Football: Blake's late progress

Bolton Wanderers 1 Blake 89 Wimbledon 0 Attendance: 22,703
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The Independent Online
Bolton's new home has brought them little luck so far this season, but Wimbledon's Scottish international goalkeeper, Neil Sullivan, granted them a touch of good fortune in the dying seconds, allowing Nathan Blake to give them only their second Premiership victory at the Reebok Stadium.

Wanderers seemed to have been denied a deserved win by a world-class display from Sullivan, but Blake pounced on his only mistake of the game to lift them four points clear of Everton at the bottom of the table.

"We thoroughly deserved it," Colin Todd, Bolton's manager, said. "In the second half we weren't as fluent, but the hallmark - without being negative - is clean sheets."

Todd's Wimbledon counterpart, Joe Kinnear, kept faith with the side beaten 5-2 by Manchester United last week, while Todd welcomed Scott Sellars back to his midfield, and it was largely thanks to him that Bolton dominated the first half. The former Newcastle man was involved twice early on as Jamie Pollock and Blake were denied.

Bolton's pressure was such that the Dons did not have an effort on target until the 14th minute, when Marcus Gayle shot straight at Keith Branagan, but from then on it was all Bolton, and Sullivan thwarted efforts from, among others, Per Frandsen, Blake once more, and Alan Thompson.

Wimbledon seemed more composed early in the second half, but Bolton broke back, and Sullivan once again found himself having to earn his keep, denying his former team-mate Dean Holdsworth, Thompson again, and his replacement, Arnar Gunnlaugsson. With three minutes left Wimbledon might have snatched an ill-deserved victory but Branagan blocked a Carl Cort shot with his legs.

Then, as the referee was looking at his watch, Sellars broke into the Dons area to cross for Holdsworth. Sullivan failed to hold the ball and Blake pounced.

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