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Remembering Bolton Wanderers v Wimbledon from December 1999

Remembering Bolton Wanderers v Wimbledon from December 1999

John Hartson

Bolton Wanderers and Wimbledon have been kept apart in the last 15 years. Our success was as rapid as their downfall, decline and disintegration.

In their guise as AFC Wimbledon, who we meet this afternoon, of course we have never had the pleasure of meeting on a football field.

However, in their previous incarnation, we had a very memorable game held at the Reebok Stadium in December of 1999.

Alan Wilkie was the referee as the teams took to the barren and muddy pitch in the Worthington Cup Quarter Final. Bolton, at the time, were a First Division side under the management of Sam Allardyce, who had taken over just six weeks prior. He would lead us to a sixth place finish along with an FA Cup Semi Final marking a successful first season and a sign of things to come.

Wimbledon were under the command of ex-Norway boss Egil Olsen and were on course to be relegated from the Premier League in 18th place.

Wanderers conceded first. Carl Cort scored in the 17th minute in front of a sparse crowd of 9,463. Boasting famous names such as John Hartson, Neil Sullivan and Alan Kimble (who?) you would have been forgiven for expecting the Premier Leaguers to run away with things.

But no. This was the old Bolton, and we were made of sterner stuff.

Remember a little fat Icelandic forward by the name of Eidur Gudjohnsen? Well, he did this in the 34th minute:

Five minutes later, Michael Johansen scored a penalty and that was enough to earn a 2-1 win for the Whites.

This would prove to be the highlight of our Worthington Cup campaign, as a 3-0 defeat away to Tranmere Rovers saw Bolton miss out on a final at Wembley against Leicester City.

The Wanderers team that day:

Jussi Jaaskelainen

Dean Holden

Mike Whitlow

Gudni Bergsson

Mark Fish

Robbie Elliott

Ricardo Gardner (Hasney Aljofree, 88)

Claus Jensen

Michael Johansen

Eidur Gudjohnsen (Bo Hansen, 86)

Bob Taylor (Greg Strong, 81)