Oldham Athletic 0 Bolton Wanderers 1

Last updated : 30 January 2005 By Mark Heys
Bolton Wanderers progressed through to the next round of the FA Cup as an early Ricardo Vaz-Te header was enough to see off the threat of the previous round's giantkillers Oldham Athletic.

Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce made a number of enforced changes for this game with Fernando Hierro, Khalilou Fadiga, Henrik Pedersen and Vaz-Te all coming into the side in the absence of Jay-Jay Okocha, Gary Speed, and Stelios Giannakopoulos.

Despite being two leagues apart it was your typical FA Cup tie and in all fairness to Oldham they often gave the Wanderers food for though by having the lions share of the possession in the second half.

Vaz-Te scored his first senior goal in English football in the ninth minute by finishing off a delightful move which had started with Nicky Hunt in the right back position. Bolton passed the ball consecutively from one side of the field to the other and Ricardo Gardner's delightful ball in from the left found the head of the Portuguese teenager for the opener past Oldham keeper Les Pogliacomi.

The home side had a couple of half chances in the opening period to get back into the game but they could not find anything clear cut to really test the Wanderers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. Despite the constant pressure from Oldham neither John Eyre or makeshift striker Kevin Betsy could find a way through.

Oldham tried to claim a penalty in the first half as both Bruno N'Gotty and Betsy tussled for the ball but referee Matt Messias decided that the Bolton player had not done anything wrong.

Wanderers went close just before the half hour mark through Khalilou Fadiga but they found that the Latics had also sent out a strong defensive unit with both Danny Hall and Will Haining managing to keep Bolton's Kevin Davies and Henrik Pedersen relatively quiet.

The second half saw Bolton frustrated even further and they found it hard to play their regular game as Oldham kept possession well whilst also remaining firm defensively.

Pedersen and Davies did manage to get in goalscoring positions early on in the second half but neither could get enough accuracy on their attempts to fully test Pogliacomi in the Oldham goal.

On 52 minutes came one of the games major talking points as Oldham's Lee Croft, on loan from Manchester City, hacked down Wanderers defender Nicky Hunt just as he was about to clear the ball. The winger made no attempt to go for the ball and caught the young defender Hunt with a crunching tackle.

After a few minutes of treatment Hunt was stretchered off by the medical staff and rushed straight to hospital where Wanderers will await the results of an X-ray, although things do appear to be looking a bit grim.

Croft didn't even receive a booking for the malicious tackle on his England U21 team mate and if the worst comes to the worst then the Bolton player could be out for some time.

On the hour Vaz-Te missed the opportunity to grab a second for Bolton as he fired over after being put in a good position following a left wing cross by Henrik Pedersen.

Khalilou Fadiga had the chance to wrap things up for Wanderers on 73 minutes but his close range attempt was parried away by Pogliacomi with Davies firing the follow up straight at Oldham's on loan defender Alex Bruce.

Oldham then brought on young American striker Kenny Cooper for his debut in place of John Eyre. The Manchester United forward immediately tested Jussi Jaaskelainen from close range.

Full back Adam Griffin and youngster Kevin Lomax both failed to get their late efforts on target for Oldham but it was fair to say that a lot of the Bolton contingent had their hearts in their mouths for the final few minutes of that game. Oldham did very well to keep and maintain possession. throughout the game and where very resilient in keeping Wanderers at 1-0.