season.

Green’s header put the home side 3-0 up by the break and Derbyshire all but ended the contest on 57 minutes after he glided unopposed through the Bolton midfield to blast his second goal of the season into the top corner.

Trotter struck a consolation with 13 minutes left when he latched onto a knockdown from Mills, who bundled in a header two minutes later to add some respectability to the scoreline.

However, no late surge arrived as Rotherham made sure of their first home win in nine matches.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Liverpool 0-0 Bolton

Bolton earn FA Cup replay with goalless draw at Liverpool

Liverpool’s avoided an FA Cup upset at home to Bolton but even on a day of shocks it was not much of an achievement after a toothless display against Championship opponents Bolton.

There was a distinct absence of the vigour and verve of their exhilarating second-half performance against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup in midweek as Neil Lennon succeeded where Jose Mourinho had failed in keeping a clean sheet at Anfield.

The visitors defended resolutely, if sometimes illegally, to earn a replay after Liverpool failed to break them down.

There was no cup fairytale for Emile Heskey on his return to his former club as part of a combined 73-year-old strikeforce with Eidur Gudjohnsen as he was replaced just after half-time – but the consolation is he gets another go back at the Macron Stadium, where there will be a greater chance of an upset.

After the surprise results posted by lower league opposition against the Premier League’s finest earlier in the day Liverpool could have been forgiven for being cautious.

However, inviting the opposition onto them in the first 10 minutes, which included one almighty penalty area scramble at a corner, was not the ideal way to settle the nerves.

Gradually they established some control with Jordan Henderson, deputising for the captain Steven Gerrard who was omitted from the squad entirely with Tuesday’s League Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge to come, taking charge in central areas with a dipping left-footed volley palmed away by Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.

The growing relationship between Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling again looked Liverpool’s most profitable avenue but too often the final pass could not get through or, if it did, neither appeared too keen on shooting.

Finding themselves having to cope with runners from all directions, Wanderers’ Matt Mills and Josh Vela were both booked for attempted rugby tackles on Sterling and Joe Allen, making his first appearance since the loss to Manchester United in mid-December – Liverpool’s only defeat in the last 16 matches.

Bolton’s best chance came from Dean Moxey’s long-range shot which spun just wide, although Simon Mignolet chesting down the ball outside his area and almost getting caught in possession at the end of the first half produced an audible sharp intake of breath around Anfield.

Within five minutes of the restart Henderson’s diagonal ball picked out Lazar Markovic, on for the ineffectual Jose Enrique, who passed Mills only to go down just outside the area.

Inexplicably referee Kevin Friend decided the already-cautioned Bolton captain had not committed a foul nor had the Serbia international dived – although television replays suggested the former.

Bogdan judged his block far better when Sterling raced onto a through-ball from Coutinho, who then saw a low drive well saved by Bogdan – only for Javier Manquillo to snatch at the rebound and drag his shot wide.

Bolton knew they would not get many chances but they would have wanted them to fall to Gudjohnsen and a striker of his experience had to do better than ballooning over Vela’s cross from 10 yards out.

Rodgers’s last throw of the dice was to send on Lucas Leiva and Fabio Borini for Allen and the disappointing Javier Manquillo – and virtually Borini’s first touch saw his shot denied by Bogdan.

Another former Liverpool player Jay Spearing, on as a substitute, could have gifted his old club a penalty after seeming to push Henderson as he charged through on goal but Friend saw no foul.

A header wide from Borini and Lucas’s long-range effort were Liverpool’s last chances as Bolton held on as their fans celebrated like it was a victory and in the directors’ box chairman Phil Gartside punched the air.

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Championship: Huddersfield 2-1 Bolton

Nahki Wells scored a late winner as Huddersfield fought back to end Bolton’s eight-match unbeaten run.

Darren Pratley gave the visitors the lead after 41 seconds, crashing the ball home off the underside of the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Keeper Andy Lonergan made a series of saves before Jacob Butterfield levelled with a half-volley.

Substitute Wells then coolly finished under Lonergan after Emile Heskey had a Bolton effort ruled out for offside.

Former England striker Heskey was again used as a substitute after scoring on his debut for the Trotters on Boxing Day, but his introduction could not stop Bolton slipping to a first defeat since 31 October.

Huddersfield’s first victory in four matches sees them move up to 18th in the Championship table, while Bolton drop one spot to 15th.

Trotters midfielder Pratley punished the Terriers for their inability to decisively clear the danger from an early free-kick, calmly bringing the ball down on his chest before giving Bolton the ideal start with a thumping finish.

Butterfield went close to hitting back soon after, testing Lonergan from close range, while James Vaughan and Harry Bunn also called the visiting keeper into action.

Alex Smithies kept Eidur Gudjohnsen out at the other end before Jonathan Hogg found Butterfield in space to rifle in a deserved equaliser.

Butterfield continued to trouble Bolton and had a weak follow-up shot scrambled away by Lonergan after the keeper had kept Vaughan at bay.

Heskey looked to have put Bolton 2-1 up but, after poking the ball past Smithies, his effort was ruled out for offside.

Lonergan tipped a Jack Robinson shot over the bar before Wells won it with a low finish after racing on to a Hogg through ball.

Read more at BBC Sport

Championship: Bolton Wanderers sign ex-England striker Emile Heskey

Championship side Bolton Wanderers have signed former England striker Emile Heskey on a short-term contract.

The 36-year-old had been training with the club and made an appearance for their Under-21 side on Monday, playing 63 minutes of the defeat by Reading.

Heskey, who played 62 times for England, had been with Australian A-League side Newcastle Jets before his release in April.

Bolton are now awaiting international clearance for the forward.

Manager Neil Lennon is a former Leicester team-mate of Heskey, who also played for Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Aston Villa before his move down under.

Lennon recently signed another 36-year-old striker in Eidur Gudjohnsen, who returned to his former club following a similar trial spell.

Although not a prolific scorer, with 119 goals in 563 league games and only seven at international level, Heskey’s reputation was built on his support play and willingness to play in a variety of positions.

His last appearance in English football came with Aston Villa against Norwich in May 2012, and his last goal in England was for Villa against Blackburn in August 2011.

Bolton are 16th in the Championship and host Blackburn on Boxing Day.

Read more at BBC Sport

Championship: Bolton 1-2 Bournemouth

Managerless Bolton remain bottom of the Championship after losing to 10-man Bournemouth in their first game since the departure of Dougie Freedman.

Cherries striker Yann Kermorgant was sent off for a high boot on Mark Davies nine minutes before half-time.

Callum Wilson fired the visitors in front after the break but Jay Spearing levelled for Wanderers from 25 yards.

Bolton pressed for a winner but Wilson chested down Harry Arter’s pass and slotted in to earn Bournemouth victory.

After Freedman left by mutual consent on Friday, goalkeeping coach Lee Turner and player-coach Andy Hughes were placed in temporary charge of Wanderers, who slipped to the foot of the table followingBlackpool’s win against Cardiff on Friday.

The pair made three changes to the team beaten 4-0 at Fulham on Wednesday and they watched their side make a bright start, with Craig Davies twice denied by Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc in the first 10 minutes.

But the visitors, who had won only one of their previous eight league games before their victory at the Macron Stadium, were also posing a threat.

Bolton goalkeeper Andy Lonergan was forced into two smart saves to keep out long-range efforts from Matt Ritchie, while defender Dorian Dervite headed Kermorgant’s set-piece off the line.

The hosts tried to make their numerical advantage count after French striker Kermorgant had been dismissed, but Jermaine Beckford fired two efforts just wide as the first period ended goalless.

Those misses would prove costly as Wilson netted his sixth goal of the season within seconds of the restart, firing through the legs of Lonergan.

Captain Spearing equalised within five minutes with his first goal since March but, after surviving a spell of Bolton pressure during which Craig Davies hit the bar with a deflected shot, Bournemouth were back in front midway through the second half as former Coventry frontman Wilson netted his second of the match.

Striker Max Clayton was brought off the bench for his Bolton debut but the hosts, who have just five points from their first 11 Championship matches, could not find a response.

Read more on BBC Sport