Bolton Wanderers 0 Middlesbrough 0

Last updated : 16 September 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Jonathan Woodgate produced a command performance to earn Middlesbrough a deserved draw at the Reebok Stadium.

The on-loan Real Madrid defender was masterful on the day he captained his hometown side.

And surely if Woodgate stays fit then he must come into contention for an England recall in the not too distant future.

He certainly helped Boro's youthful team keep a tight rein on Bolton's £8million striker Nicolas Anelka and the Frenchman's team-mate El Hadji Diouf.

And considering Gareth Southgate's team arrived at the Reebok Stadium without the likes of Mark Viduka, George Boateng, Robert Huth and Stewart Downing they can feel very satisfied with the result.

For Wanderers it was a third consecutive clean sheet at home, but they weren't able to consolidate their 100 per cent start in front of their own fans.

The Lancastrians had more possession and created more opportunities. However, it was the visitors who should have won it with a second-half strike from Yakubu.

Played in by former Charlton star Jason Euell, the Nigerian marksman was badly off target with his right foot shot from the edge of the area.

Bolton made only one change in their starting line-up to the side that beat Watford a week earlier with a stoppage time penalty. However, returnee Stelios Giannakopoulos still looked short of match fitness while a back injury curtailed skipper Kevin Nolan's effectiveness.

It was left to Ivan Campo to pull the strings in midfield, while Diouf was always a threat down the middle of the left.

In the first minute Anelka looked to be in on goal, but his first touch took the ball away from Mark Schwarzer but also from the danger zone and gave Boro an early let-off.

Gary Speed blasted in a 35-yard shot that only just cleared Schwarzer's crossbar, while Brazilian Fabio Rochemback wasn't too far off the mark with his own long-range special.

Yakubu showed his pace in the 26th minute to go past Abdoulaye Faye but after cutting in the left wing he couldn't trouble Jussi Jaaskelainen from 18 yards.

Early in the second half Anelka collected a pass from Tal Ben-Haim and was only inches wide with his left-foot shot.

Eventually manager Sam Allardyce decided to change his team bringing on Ricardo Vaz Te for Giannakopoulos after 58 minutes.

The Portuguese youngster certainly looked lively but should have done better in the 65th minute when sent racing into the penalty area by Diouf's clever flick.

Back came Middlesbrough and Yakubu, from 20 yards, forcing Jaaskelainen into his only real save of the afternoon.

Fifteen minutes from time Bolton felt they should have had a penalty, when Diouf this time played in substitute Idan Tal, but referee Steve Bennett judged Andrew Davies' tackle on the Israeli to be a legitimate one.

Then came Yakubu's blatant miss which proved to be the last real opportunity for either side to gain victory.