Football: Hristov's strike is decisive

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The Independent Online
Barnsley 2 Bolton Wanderers 1

Danny Wilson saw his summer spending spree reap its reward as Eric Tinkler and Georgi Hristov struck to secure Barnsley's first home win of the Premiership campaign. Wilson spent close on pounds 3m in an attempt to ensure that the Oakwell club's first taste of the top flight in their 110-year history does not end in relegation.

The South African Tinkler came from Cagliari for pounds 600,000 and Macedonia's Hristov was imported from Partizan Belgrade for a club record pounds 1.5m.

It was Hristov, given his full debut after three substitute appearances, who proved to be the match-winner after Bolton's own new boy, Peter Beardsley, had cancelled out Tinkler's opener on his full game for Wanderers.

Wilson made three changes to the side hammered 6-0 at home by Chelsea on Sunday, with Clint Marcelle and Nicky Eaden coming in alongside Hristov. Bolton cracked after 11 minutes when Gerry Taggart fouled John Hendrie. Neil Redfearn's twice-taken free-kick was then met by an emphatic far- post header from Tinkler.

Wanderers gradually came into the game and Nathan Blake broke through on the half hour only to drill his shot straight at Dave Watson. But Barnsley could not clear their lines and when Jamie Pollock challenged Watson, the ball squirmed out to Scott Sellars to set up Beardsley for the 240th goal of his illustrious career.

It looked as though the fates were beginning to conspire against Barnsley, especially six minutes later, when Watson was involved in a sickening collision with Pollock and was carried off with concussion.

Barnsley, however, got the winner two minutes into the second half. Darren Barnard was the architect with a storming left-wing raid and curling cross that enabled Hristov to time his leap to perfection and beat Keith Branagan's punch.

Bolton came within a whisker of grabbing a last-gasp equaliser when Blake rifled a volley from 20 yards just wide.

Barnsley: Watson (Leese, 36); Eaden, Appleby, Moses, De Zeeuw, Hendrie, Redfearn, Marcelle (Bullock, 63), Tinkler, Hristov (Liddell, 78), Barnard. Substitutes not used: Sheridan, Wilkinson.

Bolton Wanderers: Branagan; Elliott (McGinlay, 86), Frandsen, Taggart, Pollock (Johansen, 64), Sellars, Blake, Thompson, Bergsson, Beardsley, Phillips. Substitutes not used: Ward (gk), Todd, McAnespie.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury).