Early strikes boost Bolton
© AFP

Bolton Wanderers scored two goals in the first three minutes as they defeated Portsmouth, 2-1, in the Premier League at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday. Matt Taylor was on target against his old club with under a minute on the clock before Ricardo Gardner made it 2-0. England striker Peter Crouch pulled a goal back for Pompey with a header in the 20th minute before both sides spurned chances to add to their tally.

Taylor, who scored several memorable goals during his time at Fratton Park, gave Pompey a reminder of what they had been missing when he flicked the ball over his marker and volleyed a shot past England goalkeeper David James. He then turned provider, his header back across goal met by the onrushing Gardner who smashed home Bolton's second.

Johan Elmander and Gardner went close before Portsmouth got on the scoresheet when Niko Kranjcar's cross found the head of Crouch at the far post. Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen denied Kranjcar while, at the other end, James saved well from Gardner when the midfielder was clean through. Neither side's defence looked especially secure after half-time and it needed a clearance off the line by Kranjcar to prevent Kevin Davies heading Bolton into a 3-1 lead.