Cooper caps Bolton

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The Independent Online
PHIL ANDREWS

Bolton Wanderers 1 Nottingham Forest 1

Conceding late goals has become such a habit with Bolton that Colin Todd asked the referee before this match if they could play only 89 minutes. Had his request been granted, Forest would have taken an even stronger aversion to this part of Lancashire, where their unbeaten run was brought to an emphatic end up the road at Blackburn a fortnight earlier.

As is it, Forest carry the last remnants of Britain's European hopes to Lyon tomorrow with their confidence intact, thanks to an equalising goal from Colin Cooper well into the 89th minute.

A point did at least lift Bolton off the bottom of the Premiership, but to be deprived of all three at the last gasp was all the more frustrating because they had improved as the game progressed and seemed to be coasting towards only their third victory of the season.

Early on, Forest looked as though they would win it down the wings, with Ian Woan's languid runs on the left and Steve Stone's rare combination of tigerish determination and elusive footwork on the right creating ample chances. Paul McGregor clipped the outside of a post, but with Kevin Campbell and Brian Roy absent and Andrea Silenzi as quiet as his name suggests, Forest were unable to take them.

They also gave the ball away too often and, inspired by Sasa Curcic's incisive runs through midfield, Bolton began to beat Forest at their own passing game. Their goal, however, was a spectacular individual effort. Jimmy Phillips found Fabian de Freitas out on the left, and he cut inside Cooper to score with a drive from the tightest of angles.

Cooper could hardly have left it later to make amends. Woan's looping corner was knocked back in by Stuart Pearce, and Cooper stabbed it in at the near post.

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