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MANY fans don’t bother watching pre-season friendlies, branding them an extended training session, while others enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere and a chance to see Wanderers in some different surroundings.
What always improves the experience, though, is a few goals. And Ian Evatt’s Wanderers gave the 1,000 supporters at Longridge a night to remember by crashing in nine in their first outing of the summer.
We looked back over the last 25 years to see some of the other pre-season routs.
If you were there, and have any memories of the day email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Bornio 13-0 (July 2002)
Delroy Facey had a debut to remember as he struck four goals at the start of Wanderers’ Italian tour in 2002.
The former Huddersfield man could have had more – but was stopped more than once by outstanding keeper, Sebastien Chabbert, who was on trial at Bolton but had agreed to play for the opposition!
Split into three 30-minute periods, the game was predictably one-sided. Kevin Nolan also netted twice, while the other goals were shared between Ricardo Gardner, Henrik Pedersen, Ryan Baldachinno and Jermaine Johnson.
Rushden (IOM) 10-0 (July 2005)
Wanderers were 8-0 up at half time in the Isle of Man, with Kevin Davies claiming four goals inside the first 22 minutes.
Youth product Sean Mountford scored twice with Kevin Nolan, Henrik Pedersen, Gary Speed and a teenage Ricardo Vaz Te supplied the rest.
On the same day, Sam Allardyce confirmed he was in the market for another striker, a certain Mexico international by the name of Jared Borgetti.
Daisy Hill 10-0 (August 2012)
Chris Lester scored four times as a reserve side (XI) managed by John Henry racked up double figures at New Sirs.
Some familiar faces also got on the scoresheet, including Zach Clough, Rob Holding and Tom Youngs.
Saul Hamer rounded off the scoring alongside an own goal – unattributed by the club at the time – and the ubiquitous ‘Trialist’.
Bamber Bridge 7-0 (August 2020)
Played behind closed doors at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, Ian Evatt’s fledgling Wanderers crashed seven past Brig – and could have had plenty more.
Trialist Bright Amoateng scored a couple with Eoin Doyle, Nathan Delfouneso, Muhamadu Faal, Dennis Politic and Liam Gordon also on target.
Loughborough University 6-0 (August 2020)
A week after the Bamber Bridge result, Wanderers had a short training camp based at Loughborough University capped with a friendly against their first team, who played in the United Counties Premier League.
Though the game itself was a routine behind-closed-doors win – Nathan Delfouneso scoring twice alongside Ali Crawford, Antoni Sarcevic, George Taft and Liam Gordon – a shadow was cast over the while trip by a serious knee injury sustained to Dennis Politic, which ended his season.
Atherton LR 5-0 (July 1996)
More than 3,000 fans turned up at Crilly Park to see Wanderers put five past their non-league neighbours as they rebuilt under Colin Todd for what would be a memorable campaign.
Scott Sellars scored in the first half as the hosts kept things tight but once Gerry Taggart had headed home Scott Green’s free kick on 67 minutes, the floodgates opened.
John McGinlay made it three, Sasa Curcic – in what would be a farewell appearance – made it four, and the Serb then turned creator for Nicky Spooner to score the fifth on his return from long-term injury.
Doncaster Rovers 5-0 (August 2008)
Wanderers fans got their first glimpse of club record signing Johan Elmander, who scored twice in an impressive win at Doncaster Rovers.
The Swede had pulled out of a previous friendly at Rochdale through injury but showed some glimpses of real class as he helped Gary Megson’s side to a win that put them in good stead for their trip to Greece.
Kevin Davies had been linked with a move to Hull City, where he was reportedly wanted by ex-Bolton man Phil Brown, but the speculation did not play on his mind as he headed the Whites into an early lead.
Elmander scored a classy opening goal, then turned in Gretar Steinsson’s cross for a second shortly before being replaced by Tope Obadeyi.
Fabrice Muamba, another new arrival, continued his good form with a well-taken goal, then laid one on for fellow midfielder Joey O’Brien.
Mustapha Riga also made his first appearance after signing from Levante, as did a yellow away kit which is now regarded as one of Bolton’s all-time worst.
Galway 5-0 (July 1998)
Claus Jensen made his debut, drawing praise from manager Colin Todd, and Gudni Bergsson picked up an injury, but there is precious little information about this Irish tour opener in our archives.
If you were at the game, email me email@example.com and help me fill in the blanks!