Memorable Match: Birmingham City v. Bolton Wanderers, FA Cup Quarter Final

Jamie McDonald

This was the game that put the Trotters in the last four of the FA Cup for the first time in 11 years. This is without a doubt my favourite Bolton Wanderers match so far.

Chung-Yong Lee's last gasp winner was enough to seal Wanderers' FA Cup Semi Final spot. Going into the game Bolton were flying high in the Premier League in 8th place with current Wigan boss Owen Coyle masterminding our success. Birmingham were still jubilant after lifting the Carling Cup earlier that season, having valiantly beaten Arsenal 2-1 in the final, although Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny could share the assist for that.

This game was definitely worth the trip down the M6 with the atmosphere and the dramatic ending to the game making it such a memorable experience. After a typically cagey opening, the game really ignited after 21 minutes when Ivan Klasníc (who is currently a free agent) cleverly flicked on Fabrice Muamba’s header, which put our record signing Johan Elmander in one-on-one with Ben Foster. The Swedish international surprisingly thumped the ball into the bottom corner of the net, giving the few thousand Bolton fans something to cheer about.

20 minutes on from that, Alex McLeish’s men leveled from out of nowhere. Centre back David Wheater failed to deal with a long ball, setting up striker Cameron Jerome, who rifled the ball home from the edge of the box, beating Jussi Jääskeläinen at his near post. After referee Phil Dowd waved away a blatant penalty with Curtis Davies handling the ball inside his own box, Dowd blew for half time ending what had been an enthralling first half.

The game properly unfolded in the second half, especially in the last 25 minutes. On the 66 minute mark, a route one ball was pumped up from the back, which Kevin Davies latched onto after challenging his namesake, Curtis Davies. The now-Hull City defender made a school boy error in letting the ball bounce and letting Super Kev get in behind him. Moments later, the big forward was bundled to the floor right in front of the Bolton faithful. Dowd pointed to the spot and the Davies coolly dispatched it right down the middle with Ben Foster diving the wrong way.

15 minutes on it was deja vu for the Whites. Veteran striker Kevin Phillips latched onto Nathan Redmnond’s header and somehow (in miraculous circumstances) looped the ball over Jääskeläinen on the stretch and from distance. 2-2 with ten minutes to go. It was game on!

The match turned to end to end stuff with both sides pushing for the win, desperately trying to avoid the replay. In the 90th minute, Phil Dowd awarded a Bolton free kick a long way out. David Wheater took it and put in the worst free-kick known to man with the ball having been quickly cleared again to the half way line. A resulting long ball up found its way to Kevin Davies. SKD did as Kevin Davies does and flicked the ball on, setting up Chung-Yong Lee with a close-range header, the goal that took us to Wembley in the 90th minute. The away end went ecstatic bouncing up and down in jubilation; we’d done it in stoppage time.

The chant of "que sera sera, whatever will be, will be, we're going to Wembley, que sera, sera" boomed around St. Andrew's with the Men in White heading to the London ground for the first time in 11 years. It was well and truly a memorable match.

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