“You don’t know what you’re doing
You don’t know what you’re doing…”
(repeat ad infinitum)
That cat call is usually reserved for failing managers, but on 2nd February 2008 it was directed toward referee Phil Dowd. Home fans at Reading’s Madejski were convinced that the match official should have disallowed Bolton’s second goal for a blatant offside.
Replays showed that a defensive malfunction had allowed Heidar Helguson the freedom of Berkshire to give the visitors an unassailable lead. It was a rare good moment in the Icelander’s time at the Reebok, where he spent most of his time on the treatment table, punctuated with occasional visits to have a glass ankle operated on. The only truly satisfactory thing about Heidar Helguson was his wife.
Earlier, Matt Taylor had missed a penalty, before Kevin Nolan put the Whites in front from a Kevin Davies flick on. A “typical Bolton goal” if you will. Who’d have thought those words, so irritating at the time, would now be a source of misty recollection?
That win, their first on the road for ten months, put the Whites four points clear of the relegation zone, after a miserable start to the season. It seemed like Gary Megson’s £12 million splurge in the January transfer window had paid off.
Not quite so fast. From then on Bolton didn’t win for ten league games, which left them four points from safety with five games to play and needing close to a miracle to survive. Remember this, next time you encounter that rare thing, a Megson admirer, who will ask the inevitable question.
“Yeah, but he kept you up didn’t he?”
– Richard McCormick