Bolton Beats Blackburn to Push English Rival Into Last

(Corrects name in second paragraph.)

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Bolton won 2-1 at Blackburn to move off the bottom of English soccer’s Premier League and leave its local rival in last place, while Wolves and Norwich drew 2-2.

Mark Davies and Nigel Reo-Coker got Bolton’s goals at Ewood Park last night before Ayegbeni Yakubu replied for the home team in the 67th minute.

Bolton’s fourth victory of the season lifted it two points ahead of Blackburn, which fell to its 11th loss in 17 league matches to increase the pressure on Rovers manager Steve Kean, who has faced organized protests from the club’s fans at games.

“It’s not nice to lose any game, irrespective of what the fans are saying,” Kean said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. “We’re feeling it, but we’ll pick ourselves up and try and be positive.”

Blackburn, which is owned by Indian poultry company Venky’s Ltd., travels to sixth-place Liverpool and defending champion Manchester United in the next 11 days. Venky’s wasn’t spared the supporters’ ire last night, with fans holding up banners saying: “Give us our Rovers back.”

Wolves moved two points clear of the three-team relegation zone after twice coming from behind to secure the home draw against Norwich, which remains ninth in the 20-team standings.

Andrew Surman put the visiting team ahead before Sylvan Ebanks-Blake made it 1-1. Substitute Simeon Jackson restored Norwich’s lead with his first touch, and Ronald Zubar’s 82nd-minute header prevented Wolves from slipping to a second home defeat in four days.

Stoppage-Time Chances

Both teams had stoppage-time chances to win the game. Wolves striker Steven Fletcher had a goal disallowed for offside and Norwich’s Steve Morison’s shot was blocked. Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy then saved a close-range header from Adam Hammil in the closing seconds.

“It was exciting, captivating and excruciating at times,” Wolves manager Mick McCarthy told the BBC.

Eight games are scheduled today, including league leader Manchester City against Stoke and Manchester United at Fulham. Tottenham hosts London rival Chelsea tomorrow in a matchup of the third- and fourth-place teams.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at