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Memorable Match: Leicester v Bolton

Chris looks back at a famous match between the two sides who meet this week.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
Mark Thompson

I remember it very clearly - 18th August 2001.

The season before had been a record-breaking one for Bolton Wanderers and manager Sam Allardyce. It was also the first time that I had done the fabled 100% season - every home and away game.

Wanderers had been promoted from the First Division after a 3-0 Play Off Final win over local rivals Preston North End at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium. Leicester were an established Premier League side under the management of former England U21 boss Peter Taylor who had led them to 13th place finish the year before.

Leicester had started quickly, with former Oxford centre half Matt Elliott going close from Muzzy Izzet's cross, but the home fans were shocked when Wanderers, tipped by many for relegation, became the first Premiership club to score in the new campaign when Kevin Nolan hit home after 15 minutes.

However, Wanderers withstood the Leicester attacks and delighted the massed 2,000 away supporters by taking the lead on the quarter-hour mark.

Danish midfielder Per Frandsen's right-footed cross was met by Nolan's looping header which cleared former England goalkeeper Tim Flowers and found the top left-hand corner of the net.

Less than 10 minutes later, Michael Ricketts muscled his way past Gary Rowett to rifle in a second goal. Leicester had their share of possession but did little with it - and it was no surprise when Nolan claimed his second and Bolton's third after 41 minutes as Frandsen's delicate free-kick was flicked on by Gudni Bergsson and then drilled home from close range by Nolan.

Leicester were desperate for the half-time whistle and a chance to regroup but Bolton had not yet finished their demolition job. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Frandsen, provider of two of Bolton's goals, turned scorer when he fired home a 20-yard freekick into the bottom right-hand corner of Flowers' net.

After the fireworks of the first half, the second 45 minutes was bound to be something of an anticlimax. And so it proved with Leicester again unable to make any headway in the Bolton half.

The visitors, meanwhile, were happy to slow the tempo but there was still time for another Frandsen special.
With seven minutes left, Rowett's foul allowed the Dane to tee up another superb free-kick which left Flowers with no chance.

It sealed a triumphant return to the Premiership for the Trotters, who won the match at a canter. Leicester, meanwhile, left the field with their tails between their legs to the sound of booing from their supporters.

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce:

It's a great win for us because we were testing the squad to its full capability because of a few injuries

Leicester manager Peter Taylor:

To lose your first game when we expected to win is a major disappointment and I'm very shocked

Taylor would remain in charge of Leicester until September and Dave Bassett named as his replacement, with Micky Adams joining as assistant manager. For a while, it looked as though Bassett was capable of keeping the Foxes in the Premiership, but a four-month winless run beginning in December killed their survival hopes and they were relegated on 6 April after losing 1-0 at home to Manchester United.

Just before relegation was confirmed, Bassett became Director of Football and Adams was promoted to the manager's seat, with former Cardiff City boss Alan Cork being named as his assistant.

Three wins from our first three Premiership games put Bolton on top of the league, and manager Sam Allardyce was boasting that his side were capable of winning their first-ever league title, but the strong start to the season was not followed up and in the end we finished 16th, just enough to avoid relegation


Leicester: Flowers, Sinclair, Rowett, Elliott, Davidson, Impey, Savage, Wise, Izzet, Sturridge, Akinbiyi. Subs: Royce, Gunnlaugsson, Benjamin, Lewis, Marshall.

Bolton: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Anthony Barness, Gudni Bergsson, Mike Whitlow, Simon Charlton, Kevin Nolan, Paul Warhurst, Per Frandsen, Ricardo Gardner, Bo Hansen, Michael Ricketts. Subs: Steve Banks, Henrik Pedersen, Dean Holdsworth, Ian Marshall, Nicky Southall.

Referee: Rob Styles (Knobhead).