Ngog boosts Bolton's survival bid

Apr 25, 2012 - 11:04
  • Bolton Wanderers' US Tim Ream (L) vies with Aston Villa's English striker Gabriel Agbonlahor (R) during their English Premier League football match at Villa Park in Birmingham, England on April 24, 2012. AFP PHOTO

Bolton boosted their survival bid and dragged Aston Villa into the Premier League relegation dogfight as David Ngog clinched a 2-1 win at Villa Park on Tuesday.

Owen Coyle's side fell behind to Stephen Warnock's second half strike, but recovered in impressive fashion with two goals in quick succession as Martin Petrov equalised with a penalty before Ngog bagged the winner seconds later.

Bolton remain in the bottom three but they are now just one point from safety with a game in hand, while Villa are only three points above the drop zone with three matches to play.

Villa boss Alex McLeish must have feared it wouldn't be his night when he was forced to make three changes as Alan Hutton, Warnock and Emile Heskey came in for injured trio James Collins, Stephen Ireland and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

McLeish's men made a positive start and could have gone ahead inside the first minute after Charles N'Zogbia's corner picked out Chris Herd and the youngster headed just over the bar.

Villa and Bolton fans showed their appreciation for Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who is recovering from cardiac arrest, with 60 seconds' applause in the sixth minute, in recognition of his shirt number.

There was a brief moment of controversy when Bolton boss Owen Coyle and Villa coach Kevin MacDonald had to be kept apart by fourth official Craig Pawson after Ryo Miyaichi was bundled into touch by Villa defender Eric Lichaj.

Japanese midfielder Miyaichi, on loan from Arsenal, was quickly back on his feet and tested Villa keeper Shay Given with a low drive.

But Villa were on top and Stephen Warnock smashed his shot against the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area moments later.

N'Zogbia also struck the woodwork, clipping the outside of a post with a 30-yard free-kick, before the interval.

Coyle made a half-time substitution with striker Kevin Davies replacing Miyaichi, but Villa were posing more attacking threat and Warnock broke the deadlock when he converted a cross from N'Zogbia in the 61st minute.

That should have been the signal for Villa to press home their advantage, but Bolton hit straight back with two goals in the space of two minutes.

First Petrov levelled from the penalty spot after Carlos Cuellar brought down Mark Davies in the 62nd minute.

Then Chris Eagles was allowed too much room to pick out Ngog and the former Liverpool forward fired home from close-range.

With 20 minutes left, McLeish sent on Agbonlahor for Heskey in a bid to reenergise his side, but N'Zogbia wasted their last chance when he blazed over from 20 yards.

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