2004/05 season: The Road to Europe - A December slump

Sam Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers finished sixth in the Premier League and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the very first time in their history.bwfc.co.uk takes a look through the archives to look back on a memorable season at the then Reebok Stadium.


The final month of the year proved to be dreadful as Wanderers plummeted from seventh to 13th as they lost ALL of their five games prior to January.

The awful run of form started at Goodison Park where they were edged out by the Toffees to lose 3-2.  A late own goal by Jaidi prevented the visitors from salvaging a point despite Wanderers taking the lead on two occasions through strikes from Kevin Davies. Each of his goals were cancelled out by Duncan Ferguson and Thomas Gravesen but the big Wanderers defender put through his own net with three minutes remaining.

Carrow Road was next on the road and Wanderers fancied their chances against the newly-promoted Canaries. However, the hosts had other ideas. Wanderers went into the break 2-1 up thanks to goals from Okocha (penalty) and a bullet header from Fernando Hierro to cancel out Mattias Svensson’s effort.

However, another goal from Svensson and a spot kick from Darren Huckerby gave Norwich the full points on offer to consign Wanderers to another defeat.

In their final game before Christmas, Manchester City ran out 1-0 winners at the Reebok Stadium when Joey Barton hit the only goal of the game just after half time.

Manchester United handed the Super Whites a Boxing Day bruising at Old Trafford when goals from Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes went unanswered, while they ended the year with another defeat to Lancashire neighbours Blackburn Rovers at the Reebok Stadium with Paul Dickov’s early strike proving to be the only goal of the day.

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