'It's a shame as we looked like we'd hold on,' admits Allardyce

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The Independent Online

The Bolton Wanderers manager, Sam Allardyce, was disappointed his side could not hold out at the Emirates Stadium after the 1-1 draw in their FA Cup fourth-round tie with Arsenal yesterday.

"It was a real shame because we were looking like we were going to hold on but didn't manage it," Allardyce said. "We scored a great goal but the turning point was the Kevin Nolan [missed chance]. That would have made it 2-0 and they would not have come back from that. We unfortunately lost that free-kick [from which Kolo Touré scored]."

The Bolton goalscorer Nolan had mixed feelings. He gave his side a 50th-minute lead but the Gunners came back to book a replay through Touré's diving header 12 minutes from time. Nolan said: "We played really well in the first 10 to 15 minutes [of the second half] but after that we sat back. They are a really good side. We are delighted with the result, but it is not over yet."

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, admitted his side had started too slowly, saying: "I felt we lacked sharpness in the first half, and focus. The pace of our game was too slow.

"They had a chance to kill the game off but chance-wise in the second half it was all us. [My players] gave absolutely everything in the second half and managed to come back, but could not score [the winner]."

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