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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

West Ham United: Kevin Nolan 100 not out


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West Ham captain Kevin Nolan scored his 100th professional career goal against Wigan at the weekend and here at Squarefootball we thought we would honour the former Bolton and Newcastle midfielder by taking a look back at some of his most important and best goals.

We've been scouring the internet for footage of his scoring exploits and have picked out some of the best from the Toxteth boy as we explore his scoring exploits over the past 13 seasons.

At the age of 19, Nolan scored his first professional goal against Crewe Alexandra in a comfortable 4-1 win for the Trotters. Nolan put the cherry on top of the icing that day as Big Sam's men targeted promotion back to the Premier League by scoring the fourth.

Bolton regained their seat amongst England's elite clubs at the top table with a play-off victory over Preston and started life in the top flight with a visit to Leicester City, but they blew the Foxes away with a 5-0 drubbing. Nolan opened the scoring with a looping header in the 15th minute and made it 3-0 when he found himself unmarked in the box to send the travelling fans at Filbert Street into ecstasy.

 

Nolan and Bolton were taking the Premier League by storm and in October 2001Nolan helped the Trotters seal a memorable 2-1 win at Old Trafford. The boyhood Liverpool fan gave Fabien Barthez no chance by firing an exquisite right foot half-volley into the back of the net.

 

That very same season, Nolan realised his dream of scoring at Anfield as he equalised in a 1-1 draw. A remarkable first season back in the top flight saw Nolan score eight times and Bolton avoid the drop by four points.

The following season Nolan was at it again. Bolton recorded back-to-back wins over Manchester United at Old Trafford and Nolan was the hero again, scoring in the 77th minute after taking advantage of some woeful defending in the United backline. That proved to be his only goal of the season though as Bolton held on to their top flight status at the expense of West Ham.

The former England Under-21 star was back in amongst the goals in the 2003/04 season though. He kicked off his account with a goal a goal in the League Cup against Walsall before scoring in back-to-back games against Aston Villa (1-1) and Manchester City (6-2 defeat). Nolan then went on to hit the winner at White Hart Lane - a feat that would endear him to his future employees West Ham eight years later.

Nolan also took a starring role in Bolton's 4-3 win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park by scoring the opener and the winner.

 

Nolan recorded his 20th professional goal in a 5-2 League Cup win over Aston Villa on January 21, 2004.

The goals dried up for Nolan in the 2004/05 season but the Trotters finished sixth, level on points with the Champions League winners Liverpool and just four points off a top four place. 

Nolan was certainly Bolton's lucky scorer in the 2005/06 season. He scored 11 times during the campaign and Bolton never lost when he scored. Nolan scored another cracker, this time against Tottenham Hotspur.

 

And he followed that up a few months later with a deft opener against Arsenal. Despite their European adventures, Bolton managed to finish in eighth position.

Nolan suffered another quiet season in 2006/07, but his three league goals and combative displays helped Bolton qualify for Europe again. 

Nolan opened his account the following season with a last-gasp equaliser against West Ham United at Upton Park. The Bolton captain cancelled out George McCartney's half-volley opener with a deft volley of his own. He went on to score another four, helping Bolton avoid the drop by just a point. 

Nolan's last goal and 50th professional goal for Bolton Wanderers came in his 10th season at the Reebok in a shock 2-1 home defeat in the League Cup by Northampton Town. In total he registered a half century for the Trotters in 345 appearances.

His next challenge lay ahead of him at Newcastle United, joining the club for £4 million. Unfortunately he couldn't prevent the Geordies from going down, Nolan was instrumental in getting them back up. He scored his first goal for the Toon Army in a 2-0 away win at Crystal Palace.

 

Nolan went on to score a total of 18 times that season as the Geordies made an immediate return to the top flight. That season also saw Nolan register his first professional hat-trick in a 4-0 away win over Roy Keane's Ipswich Town. Nolan opened the scoring with a header before adding his second with a composed finish. He completed his hat-trick with another header just after the restart.

The Newcastle skipper grabbed two in a 6-0 thrashing of Aston Villa in August 2010 before he wrote his name in Newcastle folklore by scoring a hat-trick against Sunderland in a thumping 5-1 win.

 

His third goal against Sunderland on October 31, 2010, was actually his 75th professional goal.

But after scoring 13 times in the Mags' return season to the top flight, Nolan decided to go back down a division to be reunited with his former Bolton boss Big Sam at Upton Park. The move paid off straight away with Nolan scoring the winner against Doncaster. He scored four times on the road before he finally scored at Upton Park, but the strike in a 3-1 win against Derby County was well worth the wait.

 

Nolan then got the Hammers' Premier League campaign off to a winning start with the only goal of the game. (Apologies for the dreadful music that accompanies this clip.)

 

Nolan scored his 98th goal against Newcastle in a famous 1-0 win for the Hammers at St James' Park in November 2012 before hitting 99 in a 3-1 defeat against Fulham. But almost four months later, Nolan notched his 100th in acrobatic fashion against Wigan Athletic at Upton Park to secure the Hammers' top flight status.

* Calling all Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham fans: What has been your favourite Kevin Nolan goal? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

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