Top Six - Bolton Visits to Ewood Park Since 2001

  • August 27, 2015 | By Sean McNeilly
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Ahead of Bolton's trip to Blackburn Rovers on Friday, we look at their 'Top Six' visits to Ewood Park of the last 15 years.

Two old rivals meet again this week, as Wanderers make the short trip to across Lancashire. After a poor start to the new season, a win would be very welcome to kick-start the campaign, and even more welcome if it came against our neighbours.

To get us all in the mood, I'm going take a look at the top six trips to Ewood since the turn of the century.

6 - 19/09/2001 - Blackburn 1-1 Bolton

We start our list with a draw. For the eagle-eyed fans out there, it's quite simply because we've only won five times at Ewood in the last 20 years. But, with saying that, this was quite the special draw for us.

It was our first season back in the Premier League after clinching promotion in 2001 and the point picked up here meant Wanderers went back to the top of the table after six games.

Rod Wallace, making his Trotters debut, opened the scoring after coming off the bench and Bolton managed to hold on until the 88th minute, before conceding a late equaliser to Lucas Neill. Nevertheless, the Whites were top of the pile.

5 - 28/11/2012 - Blackburn 1-2 Bolton

Bolton's indifferent start to life back in the Championship after relegation from the Premier League had seen Owen Coyle lose his job and Dougie Freedman replace him. Going into the game, Freedman was unbeaten after five games, though the previous four were all draws.

A derby win was needed if any kind of play-off push was going to happen and if anyone was going to step up to the plate for Wanderers, it would be Super Kevin Davies.

The captain opened the scoring inside two minutes, before Lee Chung-Yong made it two prior to half-time after Chris Eagles, who was superb on the night, made Paul Robinson work to leave the South Korean with a simple tap in. Cruise control would be a good description for the rest of the match, though Jordan Rhodes struck late in the second-half to make the travelling fans nervous. But three points it was to be.

4 - 20/12/2011 - Blackburn 1-2 Bolton

The pre-match billing of this derby as a six-pointer couldn't have been more accurate, as both would end the game in the relegation zone. Going into the match, Bolton were bottom and staring at the possibility of being there at Christmas, a feat that is rarely met with top-flight football next time around. They were also on the back of five successive league defeats, having only won three from their opening 16 games of the campaign.

A big performance was needed and, five minutes in, the start that was craved for was given to the travelling Trotters as Mark Davies slotted home. A superb run from Nigel Reo-Coker made it two before half-time and sent the White Army delirious.

Blackburn did pull a goal back in the second-half, but it was too little too late as Wanderers held on for their fourth win of the season. Unfortunately, momentum wasn't generated from the match and relegation was confirmed on the final day. Still, at least this result made sure Rovers' season would end in misery too. Every cloud, and all that.

3 - 21/01/2005 - Blackburn 0-1 Bolton

This might be hard to hear, but fan favourite El-Hadji Diouf was not very well liked outside of Bolton during his spell at the Reebok Stadium. Strange to hear, right? Diouf's antics were at the centre of attention during this Lancashire derby, as he won a dubious penalty and scored the only goal; following up Brad Freidel's save from said spot-kick.

It was a feisty encounter to say the least, as both Diouf and Kevin Nolan were fortunate to escape red cards after earlier incidents. But, just as the game looked set to be finishing goalless, Diouf broke into the box and knocked the ball past the oncoming Blackburn keeper. He went down under some form of contact - I'm sure there was contact - and it was a penalty. Dioufy himself stepped up, only to see his effort saved, but he was quick enough to knock in the rebound and gather all three points for the Trotters.

This derby came in the middle of a seven-game win streak in all competitions, which eventually helped 'Big Sam's' team finish in sixth-place - a best finish in the Premier League for the boys.

2 - 10/01/2004 - Blackburn 3-4 Bolton

There was only 14 seconds on the clock when Kevin Nolan gave Bolton the lead in this fixture and little did we know what was to come. 33 minutes later, Blackburn led 3-1.

Wanderers' poor form of one win from the previous six league games looked set to continue. However, the magician that was Youri Djorkaeff stepped up just before the break with a delicate chip over Brad Friedel and it was game on.

During the second half, Bolton were kicking towards the visiting fans and that only proved to help the comeback. Goals from Stelios Giannakopoulos and a second from Nolan turned the game on it's head.

Ewood Park was silenced, except for the few thousand Wanderers going mental behind the goal. Bolton would later go on to reach the League Cup final and finish 8th in the Premier League, which is a lot more than Rovers can say.

1 - 22/10/2006 - Blackburn 0-1 Bolton

Ivan Campo was the scorer of the only goal in this classic, but it was Jussi Jaaskelainen who made all the back pages. Campo had headed Wanderers in front midway through the second half, but it was the last five minutes which proved to be the most talked about.

First, Quinton Fortune gave away a spot-kick in the dying minutes. Benni McCarthy stepped up, only to see his effort saved from 12 yards, but, a mere two minutes later, the hosts were awarded another penalty.

This time, Jason Roberts stepped up but, again, Jaaskelainen proved his worth by stopping his effort. Kevin Nolan also got himself sent off just to add spice to the mix, but Bolton held on for their fourth consecutive Premier League win and found themselves two points from the top of the pile with the best defence in the country.

The Whites would go on to finish 7th and qualify for Europe for the second time in three seasons.

Let's hope for another memorable one on Friday!

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