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Memorable Match: Blackpool v Bolton

Chris casts his mind back to November 2010, and somewhat happier times

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Saturday November 2010, and Bolton Wanderers welcomed near-neighbours Blackpool to the Reebok Stadium in the Barclays Premier League (copyright Owen Coyle), making this the first league meeting since 1964. In a thrilling game, Bolton came from two goals down to snatch a slightly undeserved draw.

Owen Coyle, who had taken over from unpopular Gary Megson the year before, had turned Bolton into attack-minded entertainers in the 2010/11 season -  with 26 goals from 14 matches, we went into with a goal tally bettered by only four Premier League sides.

Starting slowly, the home side went behind when Blackpool defender Ian Evatt headed home from a corner in the 28th minute. It is not known whether the goal was met with boos. Wanderers would fall further behind from yet another corner from Blackpool man Elliot Grandin in the 57th minute, this time headed home by journeyman forward Luke Varney to make it 2-0 to the visitors with just over half an hour to go.

Wanderers began to find some fighting spirit with the introduction of Ivan Klasnic, Martin Petrov and Rodrigo Moreno in the last 30 minutes as Owen Coyle through caution to the wind and went all-out attack.

His boldness/naivety was rewarded in the 76th minute when substitute and permasulk Martin Petrov skillfully converted a difficult half-volley into Blackpool keeper Richard Kingson's bottom corner. It was a sublime finish, and on any other day would have deserved to be remembered as a finish of high class and skill, but the best was yet to come.

Mark Davies rescued the home side with a side-foot finish a minute from time. Davies started and finished a mesmerising, short-passing move that involved Kevin Davies, Johan Elmander and Ivan Klasnic, and which showcased the attacking football for which Coyle had become known and upon which he was, at the time, building a decent reputation for himself.

The move ended with the midfielder stabbing the ball past Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Kingson to deny Blackpool the win.

It was scarcely deserved, as Blackpool had dominated the game with their own attractive passing style, led by captain Charlie Adam who himself almost scored with a second half 45-yard attempt to lob Wanderers keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, with the ball dipping over the bar and clipping the roof of the net.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle, who brought on three attacking players from the 60th minute, said:

'When I made my substitutions, I was prepared to lose the game three- or four-nil. We had six attacking players in the last 25 minutes and we could have ended up scoring four or five. It was a lovely, free-flowing move that brought our equaliser.'

The hard-earned point contributed to Wanderers finishing 14th in the league, following a late-season collapse after our humiliating 0-5 reverse against Stoke City at Wembley in the FA Cup Semi-Final.

Blackpool, despite winning legions of fans with their attacking football, and despite their manager being an insufferable tit, were unable to avoid relegation back the Championship at the first attempt.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Barclays Premier League




(HT 0-1)

  • Petrov 76
  • Davies 89
  • Evatt 28
  • Varney 57

BOLTON (4-4-2): Jussi Jaaskelainen;  Sam Ricketts, Gary Cahill, Zat Knight, Paul Robinson; Chung-Yong Lee (Rodrigo 60min), Fabrice Muamba (Ivan Klasnic 70), Mark Davies, Matt Taylor (Martin Petrov 60); Kevin Davies, Johan Elmander.

Subs (not used): Adam Bogdan, Gretar Steinsson, Robbie Blake, Tamir Cohen.

Booked: Robinson, Muamba.

BLACKPOOL (4-3-3): Kingson; Crainey, Evatt, Cathcart, Eardley; Vaughan, Adam, Grandin (Carney 88), Taylor-Fletcher (Ormerod 84), Campbell, Varney (Southern 86).

Subs (not used): Halstead, Euell, Phillips, Edwards.

Booked: Adam, Vaughan.

Referee: M Dean (Prick).