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Match Report: Millwall 0-2 Bolton Wanderers (Bolton Fan's Perspective)

By Rob
Saturday 18th February 2012
Bolton Wanderers progressed to the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup for the second year in a row with a composed 2-0 victory over Championship side Millwall at The New Den.

The match saw the full debuts of livewire winger Ryo Miyaichi, on loan from Arsenal, and new United States international defender Tim Ream (aka Reeeeeeeeam). Bolton returned to the 4-5-1 formation that saw them take 4 points off Liverpool and Arsenal in the league, with David Ngog leading the line on his own up front. And these were the three key players on the day for the Wanderers.

Bolton started the match brightly, and took an early lead through the impressive Ryo after just 3 minutes. Sam Ricketts played a quick free-kick inside the Millwall centre-back and right-back and Ryo swiftly latched onto the ball, danced into the box and applied an outstanding finish to curl the ball past goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall and into the far corner.

Wanderers pushed for a second, and should have doubled their lead when Ngog sent Fabrice Muamba free 1 on 1 with Mildenhall, only to see the midfielder fire over the bar with a characteristically uncomposed finish. Ngog also went close, but as the second half wore on Bolton seemed happy to allow Millwall to have the ball and soak up the pressure. Indeed, the hosts failed to cause Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan any problems .

Millwall caused more of a threat on the Bolton goal after the break, and the hosts' captain Paul Robinson should have levelled the score with a header from a free-kick 4 minutes into the second half.

But 7 minutes later Bolton put the game out of Millwall's reach through a moment of high quality from Ngog. Sanli Tuncay got free on the right, and fed the ball inside to the striker, who cleverly beat two defenders and fired a left foot shot towards the bottom far corner. The shot had too much power for Mildenhall, who got his fingertips to it but was unable to prevent Ngog doubling Bolton's lead.

Bolton relaxed with their 2-0 lead and could have been made to pay, as Millwall went close to halving the lead on several occasions. Bogdan pulled off a brilliant double save to deny both home strikers Harry Kane and Darius Henderson, before Andy Keogh went agonisingly close to turning home with a sliding effort.

This was an impressive away win for Bolton, who will take heart from several impressive individual performances. Ngog was brilliant as the lone striker and this was probably his best performance for Wanderers, with some impressive showboating skills thrown in for good measure as Bolton teased the Millwall defence in the final minutes. Ryo was a constant threat to the Millwall defence whenever he got on the ball, and Nigel Reo-Coker and Mark Davies both put in hard-working midfield efforts.

But special mention has to go to Tim Ream, whose composed performance in the heart of the Bolton defence will have Bolton fans saying 'Gary who?' Ream looked confident on the ball, marshalled the defence brilliantly, looked to have a good turn of pace and it seems he has a strong partnership in the making with fellow centre-back David Wheater, who also impressed.

Millwall: Mildenhall; Dunne, Robinson, Barron, Smith (Wright 57); Feeney (Bouazza 73), Lowry, Trotter, Keogh; Henderson, Kane (Henry 80). Unused subs: Forde, Craig, Mason, N'Guessan.

Bolton: Bogdan; Steinsson, Wheater, Ream, Ricketts; Tuncay, Reo-Coker, Muamba, M Davies (Pratley 86), Ryo (Eagles 78); Ngog. Unused subs: Jaaskalainen, Robinson, Knight, Boyata, Klasnic.

Goals: Ryo (3), Ngog (59)

Total articles: 69

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