Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: West Brom 2 Bolton 1

West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long crowned his early return from injury with the winning goal against Bolton Wanderers to give Roy Hodgson only his second home win so far.

Long had been ruled out for up to six weeks after suffering a bone chip and bruising in Albion’s 2-1 win over Villa last month.

But his re-introduction along with Zoltan Gera’s second home debut after he re-signed for the club in the summer, gave West Brom the attacking edge in a testy game won by the Irishman’s header in the 56th minute.

Hodgson paid tribute to the striker afterwards, describing him as “Tintin plus” for his adventurous comeback.

Asked whether his return was touch and go, he said: “Doctors if anything advise caution, and players and coaches are more adventurous. And in Long, I have the most adventurous of the adventurous.

“He’s Tintin plus. He wanted to play and the doctors made no attempt to stop him playing so what am I going to do as a coach other than say, ‘get yourself out there’?”

After 45 minutes in which referee Neil Swarbrick took centre stage with doubts over whether Albion’s goal was onside and a penalty at the other end, Hodgson’s side took hold of the game in the second.

Long got on the end of a Nicky Shorey cross to head the ball past Jaaskelainen as Bolton capitulated to an impressively disciplined second half performance from Albion.

It came after the hard work of Jerome Thomas to take the lead in the 16th minute by rounding Jussi Jaaskelainen was undone just minutes later when Thomas conceded a penalty for a challenge on Fabrice Muamba.

Bolton deserved the equaliser after an open first half but Hodgson was furious with the award of the penalty, which was driven into the bottom left corner by Ivan Klasnic.

The West Brom manager said he gave himself a team talk at half time to control his frustration at the decision.

“I don’t expect to ever get a penalty in a game in that situation. Once you start getting penalties decide games in that way, the whole game changes,” he said.

“I don’t appreciate this new wave of penalties and I think it’s quite amazing that a team like ourselves – who if we’re not top of the fair play league, we must be pretty damn close – have had five or six penalties against us this year.”

Nevertheless, Hodgson said he was delighted with the performance, and heaped praise on Gera, who received a rapturous welcome at The Hawthorns.

Owen Coyle said his side’s below-par performance in the second half was a source of anger.

“We certainly felt at half time, we had earned a platform to go on and achieve a positive result from the match,” he said.

“First half we were brilliant but second half, we never got close enough to them to inflict any damage. We need to be performing better second half than we did.”

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