MATCHDAY LIVE: Wanderers 3 Birmingham City 1
This live event has finished
All over. Deserved win for the Whites. Match report to follow.
Afobe on for Eagles, who also gets a great reception from the fans.
Alonso curls a free kick around the wall, which drops just wide.
Spearing gets a standing ovation as he is replaced by Butterfield.
He had stood in the way of Bogdan's kick, then barged into Ream... crazy stuff.
Zigic sent off for two bookable offences in a minute!
Chung-Yong corner headed well by Alonso but the ball drops a foot wide of the post with Butland beaten.
Wanderers deserve to be two up. They have played much the better football on the day.
Andrews casually put it into the top corner.
Andrews to take
Handball by Caldwell as he jumped with Davies
Chungy blasts over from the angle. Game stretching a little bit now.
Pratley has been excellent so far.
Hall tests Bogdan from 20 yards after some sloppy stuff in midfield from Wanderers.
Hesitant stuff from Alonso results in a shot at goal from Burke. Safely gathered by Bogdan.
Would be a crime to throw this one away, considering how well the Whites have played in the last hour.
Warning shot from Birmingham as Burke slips Elliott through too easily on the right. Poor cross, though.
ATTENDANCE – 17,068
Eagles getting closer, fizzing a bouncing shot just wide from the edge of the box.
Good turn from Pratley and equally impressive block from Caldwell to stop his effort from testing Butland.
Spector off, Elliott on for Brum.
Eagles blasts one from 25 yards. Well wide.
Butland claims well again. This time a good cross from Mears, with Pratley loitering at the far post for an unchallenged tap in.
Great play from Pratley until the final ball. Looked like there may have been an opening for Davies.
Eagles has a shot charged down. Alonso follows up but his effort is high and wide.
Pratley gets on the end of a move he started but can't get a good connection on his header from Eagles' cross.
Mysterious booking for Chung-Yong being reported on the BBC website. Think they may have got that one wrong, they missed one for Hancox.
Second half underway. More of the same please.
And it's cheers and applause at the break. Well deserved 2-1 lead for Wanderers.
Dodgy offside given there against Pratley. Officials have otherwise been okay so far.
Wanderers need to hold out this lead now until the break. Few silly free kicks being conceded.
Alonso got a cut to his head going for the goal. Hopefully some Terry Butcher-esque photos to follow...
Butland tips Kevin Davies' shot just wide. Good ball from Spearing to set him free.
Great cross from Mears has Butland at full stretch to push away
Davies played a great ball through for Chung-Yong, who beat Caldwell for pace then danced around Butland before chipping the ball into the unguarded net. Great finish.
Wanderers now playing much more incisive football.
Fans in good voice now as Spearing's shot is deflected wide.
Wanderers deserved that. They had passed their way back into the game and that has completely changed the mood now.
Mears crosses left-footed and finds Alonso, who gets across his marker to head past Butland. Excellent finish.
Wanderers have neatened up in possession this last few minutes. Football is better.
Backheel by Davies into Eagles' path. He tried a cross/shot that whistled across goal without anyone close enough to get a touch.
Reebok not a happy place right now.
And more boos as another exchange of passes break down near the half way line.
And there are the first boos of the afternoon as Eagles wastes a chance to shoot and Birmingham clear their lines. 15 minutes played.
Good header in the end by Zigic but the cross should have been closed down quicker.
Especially disappointing considering Spearing had gone so close at the other end.
Yet another clean sheet up the swanny.
Burke's deep cross headed home at the far post by Zigic ahead of Knight, who took a bang for his troubles.
Dipping shot from Spearing goes just wide. All came about from Alonso's excellent cross. Davies headed back towards Pratley and Caldwell made a brave clearance.
Robinson playing right back, by the way. Chungy against him at present but not seeing much of the ball.
Bit of trickery from Eagles on the right. Brings the ball on to his left and hits a low shot, gathered easily by Butland.
Two very similar formations. Needs the tempo to pick up a bit, or this could be a case of cancelling each other out.
Good defending from Ream, who stuck with Burke and forced him out of play. That'll do his confidence no harm.
Bogdan diffuses a long ball from Hancox.
Hall swings a free kick in for Brum. Couple of good blocks from Wanderers. Corner.
Not so that shot from Zat Knight, which cleared the bar by miles...
Early exchange between Spearing, Davies and Eagles is encouraging.
Not a massive crowd by any stretch of the imagination. Around 1,000 Brum fans maximum.
Players now out on the pitch - after the tribute to Stevens, which is not the usual...
Minute applause for Dennis Stevens, who passed away recently.
Think this is an important game for Chris Eagles, too. He has looked quite tired in recent weeks, nowehere near where he was earlier in the season. Needs a goal, as one or two of you have pointed out.
With Zigic up front, he will give some much-needed aerial presence too. Ream struggled against Sheff Weds until Alonso came on.
Show of faith in Marcos Alonso at left-back today. Thought he was quite tidy on Boxing Day coming on off the bench.
Predictions continue to roll in from the fans. Largely positive, and very few believe we should be looking down rather than up.
2:31pm Sat 29 Dec 12
i feel that if we get the right players we can still make the play offs and are quite capable of going up through the playoffs but dougie needs to make the right decisions on who he brings in we need players who have premier league experience and have te heart for a championship surge donna and nick blackpool whites
Chungy better bring his best shinpads..
Brum lining up 4-5-1 today, with big man Nikola Zigic on his own up front. A return for Paul Robinson at the Reebok too. Hope he's lost none of his pace.
Just to explain a couple of the absences today - Ngog has twisted his ankle and Afobe has a slight hamstring problem but makes the bench. Andrews playing despite an Achilles issue.
BWFC Subs: Lonergan, Ricketts, Petrov, Afobe, Sordell, Riley, Butterfield” could argue all of these should be starting @MarcIles— @DeanRowcroft 29 December 2012
@MarcIles we need some young hungry players in and get rid of the 30 something's on premier league wages— @geeivers 29 December 2012
@MarcIles I think we're destined for mid table medicrity this year. Hopefully we'll start to see foundations of a new era being put in place— @BWFC_Flakt 29 December 2012
@MarcIles Despite our current form I'm going for a 2-1 win for the whites today. Super Kev to come back into the side and bag a brace!— @BWFC_Flakt 29 December 2012
So that's four changes for Wanderers - Marcos Alonso, Darren Pratley, Kevin Davies and Chung-Yong Lee in, Sam Ricketts, Benik Afobe, Martin Petrov and David Ngog out.
Today's teams: BWFC - Bogdan, Mears, Knight, Ream, Alonso, Andrews, Spearing, Eagles, Pratley, Chung-Yong, K Davies
Subs: Lonergan, Ricketts, Petrov, Afobe, Sordell, Riley, Butterfield
Birmingham City: Butland, Caldwell, Davies, Burke, Mullins, Zigic, Spector, Hancox, Hall, Robinson, Reilly
Subs: Doyle, Ibanez, Elliott, Gordon, Jervis, Redmond, Delfouneso
@MarcIles we'll pick up after the Jan window, miss the play offs narrowly, then hopefully build in the summer.— @MattyBolton9 29 December 2012
@MarcIles Not a relegation scrap just yet, but the signs aren't good. Never know a team to be so disconnected from the fans.— @LeytherMatt 29 December 2012
I asked you on Twitter what the current state of play is at Wanderers, and whether you had predictions for 2013...
1:49pm Sat 29 Dec 12
bolton need two defenders one midfilder and a top keeper then we might go up nick and donna blackpool
I wouldn't argue with that. I'm not as down on Adam Bogdan as some, but think defensive recruitments are an absolute must.
So no defeatist talk in the dressing room...
"I'm as hungry as every to do well. I'm still loving my role at the club. People talk about age but I'm still playing games and feeling good. Hopefully, I am able to play my part in helping the side climb the table into the play-offs and then possibly the top two."
Kevin Davies also chipped in with some interesting stuff in his programme notes...
"I know we have the ability in our squad to make this happen, and so we head into the New Year in a really positive frame of mind."
"Our target is to be in the top half of the table by the end of January. At that point I want the teams above us to be looking over their shoulder knowing Bolton Wanderers are making a charge for the top of the league."
Interesting stuff from Freedman in his programme notes...
That quarter-final clash seems a long, long time ago now, doesn't it?
That said, I thought they were worth the three points back in September. Dodgy penalty or not, they played quite well that night.
Birmingham haven't had much to shout about either in 2012. Money troubles, talk of takeovers and the sale of top players has dominated the agenda at St Andrew's.
We seem to have said it so many times this year, but IF Wanderers get on a charge, then who knows?
But... and this is an important but, it can all change with a single win.
Fabrice, Relegation, Championship failure - and all the financial issues that went with it - there hasn't been much cheer around this neck of the woods just recently.
This is the last game of 2012, a year in which sporting excellence has been celebrated up and down the country, but not so much here in Bolton... It's been a terrible 12 months.
Pitch looks in good nick. No suggestion there will be any issue with the weather, so that's one less thing to worry about...
Good afternoon. Bring your brolly if you are heading to the Reebok!
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