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CLASSIC MATCH | BOLTON 2-2 TOWN 14 MAY 2000

14 May 2020

Stewart the man of the moment as Blues come from behind to earn a draw in semi-final first leg

Today marks 20 years since Town drew 2-2 with Bolton Wanderers in the First Division play-offs semi-final first leg at Reebok Stadium.

After three successive years of play-off heartbreak, everyone associated with ITFC was desperate for this to be the Club's year, but half an hour into the first leg things were not looking good.

Strikes from Dean Holdsworth and Eidur Gudjohnsen gave the hosts a two-goal advantage and two of Blues most important players - Tony Mowbray and David Johnson - were forced off through injury.

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But mid-season signing Marcus Stewart would prove to be the hero for George Burley's men as he netted a stunning brace in Greater Manchester.

The striker got Town back in the contest nine minutes before half-time with a quite stunning volley that looped in to the net from 30 yards, despite Jussi Jaaskelainen's best efforts.

The former Huddersfield man then equalised in the second half after Martijn Reuser, who had replaced Johnson, played the ball in to Stewart's path and he rounded Jaaskelainen.

He seemed to have the ball for an eternity but the frontman kept his cool and beautifully curled the ball into the top corner of the net, somehow avoiding two Wanderers players who had rushed back and desperately dived to try and block his strike.

Both sides had chances late on but it would finish all square as things are finely poised for the return fixture at Portman Road in three days' time.

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