A ride south on the M6 would see Bolton Wanderers just 90 minutes from the FA Cup semifinals at Wembley. Saturday also saw Jussi Jaaskelainen make his 500th appearance for the Whites. A traveling contingent of 4,500 Wanderers provided full voice at St. Andrews Stadium as the BWFC players hope to give them something to sing about at the final whistle. Full match report and highlights after the jump
It started well enough for the Whites in the 21st minute. A great little flick from Ivan Klasnic put Johan Elmander behind Birmingham’s back line leaving the big Sweded to go one-on-one with Ben Foster. The strike from Elmander was clinical and he made it 1-0.
Birmingham wouldn’t go down easy, however. A long goal kick from Ben Foster fell to David Wheater who failed to clear it, giving the ball to Cameron Jerome. The forward settled the ball and fired low, hard, and to the near post. The ball went into the back of the net as Jussi Jaaskelainen was positioned for the ball to go far post and couldn’t stretch far enough to make the save. 1-1.
Chungy was introduced to the match in the 61st minute and his effect on the match was noticed instantly. Having been on the pitch for merely seconds, he cleared off the line to deny Birmingham a goal. In the 64th minute, Kevin Davies broke his scoring duck after a mess in the box but was flagged offside. Then, just a minute later, Brum's Curtis Davies let the ball bounce in front of him, allowing Kevin Davies to get in the way. Super Kev was brought down and the penalty given. Super Kev converted and scored for the first time in what feels like forever. 2-1.
Another long ball made it’s way to Redmond who flicked it on to Kevin Phillips. The forward made a turn and took a lunging shot at it. The frankly phenomenal strike made its way over Jussi. No saving it. The goal was literally out of nothing, making it 2-2.
Just when it looked like we were headed straight for a replay, Bolton decided that it would be a good idea to leave it late. Kevin Davies did what he does best there and won the ball in the box. The big man got tall and flicked a header across the box for Chungy to effortlessly nod it home. 3-2.
What a game. What a finish. What a win. The Whites go marching on to Wembley and the FA Cup semifinals for the first time in 11 years.
Full match highlights over at our good friends, The Original Winger.