MATCH REPORTS

Bowyer And Dyer See Off Bolton

Newcastle Utd 2: Bowyer 34; Dyer 68
Bolton 1: Stelios 41

Final Update: 90mins (1pm kick-off)

United: Given, Carr, Bramble, Boumsong, Babayaro, Dyer, Faye, Bowyer, Robert (Jenas 77), Shearer, Ameobi  Subs (not used): Butt, Harper, Milner, Hughes

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt (Fadiga 13), Ben Haim, N'Gotty, Hierro (Campo 65), Speed, Stelios, Okocha (Vaz Te 77), Gardner, Candela, Davies  Subs (not used): Poole, Jaidi

GRAEME Sounes made three changes to the side that beat Heerenveen in midweek for Sunday's visit of Bolton.

Celsetine Babayaro replaced Aaron Hughes at left back, while Jean Alain Boumsong came in for Andy O'Brien at centre back. Lee Bowyer returned from suspension to replace Nicky Butt in the centre of midfield, with Butt dropping down to the substitutes bench.

Bolton included former United star Gary Speed in their line-up, and he got the game underway with Ricardo Gardner as Bolton kicked off attacking the Gallowgate End.

A foul by Carr on Gardner gave the visitors a seventh minute free kick 30 yards out to the left of centre, but Okocha's effort was well off target.

Hunt required treatment on 12 minutes when the ball bounced up from a challenge with Faye and smashed into his shoulder. He immediately signalled to the bench to suggest his shoulder had popped out, and he was stretchered from the field to be replaced by Fadiga.

Hieroo poked the ball off the foot of Ameobi on 17 minutes to give United a corner on the right, but Speed headed Robert's inswinger away from the front post.

Candela then gave a corner away on the opposite side a minute later though once again Bolton cleared. Another flag kick quickly followed when Dyer had a hooked effort deflected away but Bolton defended well again.

United won a free kick wide on the left on 24 minutes and when Robert whipped the ball in, Bramble was just beaten to the ball by N'Gotty. Bramble then teed up Shearer for a shot that Jaaskelainen had to push out, and when Bramble picked up the loose ball and set up Dyer again the goalkeeper made the save.

Stelios' late foul on Robert gave Newcastle a free kick just oustide the left corner of the 18-yard box, but the Frenchman's curling cross was headed away by Davies.

On 34 minutes United took the lead, with Bowyer spreading the ball out to Carr then racing in to the box to get on the end of the full-back's cross to send a firm header past Jaaskelainen into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.

But four minutes before the break Bolton got back on level terms when Okocha created space for himself on the edge of the box before playing a neat ball into Davies, and when he chipped the ball up Speed nodded into the path of Stelios and he blasted past Given.

Given had to block when Stelios fired goalwards from a narrow angle on 44 minutes, but when Fadiga's took the flag kick United regained possession with a free kick after a foul inside the area.

There were claims for a spot kick instoppage time when Ben Haim appeared to handle, but referee Dunn wasn't interested in giving a penalty so the half ended all square at 1-1. 

The first caution of the game came a minute into the second period with Ben Haim going into the book for a foul on Ameobi just outside the box on the left hand side.Robert's free kick was half cleared to Faye on the edge of the box, but his curling effort went wide of the target.

Hierro was then shown a yellow, but was lucky it wasn't red, when he crudely tripped Dyer as the midfielder broke through the middle and shaped to shoot. The free kick was a yard outside of the box, and Robert swerved the ball wide. The crowd were incensed by Dunn's decision not to send the defender off, and the United players were still complaining when play resumed.

As the game reached the hour mark united were well on top, but a string of crosses from Robert were all swept to safety then a 62nd minute corner was nodded away by Hierro.

Faye fired over the bar from 30 yards on 64 minutes when Robert rolled the ball into his path, then on 65 minujtes Shearer headed wide from Babayaro's centre. Before play resumed, Bolton replaced Hierro with Campo.

A foul by Gardner on Dyer gave Newcastle a free kick right on the byeline on the inside right channel, and when Robert clipped the ball in Boumsong's header was hacked off the line by Gardner.

United were piling on the pressure, and it was no surprise when they regained the lead on 68 minutes. Shearer had a shot charged down by N'Gotty, and Dyer reacted quickly to fire the ball into the top corner past a helpless Jaaskelainen.  

Candela fired high and wide on 71 minutes after picking the ball up when Robert slipped on the half way line and advancing into the box with black and white shirts backing off, then on 77 minutes both sides made a change with Okocha being replaced by Vaz Te for the away team and United taking Robert off to give Jenas a run out.

Jaaskelained had to palm a deflected effort from Bowyer around his left hand post on 78 minutes but the corner from Bowyer was too deep and Candela cleared the ball to safety.

Wanderers won a corner on the right with eight minutes left but Boumsong did well to power the ball away.

N'Gotty had to head clear from inside the six yard area when Ameobi got on the end of Carr's cross from the right on 84 minutes, then a minute later the striker won a corner on the left off Candela, and whejn Jaaskelainen failed to collect jenas' inswinger the ball fell to Shearer but he dragged his effort wide.

Bolton won another flag kick on 86 minutes, but Shearer headed the ball away and when Dyer picked it up he raced forward before setting up jenas but he was robbed by Ben Haim before he could get a shot in.

Two minutes of stoppage time were added on at the end and United ran the clock down to take three valuable points and keep up their recent good run.

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