BOLTON WANDERERS at home in the league...
Saturday, 27th December 1986 at Belle Vue, Doncaster
Football League Division 3
Doncaster Rovers 3 Bolton Wanderers 0
Referee – Mr Alan Seville
Attendance – 3,301
Bolton Wanderers last visited Doncaster for a League fixture just over twenty seven years ago. A lot has happened in the football world in that time and particularly in England in regard to competitive football. Firstly the match took place at Belle Vue and the League structure was four Divisions under the Football League umbrella. Bolton Wanderers had never been below the second tier but at this time they were in their third season in the third tier and at the end of that season they would be relegated to the fourth Division.
The teams met on the first Saturday after Christmas, with Rovers in 12th place and Bolton two places lower having lost their previous two games, including the Boxing Day game at home to Bury the previous day. Rovers had taken a hammering at Chesterfield the day before losing by four goals to one. They made one change from that game, Tony Brown coming in for Dave Rushbury, who was injured at Chesterfield. Only one substitute could be used at that time and on the bench for Rovers was Youth team player, Brian Deane.
Rovers made a good start and dominated play in the first half. Cornforth, on loan from Sunderland, scored in the 13th minute when he received a knock down from Gaynor and rifled in from 30yards. Three minutes later and the same player put the Rovers two goals up with a header to a Redfearn cross. Continuing to have the better of things, Rovers scored a third goal in the 27th minute when a header by Gaynor following a corner was blocked on the goal-line but Humphries followed up to shoot in.
The second half was more even but the Wanderers could not make any inroads on the scoreline. Rovers moved up to 8th place and looked forward to the New Year and further progress up the table. Unfortunately for them they went on a fifteen-game run without a win although they did draw ten of them. They finished the season in 13th place.
Bolton went on to slide down the table, losing ten and drawing ten of their last twenty four games. They finished in 21st place, fourth from bottom, and were relegated
Teams – ROVERS – Mark Prudhoe (on loan from Walsall because Andy Rhodes was injured); Micky Stead (player-coach), Tony Brown, Neil Redfearn, Glenn Humphries, Dave Cusack (player-manager), Colin Russell, Colin Miller, Tommy Gaynor, John Cornforth, Steve Burke.
Bolton Wanderers – Mick Salmon; Julian Darby, Jim Phillips, Warren Joyce (player-coach), Mark Came, Derek Scott, Tony Caldwell, Steve Thompson (Phil Neal, player-manager, 63 mins), George Oghani, Asa Hartford, Mark Gavin