Tigers show teeth to deny Trotters

The Trotters looked set to rise four places in the table but were

pegged back by Phil Brown’s Tigers on Tuesday night. Wanderers

looked comfortable after Ivan Klasnic’s 20th-minute goal and Kevin

Davies’ second-half header. However, Hunt nodded in from close

range to spread panic in a defence without a clean sheet all season

and the Republic of Ireland international’s cross-shot produced the

equaliser 12 minutes from time. The result keeps both sides in the

relegation zone, level on 18 points with 17th-placed West Ham who

are above them only on goal difference. Out of nowhere, Bolton took

the lead in the 20th minute with a typical piece of route one

football. Zat Knight’s high ball forward was knocked down by Andy

Dawson under pressure from Lee Chung Yong on the edge of the area

and Klasnic took one touch before blasting a left-footed shot past

Boaz Myhill, who appeared slow to get across his goal. The goal was

the on-loan Croatian’s sixth in his last eight league matches. Hunt

should have equalised in the 35th minute when Jussi Jaaskelainen

fumbled a cross under pressure and the ball bounced off Gretar

Steinsson, but the Irishman’s poorly directed close-range header

glanced the Bolton defender and went out for a corner. Wanderers’

defence has had cracks in it all season and they were evident again

on the hour mark as the unmarked Kamil Zayatte planted a header

wide from Hunt’s right-wing corner when he should have hit the

target. It was to prove a costly miss as Bolton went straight down

the other end and added a second on 61 minutes, for which Myhill

was culpable. The Tigers goalkeeper came to collect Paul Robinson’s

free-kick from the halfway line as it dropped gently into the

penalty area but he failed to reach it as Davies out-muscled

Bernard Mendy to nod a back-header past him. Bolton’s hopes of a

first clean sheet of the season were dashed in the 71st minute when

their defensive frailty was exposed as Craig Fagan crossed from the

right and Hunt out-jumped Steinsson to head home. Seven minutes

later, the Tigers midfielder scored a fortuitous equaliser when

Jaaskelainen could only get a fingertip to his cross-shot from Jan

Vennegoor of Hesselink flick-on, which followed Zayatte’s punt to

the far post, and the ball crossed the line despite the best

efforts of Robinson to hook it out. In the last minute, Steinsson

almost bagged the winner but his 18-yard shot was deflected just

wide.