—END OF LOAD TAG—>
|Matt Taylor (Stuart Holden, 66)|
|Jack Wilshere (Ricardo Gardner, 90)|
|Vladimir Weiss (Chung-Yong Lee, 66)|
|Kevin Davies, K|
|Sebastian Larsson (Christian Benitez, 66)|
|Miguel Marcos Michel (Keith Fahey, 74)|
Full Time: BOLTON 2-1 BIRMINGHAM. The final whistle goes and Bolton end their season with a home win. Birmingham will take heart from their late fightback but they were up against it after a poor first-half display.
Benitez beats Robinson all ends up and the left-back is forced to concede a free-kick but once again Zat Knight is there to head away the delivery from the set-piece.
Wilshere looks to shoot from a free-kick but he can only fire it high and wide from twenty-five yards.
Someone from the crowd has charged onto the pitch. The players are visibly unimpressed but at least the man is wearing clothes!
Jaaskelainen can no doubt feel hard done by after that one. Two superb stops from the keeper but McFadden was there to score.
BOLTON 2-1 BIRMINGHAM. Bowyer follows up the penalty but the rebound is saved again by Jaaskelainen. It falls back for MCFADDEN who forces it home. Game on!
Benitez breaks past Jaaskelainen and is brought down by the Finn. Benitez himself will take the penalty. He steps up confidently and thumps it towards goal but Jaaskelainen makes a superb save.
Jerome beats two defenders and fizzes the ball across the box towards Benitez but his diving header flashes wide of the post.
Holden concedes a free-kick and gives Ferguson the chance to deliver the ball into the box. Ferguson flicks it towards the peanlty spot but Knight is there to head it clear.
Carr heads the ball into the path of Benitez but the Ecuadorian is forced off the ball by Knight who sheperds it through to his keeper.
Holden is on for Taylor in Bolton's second change.
Chucho Benitez is on for Larsson.
Weiss is replaced by Lee.
Jerome looks to respond as he breaks to the byline and pulls it back across the box towards Bowyer but its just behind the midfielder and the chance comes to nothing.
Bolton appear to have this one wrapped up. Birmingham have offered very little in the second half and this looks set for a home win.
BOLTON 2-0 BIRMINGHAM. Weiss breaks into the channel and turns past two players before sliding it back to KLASNIC who coolly slots the ball into the corner of the net.
Klasnic hits the ball on the volley after a Davies flick on but he strikes it tamely into the arms of Joe Hart.
Matt Taylor tries the spectacular with a long range right-footed strike but he sends it into row Z. He can hit them from range but rarely with his weaker foot.
Johnson meets a floated free-kick with a snap shot from eight yards but Jaaskelainen makes a stunning save to deny the centre-half. The resulting corner is headed goalbound but once again the Finn is there to parry.
Klasnic looks for Wilshere with a long ball over the top, but it goes too far.
Birmingham's first attack of the half materialises down the left flank and McFadden shows good footwork to create half a yard but his cross is headed clear.
Taylor whips in a Bolton corner and finds Davies unmarked once again but this time the header goes well over the bar.
Joe Hart gets himself into a mess as he comes for a long ball and gets nowhere near it. Johnson heads it away as far as Klasnic who tries to lift it over the stranded keeper but can't find the finish.
The second period is underway.
Half Time: BOLTON 1-0 BIRMINGHAM. The first half comes to a close and Bolton have the lead thanks to Davies' fine header. Birmingham have been disappointing and have it all to do.
Klasnic is booked after he petualantly flings a hand towards Johnson.
McFadden also goes into the referee's notebook.
Larsson is booked as well.
Birmingham's first-half frustration is clearly visible here as Johnson is booked for dissent.
Excellent interplay between McFadden, Jerome and Larsson and the former manages to bundle the ball home from close range but the goal is disallowed for handball. Good decision.
Wilshere skips past Ridgewell before he is clattered to the ground. Ridgewell is correctly cautioned.
McFadden wins a corner on the left and Larsson will deliver. The Swede curls it towards the back corner but there is no-one in a Birmingham shirt there and it goes behind for a goal kick.
BOLTON 1-0 BIRMINGHAM. Robinson breaks down the left hand side and crosses for DAVIES who has completely lost his man and heads it into the corner.
Weiss shows great feet as he gets the better of four defenders before he is brought down. Seconds later he is chopped down again after a wonderful piece of skill.
Larsson delivers a corner for Birmingham as they regain control of the play. The ball is swung in and finds Bowyer but his glancing header drifts wide of the upright.
Jerome wins a free-kick in a central position that Ferguson will take. The ball is clipped into the box and finds Michel who nods it back into the danger zone but Jerome turns it over. Another disappointing finish.
This has been far from a cracker so far as both sides struggle to play their way into the game.
Michel breaks down the right hand side and engineers a yard to cross and finds Jerome arriving in the box but he slices it over.
Lee Bowyer is cautioned for unsporting behavior.
Matt Taylor hits a speculative effort from a long range free-kick but it rebounds to Knight twenty yards out. The centre-back shoots first time and it looks destined for the top corner but it canons back off the post!
First chance of the game for the visitors! Davies' cross is flicked towards the far post by Wilshere and it finds Taylor. Taylor chests it down and strikes it at goal from six yards but fires it straight at Hart.
Trademark stuff from Bolton as Davies rises well to head a long ball into the path of Taylor who brings it down and whips it into the box but Davies can't make the yards to get on the end of it.
Birmingham again move the ball about the midfield with confidence but possession is conceded cheaply by Michel who has made a nervy start.
Klasnic plays a neat one-two with Taylor and the wide man looks to break in behind but the striker loses possession as he delays the pass.
Cameron Jerome is clearly out to enjoy himself but finds himself looking somewhat foolish as an attempted back heel goes horribly wrong.
The early pressure comes from the visitors as Bowyer skews a snap shot wide. That is quickly followed up by a strike from range by Michel but he fires it straight at Jaaskelainen.
Referee Kevin Friend gets this one underway with a sharp blast on his whistle.
Alex McLeish starts Michel in attack with Jerome as he looks the fringe player some experience. McFadden, Bowyer, Larsson and Ferguson provide the midfield quartet and Vignal plays at left back as Ridgewell moves into centre-half.
Bolton's Owen Coyle names Klasnic and Davies in attack with width being provided by Taylor and Muamba. Youngsters Weiss and Wilshere will provide the craft in midfield with Knight and Cahill ever present in defence.
Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Ridgewell, Johnson, Vignal, Larsson, Bowyer, Ferguson, McFadden, Michel, Jerome
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Weiss, Muamba, Wilshere, Taylor, Klasnic, Kevin Davies
The Premier League season comes to a close today and with both Bolton and Birmingham safe, hopefully today's encoutner will be open and entertaining.
With the summer transfer window fast approaching, Liverpool will again have the chance to strengthen their squad.
We love football.
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Were spoilt in England, arent we? Were constantly told we have the best, most competitive league in the world, but we always want more.
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