7:00am Wednesday 28th May 2014
Bolton Evening News, Monday May 29, 1989 A day to remember Wanderers savour cup triumph BOLTON WANDERERS 4 TORQUAY UNITED 1 Report by GORDON SHARROCK
THE bitter taste of defeat in 86 made success in 89 all the sweeter as Wanderers triumphed in style at Wembley yesterday.
Jubilant players savoured every moment of a day that will go down in history and stay forever in the memory.
Dave Felgate, robbed of his Wembley place three years ago, was last to leave the field. John Thomas grabbed his family and friends and trooped back up the tunnel while others just soaked up the atmosphere of the greatest day of their lives.
And no-one was happier than proud manager Phil Neal, who rated the triumph as highly as anything he had managed in his record-breaking days with Liverpool.
Yet amid the celebrations Neal found time to consider the feelings of Cyril Knowles, the Torquay manager who led his club to the greatest day in their history only to bow out to a superior team effort.
Neil cast his mind back to Wanderers’ 1986 defeat at the hands of Bristol City in the Freight Rover final. “I know exactly how Cyril feels because I was in his position,” Neal said.
“But he knows his players have made an awful lot of people happy.”
Knowles said his side did not deserve to lose by such a wide margin but accepted Neal’s point and admitted: “It’s been a fantastic day.”
Torquay had their day out at Wembley but Wanderers were there to win the cup. And they did it the hard way, coming from behind to give 25,000 cheering fans four memorable goals to enjoy an all-round team performance to remember for a long time to come.
Wembley was a fitting, sun-drenched stage on which to set a new 20-match unbeaten record. But with the temperature at 91 degrees, it was not a place to be chasing the game.
Fortunately, they were not behind for long after Dean Edwards had given Torquay a shock lead.
Having been in control, Wanderers were caught out by the always dangerous near-post corner.
Had it not been for Bolton’s own Julian Darby spinning and hitting the equaliser within four minutes it might just have been an uphill battle.
Back on terms Wanderers got back into the groove and the only question was whether they could turn their superior quality into the goals that would give them the trophy.
The answer came in a second half of frantic excitement.
Jeff Chandler’s shot deflecting off the luckless John Morrison for the second on 63 minutes; Dean Crombie racing almost the length of the field to start and finish a move that brought him his first goal for the club on 79 and three minutes later Stuart Storer providing the cross with his first touch of the ball to lay on the fourth for Trevor Morgan – the first goal by a Bolton striker in the entire Sherpa Van run.
Yet at 2-1 Felgate made two quite exceptional saves to deny Daral Pugh and Mark Loram goals that could have ruined Wanderers’ day of glory.
The roles of Chandler and Storer totally justified Neal’s selection policy. Chandler was to start the game with Storer – recently nicknamed “Exocet” because of his explosive speed – being introduced late on to torment tired Torquay legs.
More importantly, the victory and the lifting of the trophy fully justified the Bolton board’s decision to back Neal three months ago when his position was in serious jeopardy.
Neal asked his players to go out yesterday and win in some style. They played with passion and drive in a game that proved a terrific advert for the lower divisions and put pride back into the name of Bolton Wanderers.
Felgate, Brown, Cowdrill, Savage, Crombie, Winstanley, Chandler, Thompson, Thomas, Morgan, Darby. Subs: Storer (for Chandler, 80) and Stevens.
Allen, Pugh, Kelley, McNichol, Elliott, Loram, Airey, Lloyd, Edwards, Weston, Morrison. Subs: Smith (for Airey, 71) and Joyce (for Weston, 72).
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