Premier League - Howard scores but Bolton beat Everton

Wed, 04 Jan 22:03:00 2012

Everton were undone by a strong second-half display from Bolton at Goodison Park as Owen Coyle's side sealed a 2-1 away win, a result that lifted the Trotters off the foot of the Premier League table.

Everton 1 Bolton 2

Tim Howard became only the fourth goalkeeper in Premier League history to score a goal when the Everton stopper struck from inside his own half on 63 minutes, a long clearance from the American aided by the wind to beat his opposite number Adam Bogdan in the Wanderers' goal.

However, an immediate response from the visitors saw David Ngog curl a left-footed effort past Howard and in the 78th minute Bolton captain Gary Cahill produced a quality finish to despatch a low shot into the back of the net.

Leighton Baines struck the crossbar in the last minute of the game as Everton were denied a point by the woodwork, and Bolton held on for a deserved three points and their fourth away victory of the season.

A goalless first half was littered with poor finishing, Denis Stracqualursi and Louis Saha both guilty of passing up good opportunities to give the home side the lead. Leon Osman went close for the Toffees, who lost Phil Jagielka to injury just before the break, while Ngog had a brace of chances towards the break as Bolton replied to what had been the better start by their hosts.

The talking point of the first 45 minutes came right before the whistle when Landon Donovan, brought back to Goodison on loan from LA Galaxy by David Moyes, went down inside the penalty area under the lightest of contact from Sam Ricketts. Referee Phil Dowd waved away the home appeals, and it remained all square at the interval.

Howard was brought into action twice in the opening minutes of the second half, pulling off smart stops to deny both Mark Davies and Ngog, and Moyes was required to haul off Osman as the midfielder struggled with an injury. Jack Rodwell, who had earlier replaced Jagielka, was then brought off with an injury of his own.

Two goals in the space of four minutes then lit the game up as Howard first launched the ball forward from the edge of his area, and a deceptive bounce beat Bogdan - in for the injured Jussi Jaaskelainen - to send Goodison into raptures.

Bolton bounced back straight away through Ngog, who cut inside Sylvain Distin and Johnny Heitinga before finishing well, and Cahill showed no signs of his mind being elsewhere amid interest from Chelsea as he capped a marvellous defensive display with a superb strike across the face of Howard's goal after Everton failed to deal with a free-kick.

The Bolton captain very nearly tarnished his showing in the dying moments of stoppage time when he gave away a free-kick on the edge of the Bolton area from which Baines rattled the crossbar, but Bolton's resolve paid off as they held on for the win.

Everton remain 11th in the table after their fifth home defeat of the campaign, while Coyle's men now sit a point below both QPR and Wolves who are just above the relegation zone.

Joseph Caron Dawe / Eurosport

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