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Bolton Wanderers 2015

Our 2015 game at the Macron Stadium provided the watching fans with plenty of entertainment, with 9 goals, chances galore at both ends, some fantastic saves from both keepers and some excellent goal celebrations as well! The impressive Away team ran out 2-7 winners after a high quality team effort in the 2nd half, however the Home team had their moments as well and played their part in what was a great game for the Bolton fans in the stands to enjoy.  

Date: Wednesday 27th May 2015
Venue: The Macron
Bolton (Home) vs Bolton (Away)
Kick Off: 18:00 pm
Legends/Managers: Glenn Keeley, Tony Kelly & John McGinlay
Match Officials: Gary Burke, Neil Matthews, Ben Matthews & Tom Basuick

The skies overhead were overcast when the Bolton Wanderers Home team kicked off our 2015 game and they set about attacking their opponents right from the off, creating the 1st chance of the game after only 2mins. Rick Blyth played the ball to Lee Cartwright who in turn fed striker Andrew Bridges, the big No 11 looked set to opening the scoring until Away centre back Dave Buglass came racing across the area to block his left foot shot with a fantastic last ditch sliding tackle. 

A fine curling cross from Rick Blyth caused problems for the Home defence moments later and Andrea Esposito did well to get his boot to the ball and deflect it towards goal, however goalkeeper John Brunt was in the perfect position to collect the ball comfortably. At the other end Sam Cunningham tested Allan Todd from a free-kick on the edge of the box, however the Home keeper did well to dive across goal and beat the ball away to safety. The much travelled keeper was called into action moments later when striker Dan Johns was set free by an excellent through ball from Matthew Crook. The No 11 collected the ball and fired a rising shot at goal, however Todd was in the perfect position to parry the effort well and collect the ball at the 2nd attempt.

Johns had another effort from the left side of the penalty area soon afterwards, however he couldn’t get his left foot shot on target and the ball nestled in the side netting. The Away team carved open the Away defence again after a clever passing move which was started by the ageless Maurice Lawson, however Home keeper Alan Todd was in fine form and beat away the shot from classy midfielder Sam Cunningham. However the Away team’s pressure eventually told and with 19mins gone they opened the scoring with a fantastic goal. Fullback Haydock played the ball to Cunningham in the middle of the pitch and the skilful No 10 played a fine 1st time ball which found No 7 Mark Done racing down the right wing, Done played an inch perfect low cross 1st time to Colin Yates and the striker slotted the ball home 1st time from just inside the area (0-1).  

The Home team responded well and Andrea Esposito tested John Brunt with an effort from 25 yards, however the Away Captain collected it comfortably. However they did manage to get on the scoresheet moments later. The Home team’s John McGinlay played the kind of pass his more famous namesake would have been proud of to set Nicola Perazzini free, the Italian striker steadied himself and fired a right foot shot to keeper Brunt’s right, the keeper got a hand to the ball and almost stopped it however he couldn’t keep it out and it nestled into the back of the net (1-1). The Home team were back level less than 5mins after falling behind and the Italian pair of Perazzini and Esposito celebrated the goal with a canine flavoured routine which had undoubtedly been rehearsed back home in Rimini!

The Away team created the next opportunity for striker Dan Johns, however the No 11 couldn’t keep his snapshot on target and it flashed past the near post. It was a great game to watch and play raged from end to end. The Italian combination of Esposito and Perazzini fashioned an opportunity for the latter player, however his shot from the edge of the box was well held by John Brunt. The Away team responded and with under a minute to go until half-time a clever through ball from Maurice Lawson allowed Dan Johns to race clear on the left side of the area, he cut back inside and fired a shot across goal which Allan Todd did very well to save with his legs, however Sam Cunningham collected the rebound, jinked past his man and smashed a low shot just inside the right hand post (1-2). 

It was the final act of a fantastic 1st half, the Home side had enjoyed a good share of possession and on chances created they could consider themselves slightly unlucky to be a goal behind going into the break. However the impressive Away side had proved to be the more clinical of the two sides and on balance just about deserved their narrow advantage.

Half Time: Bolton (Home) 1 - 2 Bolton (Away)

At half-time the Trotters Legends Glenn Keeley (Home) and Tony Kelly and John McGinlay (Away), were on hand to impart their expert knowledge ahead of the 2nd half and the Away team certainly took on board the advice as they started the half quickly. Mark Done picked up the ball on the right and fired in an inch perfect cross which found the head of Colin Yates, however the striker’s diving header was saved well by Allan Todd.    

However it was the Home team who got the next goal and it came about after excellent play from Nicola Perazzini. The No 9 did brilliantly to close down 2nd half sub Martin McLeod and nut-meg him before driving into the penalty box, in a desperate attempt to stop the danger McLeod barged into him from behind and Perazzini fell to the floor to earn the penalty. Perazzini’s Italian compatriot Andrea Esposito stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake, sliding a cool finish into the left side of the goal to bring his side level with 49mins gone (2-2). This time it was an explosive celebration by the Italian fans! 

However the sides weren’t on level terms for long and within 2mins the Away side had regained the lead. A long ball from Legend Tony Kelly was played forward and the presence of Maurice Lawson in the attacking 3rd did enough to put off the Home defender, Dan Johns raced onto the ball and spotting Allan Todd off his line he slid the ball into the far side of the goal (2-3). 

Moments later the striker almost had his 2nd goal of the game. Capitalising on a mix-up at the back the No 11 raced clear of the Home defence and with only the keeper to beat he side footed the ball across goal, however it rebounded off the post and away to safety. The Away side didn’t have to wait long for their next goal though and when Todd’s clearance from wide of his goal was intercepted by Legend Tony Kelly 25 yards out, the former Trotters hero side footed the ball 1st time from 25 yards into the unguarded net (2-4).

The Away team continued to press forward and an impressive passing move created a chance for striker Colin Yates, however the No 9 couldn’t get his right foot shot on target and the ball went wide of the left hand post.  However the goal was coming and on 63mins the Away side increased their lead to a 3 goal margin. Midfielder Terry Rickeard’s shot from distance was blocked and looped into the air, Josh Davis was the quickest to react and raced into the box and outjumped the Home keeper to nod the ball home from 10 yards (2-5).  

The Away side were well on top now and Colin Yates almost increased their lead with a right foot effort soon afterwards, however Allan Todd got his hands to the shot and Phil Norris was on hand to stop the ball going over the line. The Away goal was leading a charmed life and it took a last ditch block from Gino Marone to prevent Johns’ volley from nestling in the net. Martin McLeod floated in the corner and Colin Yates got his head to the ball and diverted it goalwards, however much to the Home side’s relief the ball rebounded off the post and away.  

The Away team were turning the screw and Sam Cunningham looked like scoring when he was played through the middle, however the combination of goalkeeper Todd’s initial presence and a goal-line clearance from centre half James Park-Johnson cleared the danger. The pressure was relentless and the Home defence was doing extremely well to keep the Away team at bay, however it eventually told on 73mins. The lively Josh Davis won the ball with a sliding tackle on the left and played it inside, Rick Blyth intercepted the ball but it rebounded to Dan Johns who instantly found Sam Cunningham on the right side of the area, the No 10 cut inside and expertly curled a left foot shot into the far side of the goal (2-6).   

The Home team responded well though and defender James Park-Johnson showed his attacking prowess by racing clear of the defence and firing in a shot from the left side of the box, however he couldn’t get it on target and the ball ended up in the side netting. At the other end Colin Yates did well to make space for a right foot shot, however his rising shot was just too high and it sailed over the bar.

Back came the Home team and Francesco Esposito raced clear before playing in Nicola Perazzini on the left, however the ever dangerous striker was denied by an excellent save by goalkeeper John Brunt’s left foot. The play raged from one end to another and when Terry Rickeard’s initial left foot effort was well blocked by Home fullback John McGinlay he looked destined to score when the ball fell for him 6 yards out, however Allan Todd got down brilliantly to save his 2nd attempt at goal.  

The Home team were still desperate to get on the scoresheet themselves and when Rick Blyth found Nicola Perazzini with a tremendous defence splitting pass the Italian striker looked odds on to score, however John Brunt somehow got a hand to his shot and palmed it over the bar. What a save!

With the clock ticking down to 90mins the Away side rounded off a great team performance with their 7th goal of the game. The tenacious Maurice Lawson won the ball back in his own and half and when Mark Done picked it up in midfield he looked up and expertly picked out Dan Johns racing clear on the left, the striker sprinted into the box and just when it looked like he would score he was foiled by a brave save at his feet by goalkeeper Allan Todd, however Josh Davis was on hand to sweep the rebound home from 6 yards out (2-7).    

The referee blew his whistle to end the match shortly afterwards, with the Away team running out convincing winners after a fine 2nd half performance. The Home team hung in as best they could and were gritty competitors throughout, however the Away team’s class told in the end. The fans had been treated to an extremely entertaining 90mins and they showed their appreciation by giving both teams a deserved round of applause as they left the Macron pitch.   

Full Time: Bolton (Home) 2 - 7 Bolton (Away)

Man of the Match (Home): Andrew Bridges 
Man of the Match (Away): Dave Buglass
Moment of the Match: Mark Done

Home Team: Allan Todd, John McGinlay, Glenn Keeley, Gino Marone (C), Jake Blackburn, Steven Wakerley, Andrea Esposito, Lee Cartwright, Nicola Perazzini, Rick Blyth, Andrew Bridges, Kevin Banks, James Park-Johnson, Phil Norris, Francesco Esposito
Home Mascot: Lorenzo Marone

Away Team: John Brunt (C), Benjamin Haydock, Tony Kelly/John McGinlay, Maurice Lawson, Dave Buglass, Matthew Crook, Mark Done, Phil Gerrard, Colin Yates, Sam Cunningham, Dan Johns, Terry Rickeard, Martin McLeod, Josh Davis