Bolton 3 Birmingham 1: Trotters come from behind to record first win in three
17:25 GMT, 29 December 2012
17:46 GMT, 29 December 2012
Bolton put the disappointment of back-to-back defeats behind them with a come-from-behind victory over struggling Birmingham.
Dougie Freedman's side suffered losses to lowly Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday over the festive period and fell behind after just 11 minutes on Saturday.
Nikola Zigic headed his fifth of the season but the hosts hit back to lead by half-time with goals from Marcos Alonso and Chung-Yong Lee.
Comeback: Lee (second left) put Bolton in front
Bolton: Bogdan; Mears, Ream, Knight, Alonso; Lee, Pratley, Spearing (Butterfield 89), Andrews, Eagles (Afobe 90); K Davies.
Subs not used: Lonergan, Ricketts, Riley, Petrov, Sordell.
Goals: Alonso 27, Lee 33, Andrews (pen) 79.
Birmingham: Butland; Hancox, Caldwell, Davies, Robinson; Burke (Redmond 72), Spector (Elliott 59), Mullins, Reilly (Jervis 79), Hall; Zigic.
Subs not used: Doyle, Pablo, Gordon, Delfouneso.
Booked: Mullins, Caldwell, Zigic. Sent off: Zigic.
Goal: Zigic 11.
Referee: Simon Hooper.
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A second-half penalty from Keith Andrews
settled the matter and Zigic saw red as Birmingham's three-match
unbeaten run came to an end.
The hosts started much the brighter, Chris Eagles cutting in from the
right and trying his luck with an early long-range strike but Jack
Butland was equal to the challenge.
The Trotters threatened again moments later as Jay Spearing hit a superb
looping volley from 30 yards which just dropped wide of the post.
But it was Lee Clark's side who seized the advantage. Chris Burke's
right-wing corner hung in the air and Zigic came through a crowded scene
to nod home from six yards.
Bolton's frustration continued to build when Eagles flashed a shot across goal after being played in by Kevin Davies' backheel.
They did not have to wait much longer for the goal their dominance
deserved after Tyrone Mears burst down the right and delivered a teasing
ball for Alonso to provide the headed finish, outmuscling Curtis Davies
to do so, in the 27th minute.
Spot on: Andrews slots home Bolton's third
It got even better for Freedman's side just past the half-hour mark, Lee
skipping past two defenders, rounding Butland and squeezing the ball in
from a tight angle.
The impressive Spearing linked well with Davies and the veteran striker
forced a smart stop from Butland as Bolton finished the half on top.
Clark turned to his bench for inspiration early in the second half, bringing on Wade Elliott for Jonathan Spector.
The veteran winger was soon involved, feeding Burke down the flank but his cross cleared everyone in a packed penalty area.
Burke tried to atone but his 20-yard strike was well held by Adam Bogdan as the visitors began to grow into the game.
But after Steven Caldwell handled in the box, Andrews stepped up to calmly steer the spot-kick past Butland in the 79th minute.
Zigic was given his marching orders late on after picking up two
bookings in little over a minute as the Serb went from hero to zero.