Nationwide League Division One: Bolton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town – 26th September 1998
What with it being a relatively quiet week BWFC- wise I took it upon myself to put down some of my memories of the game – that’s just the sort of rebel I am.
I was thinking back to our encounters against Huddersfield over the years, and this one stood out in particular.
Picture the scene, it's 1998, this was the year that Chocolate Salty Balls by Chef from South Park was at number one, and a certain US President assured us that he 'did not have sexual relations with that woman'.
My 15yr old self was wary about this game. Whilst Bolton were on a decent run at the time (in fact going top after this win), Huddersfield had a decent side, with Nico Vaesen and Barry Horne being standout members of the team.
That said, we also had a cracking team at the time. A young Finnish keeper named Jaaskelainen was making a name for himself; the best right-back of my lifetime Neil Cox was solid in defense and excellent going forward, whilst Mark Fish and Gudni Bergsson provided steel at centre half.
We were three up by half time; Frandsen, Blake and the mercurial Arnar Gunnlaugsson being the scorers. Leading up to the game I recall the Huddersfield manager and future Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson claiming that ‘Bolton and Sunderland should walk this league’ – half right, I suppose. Looking back, we went into the game on the back on a 12 game unbeaten streak – remember them?
The main thing that comes to mind when thinking about this game was the third goal. The ball was crossed in by Cox from the right and the Icelandic striker dummied his way past two defenders shifting the ball from foot to foot before slotting in with his right foot, which was usually just used to stand on.
It was slightly after this that the greedy shit left and moved to Leicester City, where his career swiftly went down the toilet.
Though the second half remained goalless, Bolton saw out the win that took us to the summit of the league, playing some lovely stuff along the way against luminaries such as Port Vale, Grimsby Town and Oxford United.
It was in the following season when a certain Sam Allardyce took over that we begin to rise through the leagues leading to our decade of glory in the 2000s.
The Whites finished the season in 6th position with 76 points, only to face Play Off heartache at Wembley Stadium against Watford. Our top scorer that season was Bob Taylor with 17 league goals, ahead of Gunnlaugsson with 13 - that turncoat Blake had jumped ship to Blackburn earlier in the season for £4.25m having scored six league goals.
Final Score -- Bolton Wanderers 3v0 Huddersfield Town
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Cox, Whitlow, Jensen, Bergsson, Fish,
Johansen, Frandsen, Blake, Gardner, Gunnlaugsson.
Subs: Taylor, Fish, Strong.
Huddersfield: Vaesen, Jenkins, Edwards, Johnson, Gray, Collins,
Richardson, Horne, Barnes, Allinson, Thornley.
Subs: Morrison, Beresford, Browning.