Veterans fire Wanderers to derby win

Bolton boss Neil Lennon
Bolton boss Neil Lennon
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Bolton boss Neil Lennon hailed his “old-age pensioners” as Emile Heskey and Eidur Gudjohnsen rolled back the years to earn their new side an unlikely Sky Bet Championship win.

The former Leicester, Liverpool, Wigan and Aston Villa striker, 37 next month, and 36-year-old Gudjohnsen combined for Heskey’s first goal in England since August 2011.

Three minutes later Darren Pratley completed Wanderers’ smash-and-grab victory in front of the club’s highest attendance - 23,203 - of the season.

“Only Gudjohnsen could see that pass and I thought Heskey was awesome when he came on,” said Lennon after his side extended their unbeaten run to eight games.

“However, I didn’t expect that from Emile, if I am honest. Everyone raised eyebrows when we brought him in but you can see why we have done now.”

Heskey’s international clearance only arrived on Christmas Day from Australia, where he had last played with Newcastle Jets.

“It is a great story because maybe people have been laughing about us bringing these two guys in,” added Lennon. “But you can see the qualities they still have.

“We knew going into the game we didn’t have a bone fide striker and we missed that physical presence in the first half. Second half was night and day and Emile was a huge influence in how we played.

“We were fortunate to only be a goal down at half-time. As a manager you have got to say your bit and hope you get a reaction and we got that. The character of the team is very good.”