At the Home of the newly promoted Bolton Wanderers, two teams of excited fans marched out at the Macron Stadium. The Bolton Home team in White and the Bolton Away team in Blue served up an entertaining classic as the game finished 6-4 to the Blues. It was end-to-end stuff with No 11 David Cope of the Away side producing a remarkable goal-scoring display, netting 5 goals as the Away side celebrated an impressive victory.
Date: Thursday 25th May 2017
Venue: Macron Stadium
Bolton Wanderers (Home) vs Bolton Wanderers (Away)
Kick Off: 18:00 pm
Legends & Managers: Andy Walker, John McGinlay, Tony Kelly
Match Officials: Nigel Anderson, Matthew Pearson, Rebecca Garvin & Ben Matthews
The game started in high spirits as both sides looked to seek an early advantage and the Away side seized the initiative after just 3 mins in! The ball was pumped long over the top by Legend Andy Walker and No 11 David Cope latched on to the long ball and found himself 1 on 1 with the Home keeper. Cope kept his composure to round the Home GK Robert Hayes and slot the ball into the empty net. It was just the perfect start the Away team needed (0-1).
After going behind early the Home side needed to respond but they were almost caught napping again at the back immediately after. The Away side won the ball back from a Home throw in and the ball was played again in behind the defence, No 9 Alex Archer was through on goal but he couldn’t quite finish the chance off as his right footed effort was well saved by Home GK Robert Hayes.
The Away side was utilising the space in behind the defence well early on and they doubled their lead with 13 mins gone. The ball was on the left hand side with Captain Matthew Brunt who played the ball down the wing for No 9 Alex Archer. Archer then drove down the wing to the edge of the box before squaring the ball across the box for No 11 David Cope to score his 2nd of the game. Cope demonstrating his composure in front of goal again before scoring comfortably (0-2).
The Away side in Blue looked to have the result in their hands minutes later as they went 3 ahead. No 10 Tomaso Rizzi picked up the ball in midfield and played a defence splitting pass through to No 7 Matthew Walker. The Home side were appealing for offside but the lineswoman never raised her flag, Walker then laid it on a plate for No 11 David Cope who took his chance and got his hat-trick (0-3).
It was almost 4 for the Away side a mere moments later. No 10 Tomaso Rizzi played a very delicate long ball over the defence from the right wing and found No 9 Alex Archer running onto the ball in acres of space, however his shot was well saved by the Home GK. No 1 Robert Hayes in the Home goal was furious with his teammates as the defence was being split open constantly.
A corner from the right hand side for the Away team and it nearly proved to be the 4th goal for their side. The corner was played short before a dangerous ball from No 7 Matthew Walker which found its way to No 16 Paul Old who’s curling shot, had the keeper stranded before it hit the bar.
The Home side in White started to get more of the ball as they looked for an avenue back into the game and they managed to win themselves a free-kick on the edge of the box. No 5 Gareth Carrigan stepped up and his curling effort almost caught out the Away GK John Brunt at his left hand side. This was the first real sign that the Home side were beginning to get a foothold in proceedings.
The team in Blue had yet another chance to make it four later on in the first half, but were unlucky to see the ball ricochet back off the bar. No 7 Matthew Walker hit a ferocious effort from 25 yards out which Home keeper Robert Hayes made a great fingertip save to tip it on to the bar!
The Home side in White finally made a breakthrough in their efforts to get back into the game, pulling a goal back just before half-time. Captain Matthew Carrigan picked up the ball on the edge of the Away 18 yard box and struck a lovely effort which looped over John Brunt and into the Away goal (1-3).
The ref’s whistle brought the opening proceedings to a close soon afterwards. The 1st half had been dominated in parts by the Away side with a star performance from David Cope ensuring his team were firmly in control as half-time approached. It was a slow start from the Home side but towards the end of the half they started to get a foothold in the game and that all important goal before the break had set them up for a potential 2nd half comeback.
Half Time: Bolton (Home) 1 - 3 Bolton (Away)
The Home side used their momentum from the end of the 1st half and got themselves another goal back straight after the interval. Away Legend John McGinlay proved that even he was vulnerable to a defensive error, as his attempted pass across goal was under hit and No 7 Mark Chester pounced on the loose ball to bury it into the back of the net (2-3).
The fast start from the Home side continued and it was level pegging with 50 mins on the clock! The team in White capitalized on another defensive mix-up at the back. John Brunt in the Away goal played a pass out from the back which No 11 Leighton Wright intercepted. Wright crossed it in for No 7 Mark Chester, who bundled the ball into the back of the net. It wasn’t the cleanest of goals, but they all count and the Home side had completed their comeback from 3 goals down (3-3)!
However 5mins later, goal machine David Cope notched his 4th goal of the game for the Away side as they looked to recapture their form from the 1st half. It was great build up play down the left flank as the ball was played into No 9 Alex Archer’s path, who then proceeded to lay it on a plate for David Cope who slotted the ball into the bottom left corner, sending the Home GK Hayes the wrong way in the process (3-4).
Away No 9 Alex Archer then had the chance to turn from provider to goal scorer. Again using the left flank to full advantage, it was a break-away move which Archer was the spearhead of but his shot was wide of the near post and the score remained 3-4 to the Away side.
The star man for the Away side David Cope then showed his creativity by assisting the 5th goal for the team in Blue. David Cope utilised the space ahead of him and a cute little through ball played in the eventual scorer No 14 Mattia Bertoldi, who raced clear to slot home skilfully. With 65 mins gone the Away team were hoping that goal had put the game beyond doubt (3-5).
The Away side continued to impress and they made it 6, less than 3mins later, with the goal yet again arriving through talisman David Cope, who bagged his 5th and the Away side’s 6th goal of the game. Legend John McGinlay chipped the ball into David Cope’s path who flicked the ball past the oncoming keeper, to cap a fine day for the striker and further rub salt into the wounds for the Home team (3-6).
Legend John McGinlay who scored 101 goals for Bolton in his playing career, could have made it 102 later on. McGinlay who had been involved in chances beforehand, ran on to a cut back on the edge of the box but his effort went wide of the post and the score remained 3-6 to the Away side.
The Home side pulled back a consolation goal through the oldest player on the pitch No 15 Maurice Lawson, who was gracing the hallowed turf at the grand old age of 75. It was undoubtedly the moment of the match and the ethos of Football Aid shows that you’re never too old to lace a pair of boots. Lawson was played in by a neat through ball from the right and proceeded to unleash a lovely right foot shot which nestled into the bottom left corner of the goal (4-6).
Maurice’s magic moment was the last major action of the contest and the ref’s whistle brought the game to an end shortly afterwards. The end-to-end affair saw the Away team in Blue earn a deserved victory over a battling Home team. David Cope was the star man as he produced a remarkable 5 goal display, with the Home side unable at times to cope with his pace and quality in front of goal. Credit to the Home side who never gave up though, coming back from 3 down to level the score in the game just after half time.
Huge thanks to Bolton Wanderers FC and their club Legends Andy Walker, John McGinlay and Tony Kelly for their fantastic support. It had been another fine Football Aid event with the club, with the fans involved all going home extremely happy after their 1st class experience at The Macron.
Full Time: Bolton (Home) 4 - 6 Bolton (Away)
Man of the Match Home: No 1 Robert Hayes
Man of the Match Away: No 11 David Cope
Moment of the Match: No 15 Maurice Lawson
Home Team: Robert Hayes, David Knowles, Neil Bebbington, Andy Walker, Gareth Carrigan, Matthew Carrigan (C), Mark Chester, Phil Norris, Lee Mcguinness, Andy Glen, Leighton Wright, Paul Molyneux, Maurice Lawson, Rick Blyth
Home Manager: Andy Walker
Home Mascot: Miley Bebbington
Away Team: John Brunt, Paul Old, John McGinlay, Tony Kelly, Aaron McGarry, Mattia Bertoldi, Dale Rankin Matthew Walker, Matthew Brunt (C), Alex Archer, Tomaso Rizzi, David Cope, Luca Brunoni, James Kelly
Away Mascot: Samantha Brunt
The photographs used in this report were taken on staff mobile phones. A wider selection of fantastic Official Photographs are available from Matt Nuttall Photography. To order just visit www.footballaidphotos.com or contact Matt on T: 07793 818021 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
MATCHDAY VIDEO FOOTAGE
The Matchday Video Footage of the game is also available, to order a copy follow the link here - https://www.footballaid.com/donate/form and complete payment for £25 choosing 'Payment Type' = Other and a description e.g. "Bolton 2017 – Video Footage".
AFTER MATCH FEEDBACK
"It was another great night at Bolton and made extra special with 3 legends. One of the goals was not great - I bet you know which as the opposition let me poke the ball into the net. Scored at last!! Thanks keep up the good work. Maurice. All the 'staff' were excellent
Maurice Lawson - Home Team No.15
"Happy to have done the line for @FootballAid tonight! Great to be part of something so fantastic... ??"
Rebecca Garvin - Match Official
"Great game for Football Aid tonight and what an experience!"
Aaron McGarry - Away Team No.4
"@FootballAid great event tonight! You seem to go from strength to strength and your staff are faultless! Great event, tough in the heat but a very enjoyable game!"
Matthew Walker - Away Team No.7
"I had a great evening as did the supporters and mascots! The whole event was carefully and efficiently organised - I look forward to seeing the team next year."
Neil Bebbington - Home Team No.3
"Thank you Football Aid & Bolton Wanderers FC, great event and will be back next year."
Andy Glenn - Home Team No.10
"Very enjoyable evening. I had great fun, thanks very much and see you again next year."
James Kelly - Away Team No.17
"Brilliant experience. Thanks to everyone at Bolton Wanderers Football Club."
David Knowles - Home Team No.2
"Fantastic time at the Macron Stadium. Thanks to everyone at Football Aid and The Wanderers."
Paul Molyneux - Home Team No.14
Match Report written by Nathan Best (@BestyBlogs)