Nolan strikes as Bolton beat Pompey

Portsmouth, September 26 :

Kevin Nolan’s first half opener proved the difference as Bolton beat Portsmouth 1-0 to hung on to claim sixth place in the Premiership at Fratton Park on Monday.

Pompey’s striker Benjani was guilty of two glaring misses and Sean Davis struck a post in the first five minutes as Harry Redknapp’s men failed to reclaim top spot in the Premiership from Chelsea.

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce said it was the perfect antidote to what had been a difficult

week with a BBC documentary alleging that he accepted bungs from agents for transfers.

Bolton took the lead completely against the run of play. Tal Ben Haim’s lofted free kick was headed away by Linvoy Primus only to find Kevin Nolan on the edge of the area and the midfielder wasted no time in dispatching a volley into the far corner of David James’ net.

The goal was met with a collective hush around Fratton Park, not just because it went against the balance of the game but also because it was the first conceded by Pompey in 472 minutes of Premiership football this season.

The home side continued to press for the equaliser they probably deserved before half time but Jasskelainen denied both Dejan Stefanovic and Davis as Pompey were doing everything but scoring.

Late efforts from Johnson and Campbell kept the home crowd vibrant but both Faye and Abdoulaye Meite were too big and too strong for any clear cut chances to be fashioned.

It proved to be a less than fitting farewell for departing chairman Milan Mandaric who ended his seven-year association with the club following the summer takeover by Alexandre Gaydamak. Pompey boss Harry Redknapp said he thought the defeat would not sour Mandaric’s memories of his time at the helm.