x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Gardner strike has Bolton in bloom

Gary Megson got both the results he wanted today with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle and a new rolling contract to go with it.

Ricardo Gardner reels away after scoring for Bolton.
Ricardo Gardner reels away after scoring for Bolton.

BOLTON // Gary Megson got both the results he wanted today with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle and a new rolling contract to go with it. The Bolton manager saw his side take another giant step to safety after pledging his long-term future to the club, with 18 months still to run on his existing deal. The substitute Ricardo Gardner got the winner in the 46th minute with a superb strike to leave Newcastle looking anxiously over their shoulders, just two points away from the relegation zone.

Johan Elmander should have put Bolton ahead in the 18th minute when Matt Taylor delivered the cross but hoisted his effort from in front of the posts over the bar. Bolton made a change at half time with Gardner coming on for Fabrice Muamba and the switch paid an instant dividend with the substitute scoring in the 46th minute. He sent his first-time effort over the head of Steve Harper following a low cross from Taylor. It was a sweet strike for his third goal of the season.

Shola Ameobi had Newcastle's best effort, with his shot turned around a post by the keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen in the 75th minute, but his side came away empty-handed. "I'm ready when the manager is ready for me," Gardner told Setanta Sports. "I was hoping to come on and get the winner - it's a great result. * PA Sport