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.
Wanderers went into game against West Brom at The Hawthorns as firm favourites. Future boss Gary Megson was under increasing pressure as the Baggies had failed to pick up a victory in the campaign thus far. After a goalless first half, goals from Kanu and Zoltan Gera gave the hosts a healthy lead. Stelios’ free-kick put Wanderers back into the game but Megson’s men held on to claim the three points.
Wanderers bounced back after an international break when they entertained Crystal Palace with just over 25,000 fans in attendance at the Reebok Stadium. A solitary strike from Kevin Davies on the cusp of half time saw Allardyce’s charges pick up a narrow maximum to get them on the winning track in the Premier League for the first time since the end of August.
This was followed up immediately by a memorable win at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur as goals from Raidi Jaidi and Henrik Pedersen, either side of a Robbie Keane strike, sent Wanderers back home with three points.
A quirk of cup football enabled Spurs to be Wanderers’ opponents in their next match, this time in the League Cup. The visitors required extra time to avenge the league defeat from a few days’ earlier after the game ended 2-2 after 90 minutes.
Wanderers took the lead through Henrik Pedersen before Jermain Defoe levelled. Jay Jay Okcoha’s penalty restored Wanderers’ lead only for Goran Bunjevcevic to bundle the ball home to send the game into extra time.
Defoe grabbed his second to put Spurs in front for the first time on the evening only for Les Ferdinand to restore parity against his former club. Michael Brown then hit the winner to banish the need for a penalty shootout and send Spurs into the next round.
The game will be remembered for the withdrawal of Khalilou Fadiga who was withdrawn from the field on a stretcher during the warm-up after suffering a problem with his heart.
Wanderers final game of the month came on Halloween when they picked up their third league victory on the spin with a 2-1 victory against Newcastle United at the Reebok Stadium.
Goals from El Hadji Diouf and Kevin Davies in the second half, sandwiched in between a Darren Ambrose strike, ensured the points stayed in Lancashire and saw Wanderers move into fourth spot.