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Bolton Wanderers FC moved to the brink of a place in the round of 32 as Gavin McCann's first goal for the club gave them victory in their final UEFA Cup Group F game against FK Crvena Zvezda.
The midfielder scored the winner on the stroke of half-time to stun the hosts and leave Gary Megson's side within touching distance of qualification, although they now must nervously watch and hope results go their way on Matchday 5. Crvena Zvezda, meanwhile, saw their hopes vanish even before their final game against SC Braga in a fortnight.
Bolton, who drew their opening three games in the section, survived a scare after nine minutes when Nicky Hunt lost possession to Nenad Milijaš only for the midfielder to snatch at his shot and send it high over the bar. The home side kept up the pressure as Dejan Milovanović whipped a free-kick wide of the post and Ognjen Koroman raced forward and hit a long-range effort wide.
Ali Al-Habsi, deputising in goal for Jussi Jääskeläinen, then reacted quickly to keep out Joao Lukas' shot before Bolton carved out a half chance in the 37th minute as stand-in skipper Gary Speed flashed a shot wide. Just before the break the visitors did take the lead however as McCann drilled a shot in off the post after a goalmouth scramble.
The English side almost extended their lead seven minutes into the second half when the influential Andranik Teymourian's free-kick was steered into the side-netting by an unmarked Stelios Giannakopoulos and they remained untroubled against a Crvena Zvezda outfit lacking ideas. Bolton will now be hoping there is a winner in the Matchday 5 encounter between FC Bayern München and FC Aris Thessaloniki or that Crvena Zvezda beat Braga.
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