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Hero Magilton Puts Blues in Dreamland
Written by clivebleedingthomas on Thursday, 16th Apr 2020 09:00

For many of us this game rates as the most exciting game we have ever watched at Portman Road. It had everything - goals aplenty, tension, disappointments, penalties, controversial decisions and… a wonderful outcome.

Ipswich Town 5 Bolton Wanderers 3 (aet 3-3 after 90 mins) Wednesday 17th May 2000

After the excitement of the previous Sunday’s 2-2 draw at the Reebok, where Marcus Stewart had thrilled us all, there was great anticipation for the second leg. Could Town at last overcome the play-off jinx and reach a Wembley play-off final?

Dean Holdsworth put Bolton ahead after only six minutes, despite what had looked like a foul on Town keeper, Richard Wright. Here we go again we thought.

David Johnson’s effort was just wide on the quarter-hour mark, but Town levelled from the penalty spot three minutes later. Jim Magilton confidently beating Jussi Jaaskelainen, the Finnish international keeper.

Holdsworth struck again in the 39th minute to restore Bolton’s lead; a delicately curled freekick bent round the end of the wall.

Johnson missed a good chance when he mis-kicked having been set up by Stewart, then, as half-time loomed, Town were awarded a second, rather fortunate, penalty.

Once the protests had died down Magilton, who had been waiting two minutes, put the ball in the same position as his first. But this time the keeper guessed right and saved it. Thus Town trailed 1-2 as they left the field.

Following the restart the tension was ramped up with two goals in as many minutes. An equaliser scored by Magilton, showing similar skills to Stewart’s goal in the first leg, was cancelled out by Allan Johnston netting before Town fans’ celebrations had died down. This goal, a 30-yard drive of great quality, put the crowd back in their seats as Town trailed 2-3.

The next big chance came for Johnson, who slipped as about to shoot, then Holdsworth missed a chance he would normally convert.

It was end-to-end and the crowd was totally enthralled, but still we trailed by one goal. Wright made a great save from Claus Jensen four minutes from time, this was to prove absolutely crucial.

A sub-plot was developing; by the 90th minute referee Barry Knight had shown the yellow card to seven visiting players. No Town players had been booked at all. The cards had mostly been for dissent. The next one was to be decisive; a second yellow in the 90th minute for Mike Whitlow.

Bolton, hanging on to a one-goal lead were playing with 10 men. Mark Venus played a long ball forward that was headed on by Tony Mowbray into the path of Magilton who drove the ball past Jaaskelainen for his hat-trick. The ground exploded with joy, unbridled elation. There really is something very special about injury-time equalisers and winners.

Four minutes into extra-time and Town were awarded their third penalty after Johnson was fouled by Paul Ritchie.

Having missed his second penalty Magilton decided to hand the responsibility to Jamie Clapham. Showing great composure, in stark contrast to Town fans at this stage, he fired it home. For the first time the Town were ahead.

More drama ensued when a second Bolton player, Robbie Elliott, was given a second yellow after seven minutes of the first period of extra-time. Surely, against nine men we could do it.

And two minutes later substitute Martijn Reuser fired Town’s fifth into the roof of the net.

Two more yellow cards were shown in the second half of extra-time. The final tally showed nine players booked for Bolton, two of which were also given reds. No Town players were booked during the 120 minutes.

The celebrations began after Reuser’s goal and went on for a long time after the final whistle as players and management acknowledged the crowd and joined with them.

George Burley addressed the crowd over the PA system: “We’ve not done anything yet!” he warned. “We are not going to Wembley just for fun. We are going to win it!”.

Town team: Wright, Croft, Brown (Reuser 65), Mowbray, Venus, Clapham, Holland, Magilton, Scowcroft (Naylor 79), Johnson, Stewart.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Bergsson, Fish, Ritchie, Whitlow, Johansen (Phillips 90), Jensen, Elliott, Warhurst (Passi 72) Johnston, Holdsworth (Hansen 101). Att: 21,543




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