Reebok Memories: Holden Ends Big Sam's Rovers Reign

  • June 16, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL:

As the Reebok Stadium completes a makeover into the Macron Stadium, we take a look back at one of the most memorable afternoon's the ground has ever seen.

On December 12, 2010, Bolton ended a 10-year wait for a home victory over Blackburn Rovers, in what can only be described as one of the most dramatic Lancashire derbies of all time.

Both sides went into the game in mid-table positions in the Premier League, but knew three points would see them rise into the top-six of the table with the midway point of the campaign approaching.

Bolton enjoyed the majority of the possession in the early stages, but it was Blackburn who created the first opportunity of the game - as Jason Roberts glanced a header inches wide of Jussi Jaaskelainen's far post, after El-Hadji Diouf had crossed to him in the centre.

Johan Elmander was agonisingly close to turning home a blasted low ball from Martin Petrov at the other end, before Petrov drilled a shot wide moments later.

Jaaskelainen did well to deny Christopher Samba, before Zat Knight was fortunate to escape a red card for a foul that denied Roberts a clear run on the Wanderers goal.

Morten Gamst Pedersen, Gael Givet and Martin Olsson all came close as the first-half wore on, but it wasn't until the second period that things started to heat up.

With 56 minutes played, Mark Davies was shown a second yellow card by referee Mark Clattenburg, who punished the Bolton midfielder for jumping into a challenge with Phil Jones with his elbows raised.

Rovers had the advantage at this stage and they would have gone ahead, but for Jaaskelainen saving from Pedersen and Kevin Davies clearing off the line from Diouf.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, it was Bolton who struck first - through the most unlikely of goalscorers. Fabrice Muamba, on as a substitute for Lee Chung-Yong, pounced on a poor clearance from Ryan Nelsen and fired a low effort across Paul Robinson and into the back of the Blackburn net.

Bolton looked set to take an unlikely three points from the game, until their hopes of victory were seemingly dashed. With three minutes to go, Mame Biram Diouf received the ball inside the Wanderers box, worked himself a yard of space and saw his shot deflect off Gary Cahill and beyond Jaaskelainen.

The Rovers supporters behind the goal were ecstatic at their equaliser, as was their manager - former Bolton boss Sam Allardyce. The collective smile which had been put on their faces was quickly wiped off, however, as the Wanderers went back in front within 15 seconds of the kick-off.

A long ball from Sam Ricketts was flicked on by Kevin Davies, allowing Stuart Holden to run on to it and fire a stunning half-volley past Robinson to lift the roof off the stadium and seal the win for Bolton.

Wanderers moved up to 6th place in the Premier League with those three points, while Blackburn were looking for a new manager just 24 hours later after relieving Allardyce of his duties at Ewood Park.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Cahill, Knight, Ricketts, Holden, Petrov (Taylor 77), M Davies, Chung-Yong (Muamba 58), Elmander, K Davies
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Steinsson, Blake, Klasnic, Rodrigo
Booked: Cahill, Knight, Ricketts, M Davies, Elmander
Sent Off: M Davies
Goals: Muamba 65, Holden 88

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Olsson (M Diouf 62), Samba, Givet, Nelsen, Salgado (Dunn 72), Jones, Emerton, E Diouf (Hoilett 77), Pedersen, Roberts
Subs Not Used: Bunn, Hanley, Kalinic, Benjani
Booked: Olsson, Nelsen, Jones
Goals: M Diouf 87

Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Attendance: 24,471

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2020/21 Player of the Year?
56.86% Ricardo Santos
17.79% Matt Gilks
10.64% Alex Baptiste
9.94% Eoin Doyle
2.52% Antoni Sarcevic
1.54% Gethin Jones
0.42% Nathan Delfouneso
0.28% Ryan Delaney