Three Points And Another Clean Sheet

Last updated : 27 October 2003 By Brian Cartlidge

Forssell 31

Mikael Forssell's fourth goal in six games proved to be enough for Blues to come away with their first victory in Bolton for 40 years.

Although Bolton could claim to be somewhat unlucky to concede all three points as the elements played a big part in Blues' winner on the half-hour mark when Simon Charlton's slip on the greasy turf let in Mikael Forssell.

A break down the left saw Christophe Dugarry pushing the ball across the Bolton area and when Charlton slipped as he went to clear, Forsell seized on the chance to fire past his Finnish countryman Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Moments later Blues had a good shout for a penalty turned down when David Dunn appeared to be tripped on the edge of the box by Ivan Campo, referee Mr Foy preferring instead to see the incident as a dive and handing out a yellow card to the Blues midfielder.

Wanderers could have levelled almost immediately when Kevin Davies was given a clear cut shooting chance but somehow Maik Taylor managed to get a hand to the ball to deflect it over the bar, a save described by both managers as world class.

The second half followed the same pattern with the Bolton front line running into Blues defensive wall with the visitors content to soak up the presuure and play on the break.

Blues could claim to be unlucky on one of those attacks, when Thome appeared to have bundled over Forsell in the area but the referee once again waved away the penalty appeals. While at the other end, Stelios Giannakopoulos and Per Frandsen contrived to get in each other's way to ruin another chance.

Wanderers spent the rest of the game trying to break down the Blues back four but never had the guile or the finishing power to find a way past one of the Premiership's meanest defences.

Bolton 0
Birmingham 1
1. J.Jaaskelainen
2. E.Thome
3. S.Charlton
4. R.Ivan Campo (65)
5. B.N'Gotty
6. R.Gardner
7. P.Frandsen
8. J.Okocha
9. S.Giannakopoulos (81)
10. K.Nolan (84)
11. K.Davies
1. M.Taylor
2. O.Tebily (58)
3. J.Clapham
4. K.Cunningham
5. M.Upson
6. A.Cisse
7. D.Dunn
8. S.Clemence
9. S.Lazaridis (77)
10. M.Forssell
11. C.Dugarry (88)
12. K.Poole
13. G.Little (84)
M.Jardel (65)
15. H.Pedersen (81)
16. A.Barness

12. I.Bennett
13. L.Figueroa
14. C.Morrison(88)
15. J.Kenna(58)
16. B.Hughes(77)