Allardyce hails Niemi
By Steve Luckings
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Finnish international was in superb form, thwarting attempts from Jay-Jay Okocha, Mario Jardel, Bruno N'Gotty, Nicky Hunt and Kevin Davies before Henrik Pedersen finally got the better of him guiding home Anthony Barness' volley in the second period of extra time.
Bolton goalkeeper Kevin Poole was also in inspired form and ensured the Lancashire club progressed to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup with a few saves of his own. Most notably in the dying moments by pushind Paul Tlefer's effort on to the crossbar and Allardcye said it was no more than they deserved.
"I think we applied ourselves well and we made a few changes from the side that played Chelsea but not too many," he told Sky Sports.
"The players were tremendous but you could say that Kevin Poole won us the game right at the death.
"I though Niemi was unbelievable for them. He seemed to save everything and I thought at one stage that he was impregnable.
"But thankfully we got the goal and now we can look forward to the game in January.
"I have criticised the players recently for not hitting the target but today I can't really have a go at them because they were up against an unbelievable keeper.
"He did the same thing up here a few weeks ago when he made about three saves but tonight I counted he made about six or seven.
"No matter where we hit it from he just always seemed to be in the right spot and they could easily have forced it into penalties at the end.
"Still, to keep another clean sheet is excellent and credit to both sides. They both played some fantastic stuff throughout the game and were fantastic entertainment for the few fans that showed up."