By Denis Lowe.
Bolton Wanderers …..4 Arsenal…..2
Lowly Bolton dealt a severe blow to F.A Cup semi-finalists Arsenals morale at waterlogged Burnden Park last night. Two goals from Alan Gowling and two penalties by Frank Worthington left Arsenal, for whom David Price and and substitute Mark Heeley scored, a well beaten side.
Bolton, moving confidently in the rain and mud, looked happier than Arsenal in the wretched conditions, and took the lead in the twelfth minute with an opportunist goal by Gowling.
Worthington, whose shrewd passes caused the Highbury defence a lot of trouble, crossed from the right after O’Leary had blocked Smith’s effort and Gowling rose above Nelson to head home at the far post.
Arsenal, without the injured Brady and Young, were watched by Richie Barker, assistant manager of Wolves, their F.A Cup opponents, and hit back with some lively work from Sunderland. price had a chance but drove wide.
Jennings, the busiest goalkeeper, was rescued by O’Leary, but Bolton maintained pressure in the increasingly heavy rain and their second goal arrived after 28 minutes. Gowling moved onto a headed pass from Worthington and beat the advancing Jennings with a left foot shot from 18 yards.
Arsenal woke up after this second blow and reduced the lead within 60 seconds. Talbot’s shot stuck in the goalmouth mud with McDonagh out of position and Price followed up to shoot into an empty net.
Jennings just beat Worthington to a poor back-pass from Rice as Bolton started the second half in search of more goals and Walford was booked for a foul on Worthington.
A disputed penalty which earned Sunderland a booking for dissent brought Bolton’s third goal After 68 minutes. Worthington’s shot squirmed out of Jennings grasp and over the line.
Seven minutes later Bolton got their second penalty when Morgan went down rather theatrically under a challenge from Rix. This time Worthington put more power behind his left-footed kick, and Jennings was well beaten.
Heeley, substituting for Talbot, whi had earlier had treatment for an injury, scored Arsenal’s second goal in the 77th minute when he headed in off the bar from a centre by Rix.
Bolton: McDonagh, Nicholson, Dunne, Greaves, Jones, Walsh, Morgan, Whatmore, Gowling, Worthington, Smith.
Arsenal: Jennings, Rice, Nelson, Talbot, O’Leary, Welford, Gatting, Sunderland, Stapleton, Price, Rix, Heeley.