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Bolton Wanderers 2011

It was a stunning evening at the Reebok Stadium as Bolton Wanderers welcomed Football Aid to the impressive ground. The Trotters had enjoyed a fantastic season on the pitch, and the fans were looking to top off the season in style. The players were delighted to pull on their personalized kits and grace the hallowed turf that players like Davies, Elmander and Cahill had been playing on so well all season.

Saturday 11th June 2011
Bolton Wanderers Home vs Bolton Wanderers Away
Kick Off: 18.00
Match Officials: Chris Waring, Danny Simms, Mathew Scholes and Michael Barlow

It was the Home side in White that got the action underway at The Reebok. The match began at a furious pace, with both sides keen to put an early impression upon the game. Both teams were nervous in possession, and it was 5 mins before a chance was created. Away Captain Andrew Yates ran with the ball from deep down the right, having no support hit a hard shot at goal from a wide angle. Goalkeeper Richard Marsh did very well to hold onto the ball.

It was again the men in Blue who threatened next, this time from range. Andrew Saunders collected the ball in midfield before taking the ball to about 25 yards out. He let fly with a vicious right-footed shot that almost broke the crossbar! A great effort but the score still remained 0-0.

Rick Blyth was next to have a shot saved for the Away side, before the Home side launched a deadly counterattack! Marsh rolled the ball out to his teammate who launched an amazing pass to Alex Smal who left Buglass for dead with his pace. The striker took a touch on his chest before firing past Donnelly to open the scoring in the 13th min. (1-0)

It would only be a matter of minutes before the Away side levelled the match. Jim Rae earned a free kick from a wide position after being brought down by Carl Byron. Rae swung in a lovely delivery to the back post where Andrew Yates leapt like a salmon to nod it across Marsh and into the net. A great header! (1-1)

But the Home side were not happy with losing the lead, so after 23 mins they restored it. Patrick Leonard and Julian Taylor combined well on the right, putting Todd Reid through on goal at a narrow angle. Reid dug out a lovely cross to the back post for Andrew Reid to tap in to take the lead again (2-1). The family connection paying dividends for the men in white.

Despite being a goal down, the Away side were looking the more potent attacking threat going forward, and it was only some heroic defending from Patrick Leonard that denied them a certain equaliser. Forwards Blyth and Yates had created a two-on-one situation, and when Blyth slid through the killer pass for a Yates tap in, Leonard came sliding out of nowhere to take the ball away from the striker. Great play.

The men in Blue were doing everything right short of putting the ball in the back of the net and minutes later they missed a sitter. A stunning low cross from Stuart Schofield put the chance on a plate for Yates, but from six yards the striker somehow failed to find the target, dragging his shot past the far post. A fantastic opportunity, would the Away side regret that miss?

Yates created another chance for the Away side after 40 mins. A superb pass from centre half Jim Rae made space for the striker to loft in a cross. The cross deflected off Mark Feehan onto the head of Blyth from eight yards, but the No 9 could only head straight at Marsh in goal who held onto the ball well.

Yates was to be denied again moments later, and it was down to Richard Marsh in goal. Jim Rae's through ball found Yates' clever run, and his close range shot was blocked by Marsh, who did really well to come out and make himself big in front of the striker.

Just before half time, the Blues got the equaliser their play deserved. Yates was involved again, the striker dinking a pass over the top of the stretched defence, for winger Stuart Schofield to run through and execute a beautifully weighted lob over Marsh from a tight angle, a fantastic finish. (2-2)

The half-time whistle sounded, and despite the score being level, the Away side should perhaps have been ahead thanks to some great football.

Half-Time: Bolton Wanderers Home 2 - 2 Bolton Wanderers Away

The Away side restarted the game, and picked up exactly where they left off. They had only been playing a matter of minutes when they took the lead. Dave Buglass played a superb long pass to Andrew Yates who displayed three touches of magic. The striker used his knee to control the ball initially, his second touch took the ball beautifully around Bickerstaffe and with his third stabbed the ball under the body of goalkeeper Marsh. It was a great goal and Yates' second of the game. (2-3)

Andrew Yates would only have mins to wait before completing his hat trick! Blyth found Yates with a header in midfield and the captain did the rest, shrugging off the challenge of a defender, only to see Marsh block his initial shot. Yates picked up the rebound, and after shielding the ball for a couple of seconds, picked his moment and turned to fire the ball into the near corner of the net. (2-4)

The Away team were looking to press home their advantage. Schofield had a drilled shot from wide palmed away by Marsh, before the Blues made it five in the 55th min. A corner straight off the training ground from Rae was delivered into the six-yard box, and Rick Blyth attacked the ball, getting the vital touch that put the ball into the net. The Home side would need to step up their game if they wanted to find a way back into the match! (2-5)

The Home team were battling hard to get back into the game, but they were hit with a sucker punch after 60 mins. Jim Rae launched a perfect 50 yard pass for Andrew Yates to run onto. The striker went for placement rather than power and took his shot early, hitting it low across goalkeeper Marsh and into the far bottom corner. An incredible four goal haul for the frontman! (2-6)

The boys in blue continued to put pressure on the White's backline. Yates came close to a fifth with a lob that finished over the bar, and Marsh denied Kevin Banks after his vicious strike from a wide angle. Marsh was having a solid game in goals and he again came to the rescue, saving from a tight angle after Yates again let fly from 10 yards.

The Away team were in seventh heaven on 73 mins. Captain Yates played a superb pass from wide on the right inside the full back that caused chaos in the Home defence. Stuart Schofield was the beneficiary, the winger picking up the ball and shooting low past Marsh, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance at all. Schofield had had a great game and thoroughly deserved his second of the match.

Blyth and Yates were constantly winning the ball high up the pitch for their side to create opportunities, and this paid dividends from the restart. Rick Blyth intercepted a pass and found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat. He collected the ball from a height and picked his spot, wrong-footing the goalkeeper. Blyth scoring his second of the game! (2-8)

The Home side seemed desperate for a consolation goal, and were beginning to throw men forward and they rewarded for their enterprise after 80 mins. Gary Longworth won a header in midfield that landed at the feet of Home Captain Dave Evans. Evans showed a turn of pace to beat Buglass before rifling a low shot across Donnelly into the corner of the net. Evans looked delighted, and executed an original celebration, devised by his daughter before the game. Great work from all the Evans family!! (3-8)

The Blues came roaring back however, and it was only the goalkeeping of Marsh that was preventing a bigger scoreline. Schofield, Yates and Simon Mickle were all denied by some outstanding saves. His stop from Schofield in particular was a potential save of the season contender, the ‘keeper palming away an effort destined for the top corner.

Mickle had been searching for his goal all game, having put in a great performance down the right. He was denied again by Patrick Leonard, the right back putting in another challenge on the line saving a certain goal. Leonard again denied a ninth, Alessandro Isidori with a cross-come-shot that Leonard was able to head off the line.

The referee called time on what had been an exciting game, with plenty of great goals. An emphatic win for the Away side

Full-Time: Bolton Wanderers Home 3 - 8 Bolton Wanderers Away

Man of the Match Home: Alex Smal
Man of the Match Away:
Andrew Yates
Moment of the Match:
Dave Evans

Home Team: Marsh, Banks, Byron, Bickerstaffe, Reid, Taylor, Reid, Mitchell, Durrant, Smal, Longworth, Feehan, Leonard, Evans

Mascot: Rachel Holliday & Megan Evans

Away Team: Donnelly, Caulfield, Buglass, Rae, M.Isidori, Mickle, Schofield, Yates, Saunders, Blyth, Holmes, A.Isidori, Banks

Mascot: Dominic Caulfield & Emily Holmes