West Brom 2 Bolton 1: Lethal Long heads right back to give Albion a welcome lift

By Chris Moore

Shane Long burst the Bolton bubble with a clinical match-winner on his return to the West Bromwich attack only four weeks after chipping a bone in his knee.

The 24-year-old Republic of Ireland star notched his fourth goal in 10 starts since his £6million arrival from Reading to hoist Roy Hodgson's side to 10th and leave Bolton languishing in the bottom three.

Shane Long of West Brom in action with Gary Cahill of Bolton

Top of his game: Irishman Shane Long capped a happy week with the winner against Bolton


West Brom: Foster, Olsson, Shorey McAuley, Morrison, Brunt, Reid, Thomas (Dorrans 80), Mulumbu, Long, Gera

Subs not used: Fulop, Dawson, Jones, Tchoyi, Cox, Fortune

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Cahill, Wheater, Riley, Muamba (Kakuta 81), Eagles (Petrov 69), M Davies, Reo-Coker, Davies (Ngog 70), Klasnic

Subs not used: Bogdan, Knight, Pratley, Tuncay

The visitors were well in contention at half-time after Ivan Klasnic's penalty had cancelled out Jerome Thomas's opener.

But they lost their edge as Albion bossed the second half, with Long securing only their second home win of the season as he glanced home Nicky Shorey's cross.

'Long wanted to play and the doctors made no attempt to stop him, so it was an easy decision to bring him back,' said Hodgson.

'He's a class player and adds an extra dimension. He and Zoltan Gera can take a good deal of the credit for a very good all-round performance.'

Jerome Thomas (right) celebrates scoring Albion's opening goal with Zoltan Gera

Smiles all round: Jerome Thomas (right) celebrates scoring Albion's opening goal with Zoltan Gera


Bolton boss Owen Coyle said: 'We were excellent in the first half and had earned a platform to get something. But we just huffed and puffed in the second half and never got close enough to them to inflict any damage. It was a great header by Long who is a good player. But I expect my defenders to deal with it.'

Bolton had arrived buoyed by their 5-0 battering of Stoke but also in possession of the worst defensive record in the Premier League after conceding 27 goals in their first 11 games.

Adrian Chiles

Sight for sore eyes: Axed Daybreak presenter Adrian Chiles cheered himself up by watching his beloved West Brom push themselves further up the table


They threatened an early breakthrough as Gary Cahill's header from a Chris Eagles' corner was chested off the line by Youssouf Mulumbu.

But Albion drew first blood shortly after Long had sliced an effort wide. Chris Brunt and Gera combined to play Thomas in with enough time and space to go round Jussi Jaaskelainen and score his first league goal this season.

Bolton Wanderers' Kevin Davies is tackled by West Bromwich Albion's  James Morrison

No way through: Bolton Wanderers' Kevin Davies is tackled by West Bromwich Albion's James Morrison

But Bolton capitalised on Thomas's clumsy challenge on Fabrice Muamba which earned a penalty.

Cool Klasnic converted although Hodgson insisted it was one of the 'new wave' penalties that 'should never have been given'.

Albion dominated after the break, with Shorey's cross proving tailor-made for Long.

'If we could play like that for the next 26 games I'd be a very happy man,' added Hodgson.

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now