Bolton sucker-punch floors Villa

Aston Villa 1 Bolton Wanderers 2

Bolton came from behind to earn a Premier League relegation lifeline and dragged Aston Villa into the thick of the survival battle with victory over Alex McLeish's side.

Villa broke the deadlock through Stephen Warnock after 61 minutes but were rocked by two goals in two minutes from Martin Petrov, with a penalty, and David Ngog.

The Trotters climbed above Blackburn into 18th spot, three points behind Villa and with a match in hand.

Angry Villa fans called for McLeish to be sacked during the final stages of the game.

But the home side were made to pay for not cashing in on their first half dominance when veteran striker Emile Heskey was a constant threat.

Defeat means it is officially Villa's worst home season in their history with only four wins compared to six in 1994-95 and 2004-2005.

They have won only one of their last 13 league games and are in the middle of the fight to stay up along with the likes of QPR, Wigan, Blackburn and Bolton.

Bolton survived the first half onslaught, with defender Tim Ram impressing, and looked more of a threat after the break with Mark Davies influential in midfield.

Villa, with five academy products in their side, made a positive start and could have gone ahead inside the first minute after Marc Albrighton won a corner.

Charles N'Zogbia's centre picked out Chris Herd who headed inches over the bar.

Indecision in the Wanderers back four almost set up a chance for Heskey who half-volleyed over the bar at full stretch.

Former Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker made a timely tackle to halt a dangerous run from Albrighton into the Bolton box.

Bolton came more into the game and Nathan Baker blocked a shot from Chris Eagles after he exchanged passes with Ryo Miyaichi.

A flick from Heskey almost played in Andreas Weimann but Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan reacted quickly to clear from the edge of the box.

Heskey was looking impressive and forced Bogdan to save away to his left with a shot on the turn.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle and Villa coach Kevin MacDonald had to be kept apart by fourth official Craig Pawson after Miyaichi was bundled into touch by Villa full-back Eric Lichaj.

Miyaichi was quickly back on his feet and tested Villa keeper Shay Given with a low drive.

But Villa were soon back on the offensive and Heskey stung the palms of Bogdan after more good play.

Bolton defender Samuel Ricketts became the first player to be booked after 35 minutes for bringing down Albrighton.

Warnock was denied by the woodwork after 38 minutes when his 15-yard drive rattled the crossbar after he had been teed up by Albrighton.

Then N'Zogbia clipped the outside of a post with a 30 yard free-kick on the stroke of half-time.

Coyle made a half-time substitution with striker Kevin Davies replacing Miyaichi.

But Given had to be alert to parry away a dipping 35 yard free-kick from Eagles.

After 61 minutes Warnock broke the deadlock when he turned home a right wing cross from N'Zogbia.

Bolton retaliated and stung the home side by netting twice in two minutes to go in front.

Petrov levelled from the penalty spot within 60 seconds after Carlos Cuellar was adjudged to have brought down Mark Davies.

Then Eagles had the time and space to pick out Ngog who made no mistake from eight yards out.

Bolton defender Ream was booked for dissent as Villa tried to retaliate.

But N'Zogbia shot high and wide and a dangerous cross from the winger eluded everyone as Bolton coped quite comfortably in the final 20 minutes.

Lichaj was booked for disputing a throw-in in injury-time.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
science
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
News
Comedian Ted Robbins collapsed on stage during a performance of Phoenix Nights Live at Manchester Arena (Rex)
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links