Blackburn Rovers 0 Bolton Wanderers 0

Last updated : 14 January 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Blackburn Rovers extended their unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions, despite not being able to break down ten-man Bolton Wanderers.

Hidetoshi Nakata was shown a first-half red card for two bookable offences as the two teams played out a second goalless draw of the season.

Following his side's midweek exploits in the Carling Cup Mark Hughes made three changes to his starting line-up.

Craig Bellamy, who was carrying a slight injury from Wednesday night, was replaced by Paul Dickov, whilst Brett Emerton and Steven Reid came in for Tugay and Shefki Kuqi.

Sam Allardyce, who was without four players on international duty, also made three changes to the side that defeated Watford in the FA Cup. Matt Jansen who joined Bolton from Rovers on Friday made the visitors' bench.

Both sets of supporters must have hoped for a passionate derby affair, but sadly it never arrived.

To make matters worse, referee Mike Riley, who booked seven players in all, proved to be the most talked about man on the pitch.

Nakata picked up his first booking for a late challenge on Robbie Savage after 13 minutes and just twenty minutes later, the Japan international was off.

As David Bentley skipped inside, the former Roma star took away his standing leg and was sent for an early bath.

The best chance of the half fell to Bolton forward Kevin Davies after nine minutes. Lucas Neill tried to chest the ball back to his keeper, but inadvertently played in Davies and the former Rovers man forced a good save from Brad Friedel from six yards out.

At the other end Dickov engineered space for a shot but fired wide on 17 minutes, before the home side produced the best move of the half eight minutes before the break.

After galloping 30 yards upfield, man of the match Reid fed Emerton on the right. His first-time cross was only partially cleared and the on rushing Savage blazed over from 20 yards.

The second half got off to a flyer, but the lively tempo of the opening five minutes was not sustained.

Three minutes in, Rovers broke quickly and when Michael Gray crossed for the unmarked Emerton in the centre, the Australian's header struck the underside of the bar and was cleared to safety.

Ryan Nelsen had two glorious opportunities cleared off the line, before Bolton substitute Ricardo Vaz Te ought to have won it.

Davies provided a defence-splitting pass and after rounding the keeper the Portuguese youngster looked certain to score, but lost his footing at the crucial moment and home skipper Andy Todd was able to clear.