Bolton Wanderers 2006
Tuesday 9th May, The Reebok Stadium, Att 178
Bolton Wanderers (Home) 5 Bolton Wanderers (Away) 6
A tireless performance from legend David Lee and an impressive 4 goals from Danny O’Kell gave Bolton Away the edge in a gripping match at the Reebok Stadium.
The game kicked off at a frantic pace, which set the tone for the rest of the match. Legend Kelly’s Home side stole an early lead in the 7th minute when midfielder Moon sent a cheeky chip flying over the keeper and into goal.
Lee’s Away team swiftly retaliated, catching the Home defence napping. O’Kell was quick to take advantage, lobbing in a beauty of a shot from the left hand corner of the area to equalise.
Legend Lee was the architect of Away’s next few chances. In the 17th minute, Lee swept down the wing but his carefully crafted cross was met by the Home defence who scrambled the ball clear. Only a minute later, Lee had the ball once more and keeper Greaves was at full stretch to bat away the resulting sizzling strike.
Balls continued to fly into both boxes for the next ten minutes as the teams pressed hard for goal. The best chance again fell to the Away team after some great forward play down the right flank from Tony Timbrell. His cross met the feet of the ever-vigilant Lee whose chip over keeper Greaves’ head unluckily hit the post.
The breakthrough goal came in the 36th minute thanks to the silky skills of centre mid Bradburn. He deftly controlled the ball from a corner and hammered home to make the score 1-2.
The rest of the first half continued at the same fast pace and despite a close chance for Kelly’s men in extra time after striker Walker was taken down in a bad tackle by defensive dynamo Taylor, Away held onto the lead into the interval.
The start of the second half mirrored the first as Home got off to a brighter start, scoring in the 6th minute thanks to striker Booker. Away failed to clear a corner efficiently and in the resulting scramble, Booker pushed the ball over the line.
Away soon got into their stride and a superb solo effort from O’Kell gave Lee’s men the lead once more. Two minutes later and O’Kell was on the attack again. A perfect through ball to Lee allowed the legend to dance up field before crossing to skipper Robinson to finish the move. A feint to the right beat keeper Greaves and Robinson slotted home to make the score 2-4.
Refusing to be outdone, Kelly’s men answered with another cracking goal of their own. Brilliant forward play allowed substitute Evans to send in a screamer past Haworth and left the highly appreciative crowd gasping for breath. Only 15 minutes into the second half and already 4 goals scored…
Not one for taking a breather himself, O’Kell surged onto a long ball from Lee. Charging past Greaves with a fake turn, he then skipped by two defenders before coolly despatching his third goal of the match.
With a two-goal lead, Away handed the reins over to the Home side who were desperate to even the score. After ten minutes of midfield mayhem, Glenn Moon broke into the area. With time on his hands, he let rip with a beauty of a shot, which Haworth just managed to palm away. Moon pounced on the rebound and jabbed home his second goal of the match to make the score 4-5.
Just as the match looked to be winding down, O’Kell decided to reveal his flair for football one last time. In his trademark style, he outwitted Greaves with a feint before sauntering past the diving keeper and finishing with aplomb.
Home battled to the dying end and Evans pulled back a goal for his hard working side to make the final score (an exhausting!) 5-6.
As Simon Murphy commented after the match, “Really enjoyed the day although will have to go on a fitness drive for next time – the game never stopped!”
Silky striker Daniel O’Kell continued, ”I had a really great day at the Reebok and having scored 2 last year, I didn't think it could get any better, but this time round it exceeded all my expectations. Roll on next year…”