Everton 1 Bolton Wanderers 2

Last updated : 08 May 2004 By Mark Heys
A late goal from French World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff was enough to extend Bolton Wanderers winning run to five games as they defeated North West rivals Everton 2-1 in a well fought encounter at Goodison Park.

Both sides where intent on playing attacking football from the first whistle as the two managers - old friends Sam Allardyce and David Moyes came head to head in the bid to secure three Premiership points which proved valueable despite on paper looking like a meaningless game it moved the away side to within a whisker of a slot in Europe providing other results went their way.

On four minutes Everton's former Scotland striker Duncan Ferguson had the first chance of the game when he fired over the Bolton crossbar from a good 25-yards following some good interplay between his teammates.

Then less than a minute later Henrik Pedersen wasted a good chance to add to his impressive recent goals tally for Bolton when he headed wide after being picked out by Jay-Jay Okocha.

The Toffees where being helped along by the physical presence of Ferguson who was causing the Bolton defence a few problems during the days play and Wanderers full back Nicky Hunt had to be alert when clearing the ball off the line from the former Rangers player who has been putting in some good displays recently.

Pedersen again found himself in the clear for Bolton but failed to make the most of his opportunity following good work by the Trotters Player of the Year Davies, hard to beleive that all this was to happen in the opening exchanges but thankfully for the players the pace of the game was to drop slightly as the half wore on.

Okocha's long throw in's where causing problems for the home defence and Ferguson was brought back from the front line to try and combat the aeriel ability of the likes of Davies, Pedersen and N'Gotty when Bolton had throw ins near to the Everton box.

Frenchman Djorkaeff who was the saviour and star performer for the Wanderers during last weekend's win over Leeds United put Bolton in front on 14 minutes with the first of his two goals for the afternoon. Henrik Pedersen and Kevin Nolan combined neatly with some good passing and the former Inter Milan star Djorkaeff turned the Everton defence inside out before easing the ball past former England goalkeeper Nigel Martyn.

Everton despite some good possessional play could not find a way to unlock the Bolton defence despite having the potent attacking threats of Wayne Rooney, Duncan Ferguson and James McFadden in their starting eleven. It was Ferguson again who twice tested Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal prior to the half time whistle but going into the break Wanderers where satisfied with their resolute first half showing.

David Moyes changed things for Everton at the break as Canadian striker Tomasz Radzinski and Eire midfielder Lee Carsley entered the fray in place of Alex Nyarko and Alessandro Pistone, the latter of whom had picked up an injury midway through the first half.

And the gamble by the Toffees could have immediately paid off as Jaaskelainen had to be quick firstly to observe a Carsley header sail wide and then deny Radzinski with a smart save at the far post.

Kevin Davies could have capped off a fine week for Bolton by increasing their lead in the 53 minute but he failed to connect to a left sided cross by fellow striker Henrik Pedersen. Moments before midfielder Nolan had seen his chip go wide of Martyn's goalmouth.

The home side continued to press in the opening quarter of the second period, firstly young winger Leon Osman was looking for his second goal in as many games with a volley after good work from McFadden whilst boy wonder Rooney was unable to put any length of power or accuracy behind his free kick. The signs of an equaliser had been coming though and who else could it have been but Ferguson to put the home team back on level terms.

On 68 minutes Osman dispossessed Bolton in the midfield before sending Radzinski away down the flank and his cross was to be converted by the onrushing Ferguson who now becomes the Toffees leading marksman for the season with nine goals.

Bolton then felt that sub Carsley should have been dismissed for a challenge with Wanderers star Ivan Campo but referee Paul Durkin saw sense to keep the Irish star on the field to avoid the game from reaching boiling point.

The last ten minutes saw a mixture of fortune in the game from both a good and bad perspective. England U21 defender Nicky Hunt was withdrawn with what looked like a reoccurance of a troublesome shoulder injury, Anthony Barness was on hand to replace him whilst Jamaican flyer Ricardo Gardner replaced Kevin Nolan for the remaining few moments of the match after a four month injury lay off.

As the game petered out it looked as if the two North West sides would go home with a point apiece but little did they know that the mericual French ace Djorkaeff would have the last word and break Evertonian hearts with a few minutes remaining bundling the ball home past Martyn for the winning goal.

Wanderers complete their 2003-2004 Premiership programme on the road in fine style to make it five wins in five matches, the only game left to be played now will take place at the Reebok Stadium next week against Fulham, can it be six in six and more importantly can Wanderers sneak into Europe on the final day?. Even so a superb determined effort from a Bolton side who top the form guide table.