Stan Collymore fired Liverpool to their first win in eight games at Burnden Park today.
The £8.5 million British record buy has endured a torrid time since switching to Anfield from Nottingham Forest in the close season. Loss of form and a public fall out with manager Roy Evans over a magazine article have made the transition difficult.
But the signs are now looking a lot more encouraging for player and club. Last week his goal was not quite enough to see off a Southampton side, who took a point from their trip to Merseyside. Today, however, his fine individual strike in the 61st minute was enough to dismantle Bolton and get Liverpool back in the winning habit. It was only Collymore's fourth goal of the season but two of them have now come in the last week. Bolton's busy midfielder Sasa Curcic carelessly lost possession to Collymore, who eagerly snapped up the loose ball and his pace took him away from Gudni Bergsson. Keeper Keith Branagan desperately tried to narrow the angle but Collymore's finish was decisive as he buried the shot in the corner.
Curcic could only hang his head in exasperation as minutes earlier he had come close to opening the scoring. The Serbian picked up a pass from Fabian De Freitas and cut inside, only to see his shot come off the inside of the post.
Liverpool were forced to name a patched-up side because of injuries and international call-ups but manager Roy Evans will be delighted at the manner of this victory. Bolton fielded new £750,000 signing Scott Sellars and he carved out a chance with his first touch. The former Newcastle midfielder picked out John McGinlay but he hurried his shot and keeper David James was able to clear easily.
Collymore gave a hint of what was to come by making space to get on the end of a cross from Rob Jones, only to send his glancing header narrowly wide. Scott Green then fired in a 30-yard shot that went just over the top and the same player was forced to show his defensive skills, clearing an inswinging cross from John Barnes off the line.
Bolton, who had as much of the ball as Liverpool until the Collymore strike, now look to have an uphill battle to avoid relegation.
Liverpool manager Roy Evans breathed a sigh of relief after his side's 1-0 win at Bolton today -- their first victory in eight matches. A goal from Stan Collymore in the 61st minute was enough to dismantle the struggling home side. And Evans said: "It's been a while coming and we had to battle hard today. I was pleased with our attitude. It's important to have the attitude that you don't want to get beaten. The effort and application was first class." Evans saluted Collymore's marvellous goal -- his fourth of the season -- saying: "It came out of the blue. It wasn't one from the training ground. I am still looking for more from him but at least we are now putting the balls in to his feet."
Bolton co-manager Colin Todd said: "When we conceded the goal, there was a lack of self-belief among my team. Liverpool are a very good side and I thought we acquitted ourselves well. I was disappointed by the contribution of our strikers today. There was not enough movement from them off the ball."
Copyright - Press Association