Ipswich Town’s greatest games: The Blues beat Bolton in 2000 play-off semi-final thriller
In the latest of our weekly look backs at Ipswich Town’s greatest games, we step back to May 2000 – and what is often called the best match ever seen at Portman Road.
Ipswich Town 5 Bolton 3 (aggregate 7-5).
Play-off semi-final, May 2000.
This was surely the most exciting and incident-packed game ever seen at Portman Road.
The score was 2-2 after the play-off first leg, and expectation was high, but home hearts sank after six minutes when Dean Holdsworth put the visitors ahead.
Jim Magilton’s penalty restored parity, only for a Holdsworth free-kick to edge Bolton in front again shortly before half-time. A Magilton penalty was then saved, but the Irishman did score a second equaliser in the 49th minute after a mazy dribble.
No sooner had Town fans finished celebrating than Allan Johnston scored from 35 yards and Bolton were in front again. It stayed that way until the last minute of normal time when Magilton’s shot, off his shin, bobbled into the net.
In extra-time it all kicked off. Bolton had two players sent off, on top of their seven yellow cards, yet another penalty – this time from Jamie Clapham – put Town ahead, and then Dutchman Martijn Reuser made sure with a late solo effort. Town were at Wembley!