Football: Wolves in pits over Bull

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Wolverhampton Wanderers. . .0

Bolton Wanderers . . . . . .2

BOLTON'S FA Cup odyssey continues, yesterday's victory over Wolves earning them a fifth-round date at another middling First Division club, Derby. More remarkable than that, considering how Bruce Rioch's team put out Liverpool and reached the last 16 a year ago, was the startling sound of a Molineux 'first': Steve Bull being booed.

Bull, a local cult figure after 210 goals for Wolves, squandered a staggering six chances in the final third of the match. Anger became audible after his third miss, although his manager, Graham Turner, quickly replaced him in the home crowd's demonology.

The Wolves manager was entitled to feel let down by his players. Bolton scored twice in the opening 24 minutes, during which Turner's back four seemed incapable of elementary marking, but never touched the heights of Anfield. Nor did they force the on-loan Dave Beasant into a single save, whereas Keith Branagan had to be brave and agile.

Ironically, Bolton's first goal, in the 12th minute, came from a player Wolves released as a 15-year-old who joined Bolton from Derby. Scott Green, born and bred at nearby Darlaston and watched by his Wolves-supporting family, worked a one-two with Andy Walker before firing low past Beasant from 12 yards.

A minute earlier, Mark Seagraves had headed off the line from a Mark Burke lob, and the pattern of groans at one end followed instantly by glee at the other was soon repeated. In the 23rd minute, Burke was sent clear by Paul Cook, Wolves' tireless source of invention, only for Branagan to narrow the angle and parry.

A minute later, Green's mis-hit shot looped up off a defender for John McGinlay, arriving unmarked, to head his 12th goal this season over the 6ft 4in Beasant. Bolton were almost pegged back two minutes before half-time when Andy Mutch rounded Branagan, but David Burke cleared a certain goal.

The second half became an amazing Cook and Bull story, as the playmaker repeatedly set up his captain. The latter, however, is neither as sharp nor as single-minded as when Molineux resounded to 'Bully for England', and when he did not scuff the ball straight to Branagan he scooped it over or hesitated long enough for the keeper to claim it at net-busting range.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Beasant; M Burke, Edwards, Rankine, Mountfield, Madden, Downing, Cook, Bull, Mutch, Dennison. Substitutes not used: Thompson, Roberts.

Bolton Wanderers: Branagan; Brown, D Burke, Lee, Seagraves, Winstanley, Green, Kelly, Walker (Reeves, 78), McGinlay, Patterson. Substitute not used: Stubbs.

Referee: P Don (Harrow-on-the-Hill).