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20 Games That Marked the Reebok: No.1

20 Games That Marked the Reebok: No.1
With the Reebok celebrating 20 years of existence next year, over the next 20 days we`ll be counting down 20 games that will be remembered for various reasons. They won`t be necessarily the 20 best games, we`ll have some of the more disappointing moments, and some of the weirder moments, because supporting Bolton is rarely a walk in the park.

Today, we`re starting right at the beginning. It`s 1st September 1997, Princess Diana has just died, the previous day`s Premiership fixture had been postponed, but it wasn`t stopping our Monday night clash going ahead.

We were taking on Everton, and as well as the first competitive game at our new home, it was a swift return back to the top flight after romping home to the Division 1 title in the previous season.

Everton were actually fitting opponents, as they were the first visiting team to Burnden Park as well. The away side had the better of the first half, but Nathan Blake was denied by Neville Southall, while Scott Sellars blasted over after Slaven Bilic`s challenge on Blake only put the ball into Sellars` path.

Nobody remembers or talks about those chances though. The match is remembered for a wrongly disallowed goal that might go down as one of the most costly of all time. In the 54th minute, Gerry Taggart headed to the far post, and Blake managed to force it over the line. Except Terry Phelan cleared it, and the officials insisted it hadn`t. The game was live on Sky, and replays show the decision was wrong. Unfairly, we were denied a win on the new ground`s opening night.

The game finished goalless, and, well, we all know how the season panned out. Everton won the reverse fixture at Goodison Park later in the season, and the 1997-98 campaign finished with us bring relegated on goal difference, with Everton finishing 17th. Had that goal stood, we would have survived by two points.

What are your favourite, worst, or just downright memorable moments at the Reebok? Readers are welcome to suggest matches to make the list of 20, email suggestions to bolton@vitalfootball.co.uk

Writer:Anthony Hart
Date:Sunday August 13 2017
Time: 10:22AM

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