I have been to a fair few away games in my time, not as many as others but still a fair few. During this time I have witnessed great victories as well as painful defeats. Some of those great victories make this list but I will also use a couple I was not there for, simply because they cannot be left out.
5) Leeds United 1-5 Bolton Wanderers, Saturday March 8th 2014
It rarely got this good under Dougie Freedman did it? Maybe that’s why this result was so great? This was another game I was not able to go to, but as the result was trending on Facebook it was hard to miss!
It was 0-0 at Elland Road for much of the first half before Joe Mason put Bolton ahead on the stroke of half time. Lukas Jutkiewicz doubled the lead with a header from a Jay Spearing cross. Zat Knight then made it three and Mark Davies made it four as Leeds crumbled. Andre Moritz then added a fifth goal for Bolton to finish off the rout. Matt Smith scored a consolation for Leeds almost as pointless as David N’Gog’s goal against Reading in that 7-1 drubbing in the same season.
I am sure I remember this game breaking some records; maybe it was Bolton’s largest win against Leeds and something else as well? If someone remembers please say in the comments it is really annoying me!
4) Arsenal 1-1 Bolton, Saturday 11th February 2006
This was another game I was at as Bolton took Arsenal on at Highbury. No doubt Arsene Wenger spent the entire post-match press conference whining about Bolton touching his precious players. I mean what is wrong with Abdoulaye Faye launching into a two footed tackle against Jose Reyes forcing him to be withdrawn after half an hour?
A win in this match would have moved Bolton above Arsenal in the league and secured a first ever Premiership double over the North London club. Not only that it would have been our first ever Premier League win at Highbury.
It looked for a lot of the game like Bolton might pull off a famous victory as well. After only 12 minutes Bolton were in the lead courtesy of Kevin Nolan once again. Nolan took full advantage of Arsenal’s typically useless defending.
Arsenal though dominated much of the game with only the once again superb Jussi keeping them at bay. The Bolton resistance nearly lasted until the death but Gilberto broke through in the 90th minute to snatch a point for the Gunners.
3) Manchester United 1-2 Bolton, Saturday 20th October 2001
Newly promoted Bolton achieved a famous win away at the Premier League champions. Unlike the two games against Chelsea below I was not fortunate enough to be at Old Trafford this day, but how could this not make it onto the list of Bolton’s top five away days in my time?
Juan Sebastian Veron gave United the lead during the first half, but as Bolton would make very clear over the years to come away at the big teams just because they take the lead does not mean they will get what they want from the game!
Ten minutes after United took the lead Kevin Nolan struck a thunderous volley into the back of Fabien Barthez’s goal allowing Bolton to go in at the break on level terms. Nolan of course would become rather fond of Old Trafford scoring there during Bolton’s win the following year.
Almost immediately after Bolton levelled though United did have the ball in the back of the Bolton net but Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s goal was ruled out for offside. Bolton then had Jussi to thank for a quite remarkable double save, which made, and in my unbiased opinion should have won, the save of the 20 season short list. Bolton were also lucky not to concede a penalty, something few visiting sides get to say on leaving Manchester!
With six minutes left on the clock though it was Bolton who found the winning goal as Michael Ricketts lifted the ball over Barthez to give Bolton an impressive scalp.
2) Chelsea 2-2 Bolton, Saturday 20th November 2004
Ok you may have guessed at this point that I quite like getting one over Chelsea. After the Abramovich era began they were probably the opponent which best hit home our under-dog status we had, so any result at the Bridge was fantastic.
A year after our famous victory we returned to the stadium which was fast becoming a fortress under Mourinho. Damien Duff put Chelsea ahead this time rounding Jussi to slot home. Tiago then made it 2-0 to the hosts just after half time leaving Bolton with an uphill struggle to get something out of the game.
But that is exactly what Bolton did! Not long after Chelsea went too up little known Bolton player from that time Kevin Davies halved the lead profiting from Radhi Jaidi’s flick on. Another little known former Bolton player Eidur Gudjohnsen should have restored the two goal lead but scuffed a shot from two yard out, he was clearly always a Wanderer at heart!
Then came the equalising goal. Terry and William Gallas were stupid enough to fail to pick up Jaidi’s run into the box and he was more than happy to punish them for this making that mistake as he grabbed the equaliser sending the travelling fans home happy for a second successive season.
1) Chelsea 1-2 Bolton, Saturday 13th December 2003
Some rich bloke by the name of Roman Abramovich had just brought a small club in West London and started spending silly money on a team which would conquer all. But Bolton Wanderers did not read the script on their first trip to Stamford Bridge after the take-over.
This was one of the games I was lucky enough to be at, sat with my Chelsea supporting Uncle and Cousin in the away end. Earlier in the day Manchester United at leap-frogged Chelsea to reach the top of the table so Claudio Ranieri’s men needed three points to regain top spot.
Chelsea took the lead through Hernan Crespo who only cost them about £16.8 million. He was partnered up front that day by cocaine addict Adrian Mutu who cost Chelsea a modest £15.8 million. Three minutes later Ivan Campo had the ball in the back of the Chelsea net, but it was ruled out, something I did not realise for a good minute or so!
Chelsea kept the pressure on, but Bolton found an equaliser shortly before the break thanks to Bruno N’Gotty. Chelsea though continued to dominate after the break but could not get past the exceptional Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal.
Then right at the death Henrik Pedersen broke away and tried a shot from a tight angle. That shot cannoned in off the little known centre back John Terry to secure Bolton’s first win at the Bridge since December 1975! This was also the second to last away win at Stamford Bridge before Jose Mourinho took over and made the place into a fortress, bloody Aston Villa had to go and win didn’t they!
Honourable mentions include a couple of great away days I attended at White Hart Lane along with that remarkable 4-3 loss at Chelsea where we so nearly became the first Premier League team to come back from four goals down! There was also of course the second win in as many seasons at Old Trafford which could easily have made the list, along perhaps with Bolton’s 5-0 win on their return to the Premier League away at Leicester City.
Is there a match which belongs on this list? Tell me how stupid I am for leaving it out in the comments!