Bolton Wanderers picked up all three points in their Barclays Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day, Sunday 26th December 2010, courtesy of a goal in the last five minutes of each half which saw them finish up 2-0 winners at the Reebok Stadium.
West Brom will travel back to the midlands from the North West wondering how they failed to take home at least a point, after some good football saw them retain marginally more possession and produced more shots – both on and off target – than their hosts.
Instead, it would be Bolton who moved up the table – to fifth (for the time being) – after goals from Matthew Taylor (40 mins) and Johan Elmander (86 mins) secured all three points for the home side.
Peter Odemwingie, usually so clinical for West Brom, was the main culprit for the visitors, as the striker had something of an off-day, missing three chances he would usually expect to score.
West Bromwich were punished for their lack of killer instinct in front of goal when Chung-Yong Lee, who was in excellent form, produced a fine run and pinpoint cross to Matty Taylor to slot home cooly on 40 minutes.
More West Brom indecisiveness in the final third was punished by Elmander, who scored his ninth league goal of the season, though he needed a second bite of the cherry after his first effort was blocked.
Bolton finished this match very strongly, and were well worth their win, such was the quality of the football they played in the final 15 minutes, but West Brom will travel home puzzling over what might have been after producing the lions share of chances prior to that.
Owen Coyle’s men move up to fifth in the league, at least until the result of Tottenham’s game away at Aston Villa and, on the evidence of this afternoon, they have more than enough talent to pose a serious threat to Spurs for that position come the end of the season.
West Brom will hope for better, particularly from Odemwingie, next time out at home to Blackburn, with whom they are level in the league, on 22 points.