A manager in a suit! Onward and upward, Jiminho! - Chris Brunskill
What. A. Game. Bolton Wanderers went 2-0 down early but a fighting spirit and arguably the best half of football we've seen from the Whites in a long time mean that Bolton get the full three points at home.
There was this wonderfully romantic notion prior to the start of the match with caretaker manager Jimmy Phillips. A Bolton-born boy who cheered on the Whites as a young lad, served as a ball boy, made his dream come true by playing for Bolton Wanderers, captaining the side, coaching the club's youth, and finally managing a league match. We had sincerely hoped that the day would be a positive one for Jimmy Phillips and compatriots Sammy Lee and Julian Darby.
It started off as poorly as it possibly could and there was a blip where we had thought that the match may have been lost but boy did Bolton Wanderers do everything in their might to prove us wrong. When was the last time that Wanderers managed a win from 2-0 down? It's been years, undoubtedly.
The scoring opened for Bristol City after just three minutes thanks to a deflected corner kick and what an unbelievable finish. Bristol's Liam Fontaine broke through the Bolton defense and put a cross into the box. Matt Mills did reasonably well to head clear, behind the goal. The resulting corner was deflected and Steve Davies finished with a superb overhead kick into the corner of the net to go 1-0 up.
Bolton, who started off the match with very sloppy play, didn't get much better until Bristol City doubled the pain. They broke through the Bolton defense once more and it was Tim Ream that brought the man down. Steve Davies stood over the penalty spot and sent Adam Bogdan the wrong way to make it 2-0.
At this point, Bolton really found the urgency they needed and managed to pull a goal back some ten minutes later through Chris Eagles. It always had to be him. The winger got the ball on the edge of Bristol's box and tried to get away from the defender with a twisting turn but he was brought down and Bolton were given a free kick. The man, who earned his sixth goal of the young season, mirrored his free kick against Millwall and hit it low, hard, and into the corner to make the score 1-2.
The half came and went and Bolton built on the 64% possession that they maintained over the first half. Chance after chance came in with the likes of Mark Davies, Benik Afobe, Matt Mills, and Kevin Davies all coming close but nothing would go in. Then, on 63 minutes, it was our captain, leader, legend Kevin Davies that did the business. A superb piece of holdup play in the box created time and space for Jay Spearing who finished with aplomb in the box. 2-2.
Bolton pushed even harder for the winner as the match wore on. It then happened on 83 minutes to give Jimmy Phillips a dream start as Bolton's caretaker manager. As Bristol pushed forward in hopes of a winner of their own, they were dispossessed. Kevin Davies sent Chris Eagles into space as he broke through a tight Bristol City line that immediately appealed for offside (with nothing given) and the winger did brilliantly well to find Martin Petrov, who finished well past Tom Heaton to give Bolton the win.
This match showed the heart, desire, and fight that we have wanted to see from Bolton Wanderers all season. The team looked rejuvenated and fired up. Bolton climb a few spots in the table and now face a tough test against high-flying Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday.