Bolton 2-2 Blackpool
Bolton fought back from two goals down to earn a draw against Blackpool but missed out on the Championship play-offs on goal difference.
Matt Phillips gave Blackpool the lead and Ludovic Sylvestre volleyed in a second for the hosts after 35 minutes.
Two quick goals from Chris Eagles and Craig Davies in first-half stoppage time then brought Bolton level.
The Trotters dominated the second half but Leicester's win at Nottingham Forest meant they dropped to seventh.
With eight wins from their last eight home games, Bolton fans arrived at the Reebok Stadium in good spirits, evidently confident that they would be in the play-off picture come Saturday evening.
But with news of an early goal for Nottingham Forest against Leicester meaning Forest would move above Bolton as things stood, a lively atmosphere gave way to nervousness in the early stages at the Reebok.
Tensions were eased as Bolton started to take control of the game and a Rob Hall free-kick was prodded just wide of his own goal by Blackpool defender Stephen Crainey, before Davies volleyed over.
But in the 21st minute the visitors took the lead when Gary Taylor-Fletcher fed a pass to Phillips inside the area and the forward smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Bolton continued to dominate despite that set-back, but were left stunned when Blackpool added a second 10 minutes before the break as Neal Eardley clipped the ball into the area for Sylvestre, who hit a first-time shot low into the bottom corner.
Two goals down, and with results elsewhere against them, Bolton fans were already starting to contemplate away days at Bournemouth and Doncaster next season.
However, a crazy couple of minutes just before half-time looked to have changed all that. First, Eagles halved the deficit with a fine strike from the edge of the area after he was picked out by Marcos Alonso, then Davies levelled as his deflected shot flew beyond a wrong-footed Matt Gilks.
Buoyed by that late first-half resurgence, Bolton came out strongly after the break, Eagles launching a free-kick over the bar and Gary MacKenzie scrambling the ball away with Davies and Marvin Sordell lurking.
Lee Chung-yong struck the side-netting late on from a good position before substitute Tom Eaves's effort fizzed just wide of the post as Bolton pressed.
Even without the winner the home side sought, it looked as if they had done enough until Anthony Knockaert's late winner for Leicester consigned Bolton to another season in the Championship.
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman:
"Credit to the lads for the performance over a 90-minute period to keep going for the win. It is not to be but we have shown fantastic character over this three-month period and that gives me a lot of optimism going forward.
"The picture is unfolding for me because now I know what we have and where we can go. That game taught me in terms of the players and what action we have to take in the summer to make sure that this time next season we will be in a better place."
Blackpool manager Paul Ince:
"We should have been four or five up to be fair. I thought some of the football we played was fantastic.
"Bolton looked nervous and you would be when you know how important it is to get into the play-offs. They didn't start very well, we sensed they were nervous and we showed that in the first 45 minutes and I think we were nervous in the three minutes of injury time.
"I feel for Dougie Freedman - he has done a fantastic job. He is a fantastic manager and they will bounce back. I am sure Dougie and their players will come back stronger."
- 01 Bogdan
- 03 Alonso Booked
- 05 Ream (Wheater - 90' )
- 12 Knight
- 18 Ricketts
- 07 Eagles
- 21 Pratley Booked
- 27 Lee
- 44 Medo Booked
- 17 Hall (Sordell - 37' )
- 28 C Davies (Eaves - 74' )
- 24 Lonergan
- 31 Wheater
- 43 Butterfield
- 22 Holden
- 25 Vela
- 19 Sordell
- 32 Eaves
- 01 Gilks
- 03 Crainey
- 05 Eardley Booked
- 17 Basham Booked (Osbourne - 66' )
- 39 MacKenzie Booked
- 42 Broadfoot
- 07 M Phillips (Eccleston - 80' )
- 14 Sylvestre
- 16 Ferguson
- 11 Ince Booked
- 12 Taylor-Fletcher (Delfouneso - 66' )
- 21 Halstead
- 20 Cathcart
- 18 Osbourne
- 31 Angel
- 38 Derbyshire
- 40 Delfouneso
- 41 Eccleston
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.90:00 +3:51
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Tom Ince.90:00 +3:13
Marvin Sordell has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.90:00 +2:05
Effort from the edge of the area by David Wheater goes wide of the left-hand upright. Corner taken by Chung-Yong Lee.90:00 +1:18
Outswinging corner taken by Chris Eagles.90:00 +0:45 Booking
Booking The referee books Tom Ince for time wasting.90:00 +0:39 Substitution
Substitution David Wheater joins the action as a substitute, replacing Tim Ream.90:00 +0:39 Booking
Booking Neal Eardley is booked.90:00 +0:22
Foul by Neal Eardley on Chung-Yong Lee, free kick awarded. Chung-Yong Lee takes the direct free kick.89:20
Effort from the edge of the box by Tom Eaves goes wide of the left-hand upright.88:18
Nathan Delfouneso takes a shot. Nathan Eccleston takes a outswinging corner.87:51
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Nathan Delfouneso from the left by-line.83:30
Effort from inside the area by Chung-Yong Lee misses to the right of the goal.82:47
Tom Eaves is caught offside. Matt Gilks takes the direct free kick.81:37
Stephen Crainey restarts play with the free kick.81:37 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Darren Pratley for unsporting behaviour.81:32
Free kick awarded for a foul by Darren Pratley on Stephen Crainey.79:47 Substitution
Substitution Nathan Eccleston on for Matt Phillips.79:47
Effort from the edge of the box by Tom Eaves goes wide of the right-hand upright.78:30
Ludovic Sylvestre concedes a free kick for a foul on Mohamed Medo. Mohamed Medo restarts play with the free kick.
Kirk Broadfoot fouled by Mohamed Medo, the ref awards a free kick. Matt Gilks takes the free kick.77:16
Darren Pratley has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.76:51
The referee blows for offside against Kirk Broadfoot. Free kick taken by Adam Bogdan.76:26
Neal Eardley takes the free kick.76:26 Booking
Booking The referee shows Marcos Alonso a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.76:15
Marcos Alonso concedes a free kick for a foul on Tom Ince.73:10 Substitution
Substitution (Bolton) makes a substitution, with Tom Eaves coming on for Craig Davies.72:23
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chung-Yong Lee by Neal Eardley. Chung-Yong Lee takes the direct free kick.71:45
Inswinging corner taken by Chung-Yong Lee from the left by-line.69:12
Corner taken by Chris Eagles played to the near post.68:44
Chris Eagles takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post.67:36
Free kick awarded for a foul by Nathan Delfouneso on Darren Pratley. Marcos Alonso takes the direct free kick.66:40
The referee blows for offside against Craig Davies. Matt Gilks takes the free kick.65:11 Substitution
Substitution Isaiah Osbourne on for Chris Basham.65:11 Substitution
Substitution Nathan Delfouneso on for Gary Taylor-Fletcher.63:54
Marvin Sordell has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.61:41
Corner taken right-footed by Chris Eagles from the left by-line to the near post,59:41
Mohamed Medo fouled by Chris Basham, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Samuel Ricketts.59:41 Booking
Booking Chris Basham receives a yellow card.53:21
Chris Eagles takes the direct free kick.53:21 Booking
Booking The referee shows Gary MacKenzie a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.53:15
Craig Davies fouled by Gary MacKenzie, the ref awards a free kick.52:24
Craig Davies takes a shot. Matt Gilks makes a comfortable save.50:46
Gary Taylor-Fletcher fouled by Tim Ream, the ref awards a free kick. Tom Ince takes the free kick.49:46
Tom Ince is penalised for a handball. Adam Bogdan takes the free kick.49:06
Craig Davies is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Kirk Broadfoot.47:49
Corner taken right-footed by Chris Eagles from the left by-line, Gary MacKenzie manages to make a clearance.46:07
Free kick awarded for a foul by Craig Davies on Kirk Broadfoot. Free kick taken by Matt Gilks.45:01
The match restarts for the second half.45:00 +4:25 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.45:00 +3:19
Darren Pratley provided the assist for the goal.45:00 +3:19 Goal scored
Goal! - Craig Davies - Bolton 2 - 2 Blackpool Craig Davies finds the net with a goal from just inside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Bolton 2-2 Blackpool.45:00 +1:21
Assist on the goal came from Marcos Alonso.45:00 +1:21 Goal scored
Goal! - Chris Eagles - Bolton 1 - 2 Blackpool Chris Eagles fires in a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Bolton 1-2 Blackpool.44:57
Tom Ince is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Mohamed Medo takes the free kick, Zat Knight takes a shot. Save made by Matt Gilks.43:20
Gary MacKenzie concedes a free kick for a foul on Marvin Sordell. Free kick taken by Chris Eagles.36:00 Substitution
Substitution Marvin Sordell on for Robert Hall.36:00 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Mohamed Medo for unsporting behaviour.34:09
Neal Eardley provided the assist for the goal.34:09 Goal scored
Goal! - Ludovic Sylvestre - Bolton 0 - 2 Blackpool Ludovic Sylvestre scores a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Bolton 0-2 Blackpool.32:03
Chris Eagles takes a shot. Save by Matt Gilks.30:14
The referee blows for offside against Craig Davies. Matt Gilks takes the free kick.29:25
Unfair challenge on Darren Pratley by Chris Basham results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Darren Pratley. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Chris Eagles, Stephen Crainey makes a clearance.28:38
Shot by Robert Hall from 25 yards. Save by Matt Gilks.26:08
Unfair challenge on Craig Davies by Gary MacKenzie results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Craig Davies.24:59
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Eagles by Stephen Crainey. Samuel Ricketts restarts play with the free kick.22:54
Effort from the edge of the box by Craig Davies goes wide of the right-hand upright.21:37
The official flags Craig Davies offside. Direct free kick taken by Matt Gilks.20:09
Ludovic Sylvestre provided the assist for the goal.20:09 Goal scored
Goal! - Matt Phillips - Bolton 0 - 1 Blackpool A goal is scored by Matt Phillips from the edge of the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Bolton 0-1 Blackpool.19:12
Samuel Ricketts takes a shot. Save by Matt Gilks.18:07
Marcos Alonso produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.14:08
Craig Davies takes a shot. Blocked by Chris Basham. Corner taken right-footed by Chris Eagles from the right by-line to the near post, Effort from inside the six-yard box by Craig Davies goes wide right of the target.12:40
Corner taken by Chris Eagles from the left by-line to the near post, Barry Ferguson makes a clearance. The assistant referee flags for offside against Chris Eagles. Matt Gilks takes the free kick.11:32
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Darren Pratley played to the near post, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Darren Pratley misses to the right of the target.10:41
Foul by Gary MacKenzie on Darren Pratley, free kick awarded. Robert Hall restarts play with the free kick.5:01
Foul by Samuel Ricketts on Matt Phillips, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.3:26
Effort from the edge of the area by Matt Phillips goes wide of the right-hand post.2:03
Tom Ince concedes a free kick for a foul on Darren Pratley. Free kick taken by Samuel Ricketts. Inswinging corner taken by Matt Phillips.0:29
Matt Phillips produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.0:00
The match has kicked off.
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