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Six months on from that Forest game

The highlight of the decade

Six months ago today, Bolton Wanderers pulled off one of the greatest escapes seen in football, beating Nottingham Forest 3-2 to retain their Championship place for the upcoming season.

A week prior to the game, it seemed an achievement far out of Wanderers' grasp. A demoralizing, turgid, effortless performance at Burton Albion had taken them to the brink of relegation.

To have any chance of staying up, not only would Bolton have to beat Forest on the final day, they would have to rely on Preston & Derby to get results against Burton and Barnsley respectively.

With Wanderers fans feeling an uneasy mix of excitement and nerves, the match got underway.

The first half was full of missed chances for both sides, but the game truly sprung into life in the second half.

Introduced on the hour mark, Adam Le Fondre handed Wanderers the lead with an instinctive finish inside the box with just over twenty minutes left to play.

Wanderers had taken the lead. The other results were going their way, it looked as if Bolton were really going to stay up by the skin of their teeth.

However, this is our beloved Bolton Wanderers. Doing things the easy way without a hitch has never been something Wanderers are capable of.

Just three minutes later, Ben Osborn scored to level for Forest.

Ten minutes after that, Wanderers were behind. Jack Colback rifled the ball into the net to seemingly condemn Bolton to an immediate return back to League One.

As you are all aware though, this game thankfully has a happy ending.

In the 86th minute, Adam Le Fondre turned provider as he set up David Wheater to tap home the equaliser from close range.

Less than two minutes later, Wanderers had turned the game around.

A Mark Howard kick upfield was headed on by Karl Henry towards Adam Le Fondre, whose sublime cross into the box was put into the net by Aaron Wilbraham with a terrific diving header.

3-2 Bolton. In that one moment, Wilbraham went from over the hill to King of the hill.

Minutes earlier Wanderers had looked dead and buried, but now they were staying in The Championship.

With the menagerie of off field distractions that Phil Parkinson and the players had to put up with over the course of the season, it was a truly extraordinary feat to keep Bolton up.

After fans were used to abject failure, like West Brom, Stoke and Blackpool, Wanderers finally got the win when they needed it most.

It is arguably the greatest moment for Bolton Wanderers this decade.

Cue mass celebrations from all corners of Bolton that lasted weeks. Requests for Kungs' This Girl were non stop.

Fast forward to today. Wanderers are currently 20th in the Championship table. After their best start to a season since the start of the century, Bolton have won just once in twelve games.

Yes, it's been woeful and awful to watch recently. But let's put things into perspective for a second. Would we have taken this situation if offered before the season? Absolutely.

Whether you want to see a managerial change or not, we can all agree that things need to improve on the pitch to avoid a repeat of last season.

Whilst it was incredible to stay up in the manner we did, I really hope we're comfortably safe by the last game this time around.